In 1864 with the country in the midst of the Civil War, three men with faith in America—Henry Fuller, Daniel W. Norton and William L. Loomis—organized The First National Bank of Suffield under a three-week-old law authorizing a system of national banks. The Bank’s charter, number 497, was received on July 12, 1864, and we became one of the oldest national banks in the United States when we opened for business on Monday morning, October 3, 1864.
Fortunes from tobacco farming formed much of the original $100,000 stake, which the three men had gathered from friends as subscribers for stock. Daniel Norton served as our first bank president, while his fellow visionaries, Fuller and Loomis, formed the Board of Directors with Henry Endress, W. H. Fuller, Henry Kent, Burdett Loomis, Byron Loomis, Martin Sheldon, I. Luther Spencer and Aretus Rising. Any doubts about our solvency disappeared when our capital stock doubled 14 days after opening.
Our first office was a corner of H. N. Prout’s store that was located at the intersection of Main Street and Mountain Road in Suffield, slightly north of the current Kent Memorial Library, that the bank rented for $175 a year.
Four years later, The First National Bank of Suffield moved into its own headquarters a few hundred feet south of the grocery store. The sturdy brick building with a mansard roof was one of several new structures in our town center. A town hall and center school were under construction next to the Prout store and, across the street, the first church was completing the gothic building that stands today.
Our business prospered in this location for almost 100 years. Through wars and national financial crises, The First National Bank of Suffield used the wisdom of local business leaders to steadily guide the institution. In fact, we were listed on the Honor Roll of National Banks at the end of the Great Depression because of our sound fiscal policies.
In 1964, The Suffield Center Corporation redesigned the town center. Our bank stood in the middle of the newly planned intersection of Bridge and Main Streets. Rather than move the aging structure, the directors decided to construct a new building that would “better meet the needs of our growing community and the customers we serve.” We became the first occupants of the new Suffield Village with our colonial brick building at 30 Bridge Street. We proudly remain here as the only original business in the Village.
To meet the needs of our widespread community, The First National Bank of Suffield opened a branch office in West Suffield in October 1974. Originally located in the Ebb’s Corner strip mall, we built our own building in West Suffield Center in 1984. We expanded our market in 1995 by opening an office in East Granby at the intersection of routes 187 and 20, and again in 2004 by opening an office on National Drive in Windsor Locks.
Our expansion over the years includes not only bricks and mortar, but also the entrance into convenient, new product lines to meet our customers’ needs, including drive-up ATMs, Telephone Banking, Internet Banking, image check and statement deliveries and more.
We provide financial services to individuals, municipalities, nonprofit groups and commercial enterprises, generally within the Connecticut communities of Suffield, West Suffield, East Granby and Windsor Locks. Our investment in these communities is a high priority of our Bank and its Board of Directors.