It was a warm and humid morning on August 18, 1947, when 11 Paducah businessmen convened a special meeting. Roy L. Bishop, William F. Rottgering, M. O. DeJarnatt, Neal G. Burton, John B. Blackburn, Henry Henneberger, Lance Dossett, Fred G. Harrison, J. E. Ham, George R. Thomas, and Milton M. Livingston all had an exciting vision for a new and different financial institution for a growing community in Western Kentucky. The meeting was called to order at 10 a.m. Roy L. Bishop was elected Chairman of the Board and President; M. O. DeJarnatt was elected Cashier. As the meeting concluded, it seemed to those in attendance as if they knew a very special journey, one with unlimited possibilities, was about to begin.
On January 24, 1948, The Paducah Bank opened for business at 522 Broadway with assets of $100,000, becoming the third bank in Paducah. At the time the Bank opened its doors, the assets of all three banks totaled less than $25 million. In the beginning, most of the banking transactions and records were performed by hand and maintained in cumbersome ledger books. Receipts were handwritten and crude mechanical bookkeeping machines were used to post customers’ transactions on their statements.
By 1952, the Bank had grown to more than $6 million in assets, and was beginning to burst at its seams. At the annual meeting, Mr. M. O. DeJarnatt was elected the third President of The Paducah Bank. Growth continued at such a pace that by mid-1955, the Bank was forced to relocate to a newer and larger facility at 529 Broadway.
In January 1964, Paducah Bank opened its first branch location, the current Mid-City Banking Center located at 2401 Broadway. The Reidland Banking Center became the second branch, opening in November 1967.
Our official name was changed to The Paducah Bank and Trust Company in 1968, reflecting the decision to offer trust services to its many customers. In the summer of 1973, a hole was knocked in the bank wall facing Broadway, which created the first walk-up teller position. It was operational during non-traditional weekday hours and Saturday mornings. This service was so well received that, two years later, all Paducah Bank facilities were open for full service each Saturday from 9 a.m. until Noon. Paducah Bank showed local leadership again in 1976 when it was the first bank to appoint women to its Board of Directors. And in 1978, the Bank was among the first to install a new technology known as ATMs.
In 1991, Paducah Bank initiated one of many steps to provide an innovative workplace for its managers and employees. The Bank created an Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP), which allowed each employee to become an owner and an investor in the future of the institution. The ESOP has continued to grow and today is one of the largest shareholders.
“Creating a workplace culture that provides both a fertile environment for our employees and lays a foundation of exceptional customer service has also been at the forefront of our mission as a bank,” says Wally Bateman, Paducah Bank President. “A number of years ago we began with a guest relations program that we believe transformed our internal environment. We followed that with an intensive exploration of the best-selling book, Good to Great. These efforts, and the phenomenal response of our terrific team of bankers, led us to being chosen as the overall winner and #1 Best Place to Work in Kentucky in 2006. In 2008, Paducah Bank was selected as Business of the Year by the Paducah Chamber of Commerce and also was selected as one of the Top 15 Small Workplaces in North America by the Wall Street Journal,” Bateman added.
In 2010, Paducah Bank was rated among the top 20 independent banks for performance in asset size by the Independent Community Bank Association. The Bank has consistently held the top spot in market share for deposits and business loans for several years, according to FDIC reporting.
“Paducah Bank has weathered wars, floods, economic upheavals, cultural shifts, changes in leadership, industry volatility, and many other repercussions of an ever-changing world,” comments Joe Framptom, Chairman and CEO. “But without a doubt, the truest sense of diligence and dedication set out by those charter members of the Bank in 1948, has served this company from generation to generation and brought us to this day. Today we celebrate a locally-owned financial institution that has stood the test of time and all the incumbent triumphs and tragedies that go along with six decades of history. We could not be more proud of who we are and who we have become since those respected gentlemen signed that Charter in 1947 to form a bank in Paducah – namely Paducah Bank.”