This Institution’s history began by an Act of the Kentucky Legislature which incorporated the Association in 1873 making it one of Kentucky’s oldest savings association charters. The following are parts of the first two paragraphs of the Act. This information was made available at the 100th Anniversary of the issue of the Charter on Saturday, the twenty-first of April 1973.
April 21, 1873
Lancaster Building and Loan
AN ACT to incorporate the Association
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
“1. That W. H. Kinnaird, Joseph P Rucker, B. M. Burdett, William M. Kirby, Joseph P. Sandifer, W. D. Hopper, James T. Tate, W. O. Bradley, Charles Sweney, George W. Dunlap, Jr., George Denny, Jr., E. W. Harris, E. Brown, Daniel M. Anderson, T. W. Reid, A. C. Teater, T. Curry, Henry B. Marksberry, and their associates and successors, are hereby created a body politic and corporate, under the corporate name and style of the Lancaster Building and Loan Association; and in that name may sue and be sued, contract and be contracted with, plead and be impleaded, in all the courts of this Commonwealth and elsewhere; may have perpetual succession, and a common seal, and break and alter the same at pleasure; and may purchase, use, hold and sell real and personal estate, in and near Lancaster, Kentucky; issue stock, not exceeding three hundred thousand dollars; loan its funds at a rate of interest not exceeding ten percent, and take mortgages and other securities therefor; and may sell and convey any and all property owned by said corporation.
2. The business of this corporation shall embrace the buying, improving, and leasing and selling real estate, in and near Lancaster, Kentucky, and in loaning the funds of the Association, always giving the preference to its own members; . . .”
Complete records back to the date of the Charter are not available. Existing records enable the writer to estimate the dates of service of the following officers: Wm. H. Kinnaird, earliest signature as president; December 1, 1891, served at least until June 1904.
R. E. McRoberts signed a stock certificate as secretary in 1891. However, signatures indicate that J. C. Hemphill served as secretary, at least from 1896 through 1904. The signature of H. T. Logan, president, appears on records dated from 1911 through 1915. The signature of J. E. Robinson is found on records beginning in 1921 and continues through 1942. Records of secretaries signing with Mr. Robinson are W. S. Hopper and F. S. Hughes.
Other names found in the past records who served as directors are: J. L. Gill, C. M. Thompson, L. N. Miller, J. M. McRoberts, S. B. Sanders, Dr. V. G. Kinnaird, R. W. Meadows, V. A. Lear, and G. T. Abner.
Records indicate that a well known and respected lady, Miss Sue Shelby Mason, began a term as secretary-treasurer in 1922 and continued until March 31, 1960.
Judge Henry C. Cox was elected president in 1942 and left for military duty in World War II later that year. Mr. Allen Morris was elected vice president in 1936 and took over the duties of Mr. Cox in his absence. Mr. Morris was elected president in 1943. It was due to his efforts that a full time office was opened in 1959 on the Public Square. It was the opening of the office and making the services of the Association readily available to the public that made the growth in asset size and service possible. At the retirement of Miss Mason as secretary-treasurer, Mrs. Lydia Gastineau took over in that position on April 11, 1960. Together Mrs. Gastineau and Mr. Morris reviewed the old records and set up new books with an asset balance of $148,488.76 as of close of business December 31, 1959. March 4, 1965 the Articles of Incorporation were amended to authorize the issuance of additional stock not to exceed $2 million. At Mr. Morris’ death in 1965, assets of the Association had grown to approximately $1,250,000.00. Mr. Morris had also made applications for conversion to a mutual Federal Savings and Loan Association Charter, for insurance of accounts by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) and membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati.
Mr. Tillo B. Martin had served the Association as vice president since January 1962, and took over the duties of president in June 1965, after the death of Mr. Morris. Harold H. Simpson came into the Association as executive vice president on September 1, 1965 when assets were $1.3 million. With the continued growth, larger office quarters, new office equipment and furniture was needed. The office was moved to 107 Lexington Street and Mrs. Velma Clark was hired as a clerk. Mr. G. T. Abner resigned as director and Harold H. Simpson was elected to fulfill his term as director through 1965.
