The Comanche National Bank is an institution in Comanche, Texas, one that has just “always” been here, right? Well, maybe not exactly but it has been a vital part of Comanche for a long, long time…since 1889, to be exact.
It was on the evening of December 19, 1889, that a man by the name of John B. Chilton met with a group of businessmen. Before the meeting closed, they had established a bank by the name of Comanche National Bank, elected a board of directors, and put up $50,000 worth of capital stock.
The bank received its charter the following March and by the end of the year, deposits had grown to $47,451 and total assets were $136,064. On April 14, 1891, the bank purchased the lot that would eventually hold the building that most of us today know as Star Beau’s Restaurant, located on the west end of the south side of the square.
The decade of the 90s was a booming time for construction in Comanche, Texas and on top of that, the railroad had arrived! The new courthouse that would be hailed as one of the most beautiful in the state was almost completed in 1891, and the Scottish stone cutters that did the work on the courthouse began the work on the beautiful bank building. This stonework can still be seen on the building today.
The Comanche National Bank occupied this building from January 1892 to June 1969. During that time it saw Texas droughts, two world wars, the Great Depression, Korea, and Vietnam, and yet it continued to grow and prosper.
On March 11, 1968, the bank purchased property from Higginbotham Bros. & Co. to build a new bank building. The new facility was opened on June 2, 1969, located just directly across Houston Street to the west (200 West Central Street) from the old building.
Of course, the bank just continued to grow and again outgrew its facilities. It purchased its present property from Dudley Brothers in 1984, and after extensive remodeling, the Comanche National Bank opened its new doors in April of 1987. Today, it is one of the most beautiful buildings in the town of Comanche.
How proud those men of 1889 would be to see what their investment has become today!