First Federal Savings Bank of Kentucky

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History of the First Federal Savings Bank of Kentucky

Since its inception, the First Federal Savings Bank of Kentucky has remained committed to serving the Frankfort and Franklin County communities. The bank was established in 1934 when a group of businessmen founded the Greater Frankfort Building and Loan Association and endorsed a charter and by-laws. The board of directors consisted of nine members, including some of Frankfort’s leading businessmen. Lambert U. Suppinger, co-founder of Frankfort Lumber Company, was elected President, while H. K. Rogers of the Sanitary Laundry Company and Carl A. Kagin of Kagin Insurance served as Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively.

During the association’s first board meeting, held on December 6, 1934, it reported cash holdings of $3,356.60, approved its first home loan to I.A. and Elizabeth
Kennady, and set a cap on home loans not to exceed $2,000. Mr. Kagin served as the managing officer from 1934 to 1980, after which he was named President, and then Chairman of the Board in 1980 until his passing in 1984. First Federal rapidly outgrew its initial office and bought a building at 105-107 St. Clair Street, formerly the site of Kagin Brothers Dry Goods.

The association operated out of 105 St. Clair, while renting the ground floor of 107 St. Clair to the Sanitary Laundry and the upstairs to Cusick’s Photography Studio. In 1956, First Federal purchased the building at 101-103 St. Clair, formerly the home of Whitehead and Hancock Plumbing, and incorporated it into the office complex to create a single building. In 1968, First Federal expanded into the part of the building formerly occupied by the laundry at 107 St. Clair.

The need for an easier, more convenient way to serve customers led First Federal to open its first branch at 190 Versailles Road on the east side of town in the late 1960s. The East Frankfort Branch opened on October 21, 1971, and the West Frankfort Branch on U.S. 127 South on August 26, 1975. By the mid-1980s, both
locations featured Automatic Teller Machines, making it more convenient for customers.

In 1988, First Federal purchased the building at 216 West Main Street and made it its main office after experiencing a lack of parking and periodic flooding at its previous location. The building, constructed from Kentucky River limestone with gray limestone trimming and raised joints, had housed the Farmers Bank from 1855 to 1971 and was then occupied by the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System from 1971 to 1988.

During the 1980s, government deregulation changed the roles of financial institutions, and First Federal began to blend its traditional purposes with newly authorized services. In 1989, the institution underwent a name and charter change to become First Federal Savings Bank of Frankfort. Despite the name change, First Federal continued to uphold the primary purpose set forth in 1934–to provide a secure place for customers to save and earn a competitive return and to assist Frankfort area families in buying their homes.

In 1995, First Federal underwent a significant change by converting from a mutual form of ownership to a thrift owned by a publicly held company, Frankfort First Bancorp, Inc. First preference for purchasing stock in the Bancorp’s initial public offering was reserved for First Federal account holders, most of whom were area residents, because of the nature of stock conversion regulations. William C. and Joyce Jennings retired from daily operations in 1998, and Danny Garland became President of the Bank. In 2005, Frankfort First Bancorp, Inc. merged with First Federal Savings and Loan of Hazard to become Kentucky First Federal Bancorp, and Don Jennings currently serves as the CEO.

On December 31, 2012, Kentucky First Federal merged with Central Kentucky Federal, and their offices were merged into First Federal. The bank now has six offices serving Franklin, Boyle, and Garrard counties.

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