When notification of approval of the Plan of Conversion was received, a Resolution was adopted to accept the Plan. Stockholders were asked to surrender their stock certificates and they would be converted to a savings account. January 1966 the Federal Home Loan Bank Board required the Association to have seven directors. Denny Tribble, a local farmer and Henry C. Cox, attorney, were appointed to the Board of Directors. Federal Charter #2495 was issued January 20, 1966, and at that time the name was officially changed to First Lancaster Federal Savings and Loan Association. Directors were: Tillo B. Martin, Harold H. Simpson, J. Wade Walker, W. H. Sanders, Colonel Hammonds, Denny Tribble and Henry C. Cox
At June 30, 1966, First Lancaster Federal had grown to $1.6 million in assets, 233 loans with a total balance of $1.5 million and 406 savings accounts for a balance of $1.4 million. The first Federal Examination and audit began August 4, 1966. At the January 1967 Board meeting, Mr. Simpson presented a request to consider making loans outside of Garrard County. The Board decided not to solicit loans outside of the county but if an application from someone outside of the county was made and had the potential of being a good loan, it would be considered and fees would be adjusted accordingly.
The Association purchased property across the street in 1968 for a future office and remodeling began soon. The Association moved to 108 Lexington Street and continued to grow under the leadership of Tillo Martin, President, Harold Simpson, Executive Vice President, Lydia Gastineau, Secretary-Treasurer and Velma Clark, Clerk. At the time of the 100th Anniversary celebration, April 23, 1973, assets of the Association were almost $7 million. Virginia Scott (Stump) was hired in March 1973.
Due to the Federal Trade Commission forbidding interlocking directorates in financial institutions, two long time directors retired December 31, 1976. They were Colonel Hammonds, President of Garrard Bank & Trust and W. H. Sanders, President of The National Bank of Lancaster. The years of 1977 and 1978 brought about processing changes by receiving approval to do on-line processing services with the FHLB of Cincinnati which allowed interest to be paid on deposit accounts quarterly instead of semi-annually. New employees, Kathy Johnica, Tony Merida, Steve Menshouse and Debbie Bolton (Freeman) were hired and Jack C. Zanone was appointed to the Board of Directors in July 1978 and Roger S. Grubbs was appointed a director in 1979.
The 1980’s brought about several changes of employees. July 1980 Mr. Tillo Martin and Mrs. Lydia Gastineau retired from their duties and Harold Simpson became President/CEO and Chairman of The Board, Virginia Scott (Stump) was appointed as Secretary-Treasurer and J. Wade Walker was appointed Vice President of the Association. The early 1980’s brought sadness to the Association with the demise of past President Tillo Martin on December 5, 1982 and Vice President J. Wade Walker on December 21, 1982.
Mr. Simpson, President/CEO and Chairman of the Board was fighting a battle with cancer which brought him to a point in September 1983 that he was confined to his home. Virginia Scott (Stump) was appointed Executive Secretary-Treasurer and Director at the September 1983 Board meeting. Mr. Simpson lost his battle with cancer on December 18, 1984. At the Annual Meeting in February 1985, Virginia Scott (Stump) was appointed President, Denny Tribble, Chairman of the Board and Assistant Vice President, Roger Grubbs, Vice President, Tony Merida, Secretary-Treasurer and Jane G. Simpson was to fulfill the directorship of Mr. Simpson.
Assets of First Lancaster Federal Savings and Loan Association as of September 30, 1988 were $23.6 million. With the growth of the Association and customer base, the location at 107 Lexington Street became a problem for customers to use the drive through and have parking. The building owned by Kentucky Utilities at 208 Lexington Street was vacated and listed for sale. The Association purchased the property in May 1988 and the building was renovated, a new vault and additional space was added.
Government deregulation in the 1980s made thrifts evaluate their services and start to expand into the commercial banking services. The Board felt this was a prime time to convert from a federally chartered mutual savings and loan to a federally chartered mutual savings bank and adopt the name of First Lancaster Federal Savings Bank. The change in the charter and name change was approved by the Office of Thrift Supervision November 10, 1988. The move to the new location and new name became a reality March 4, 1989. Even though the Bank could provide more services, the Board continued mainly with the traditional thrift services or making loans for home ownership and provide customers a safe place for their savings with competitive savings rates.
