Region 8 Bank Celebrates 100 Years

July 2, 2004 -- Posted at 1:11 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO -- When the Depression hit in the 1930's, many banks were forced to close. But one bank in Craighead County was able to survive the tough times, and is still open today. It's got a new name, but it's still going strong.

It's unusual to find a business in Region 8 that has been around for 100 years, especially a bank that survived the Depression?

"It didn't make any bad loans at the time. Which is most unusual, because this is an agricultural community, at that time at least," said Ed Cherry who owned bank from 1972-1978.
Larry Worsham is the President of Regions Bank now and said, "It was able to weather that storm when most banks didn't. So it just speaks well of the leadership this banks had for 100 years."

Friday was the centennial celebration of the Nettleton branch of Regions Bank. Past owners and officials gathered to celebrate the history of the bank. The bank has gone through many names over the past 100 year but former owners say good management and customer service is what's kept it in business.

"It's always had very solid, solid management, owners. Good directors, good leadership and of course, the Jonesboro community as we all know has done well over the last two or three generations, so it is very well for the Jonesboro community," said Worsham.

The bank was established in 1904 and was originally called the Bank of Nettleton. In 1968 Herbert McAdams purchased the bank and renamed it the Bank of Northeast Arkansas.

"I bought the bank on my wife's birthday on March 28, 1972," said Cherry. He would also sell the bank six years later--to the day. Sloan Rainwater would purchase the bank from Cherry.

"When we bought it, it was already on Main street and then we moved over to Washington, where the City Hall is now, and we also changed the name," said Rainwater.
It would be called the Arkansas Bank until Regions Financial Corporation purchased it in 1998.
Brenda Griffith has worked at bank for 32 years and said there's been lots of changes over the years.
"It's changed a lot. It used to be a small community bank, now it's a corporate institution. Everything has changed in banking, but most of all, our employees are still oriented to the service of our customer," said Griffith.
The original owners of the bank, the Kiech family, owned the Bank of Nettleton for more than sixty years.