Just as the 1980’s brought about changes so did the 1990’s. Director Junior Long passed away June 1991, Chairman and Assistant Vice President, Denny Tribble passed away September 1992 and Director Henry Cox passed away November 1993. Tony Merida was elected to the Board in July 1991 and two new Board members joined in September 1992 – David Gay and Ronnie Sutton. Virginia Stump was appointed as Chairman of the Board in 1993. First Lancaster Federal continued to have very profitable years, good growth to the point a new loan officer Bobby Jones was hired June 1994. Director Roger Grubbs discussed with the Board members a way to give back to the community and it was decided to establish a scholarship of $1,500.00 for the freshman year of post secondary education to a graduating senior of Garrard County High School. In 1995 the scholarship was changed from a one time $1,500.00 award to an eight semester award totaling $6,000.00 if the student complied with the guidelines. The Board also made this available to the 1994 & 1995 winners. The Board was pleased with this idea. Director Grubbs lost his battle to cancer in June 1997.
In 1994 the Board decided to add additional floor space and the drive through would be moved to the back of the building and add an addition lane for service. At the annual meeting, Tony Merida was promoted to Executive Vice President, Kathy Johnica to Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer and Secretary to the Board and Karen Hatfield to Assistant Secretary-Treasurer. 1995 the Board began looking at the pros and cons of converting from a mutual association to a stock association due to the many changes occurring in the financial industry. December 7, 1995 the Board made the decision to convert the federally chartered mutual savings bank to a federally chartered capital stock savings bank as a wholly owned subsidiary of a holding company – First Lancaster Bancshares, Inc. First Lancaster Federal Savings Bank Federal Stock Charter #6429 was issued June 28, 1996 and the stock conversion was completed.
First Lancaster Federal had an active lending presence in the Jessamine County area and this continued to be a potential loan growth area. May 1997, First Lancaster Federal opened a loan production office in Nicholasville, KY and was fortunate to hire Steve Smith and Kristie Weber, experienced lending personnel, from a local bank in the area. In fiscal year 1998, the loan portfolio grew 24.3% for a total loan portfolio of $47.6 million. To help with the loan growth in our local area, Ronald Howard was hired as a loan officer.
After Director Grubbs’ death in 1997 the Board consisted of six directors with only four outside directors. The Board began searching to find citizens of the community that would help lead First Lancaster Federal in the way it had always been known for, emphasis on savings and home ownership, and would also help give guidance in all areas. The Board found those community minded persons in Mrs. Phyllis Swaffar and Mr. Jerry Purcell. They were asked to join the Board in July 1999.
First Lancaster Federal Savings Bank, the wholly owned subsidiary of First Lancaster Bancshares, Inc., was at a crossroad in its history and needed to decide to continue to be the local small bank and not offer all available services or to join with another Bank. Asset size at September 30, 2000 was $57.1 million and shareholders’ equity of $12.4 million. The Bank was fortunate to be able to merge with another local Bank, Central Kentucky Federal Savings Bank in Danville, KY. The plan of merger was announced in December 2000 and was completed May 31, 2001. Mr. John Stigall, President of Central Kentucky Federal, commented that First Lancaster Federal was a quality community Bank that shared Central Kentucky Federal’s traditions and philosophy of being a community oriented financial institution. Both Banks’ products and services were closely matched and both Banks’ enjoyed a long history of service to its customers. First Lancaster Federal was organized in 1873 and Central Kentucky Federal was organized in 1886. Each Bank continued its commitments to their local communities after the merger.
In 2013, the board of Central Kentucky Federal approved a merger with Kentucky First Federal Bancorp which aligned them with two other long-serving, community- based Kentucky thrifts: First Federal of Frankfort and First Federal of Hazard. The offices of Central Kentucky Federal now operate as a division of First Federal of Frankfort and Lancaster is represented on the board of the bank by Jerry Purcell and Virginia Stump.
For 128 years Lancaster, KY had its own building and loan association, savings and loan association and savings bank which were all one and the same and served our local community with a place that promoted growth by offering a safe place with a competitive rate of earnings for savings and time deposits and offered a way for the local people to have the “American Dream”, home ownership.
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