Senate concurrent resolution



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State of Arkansas

86th General Assembly

Regular Session, 2007 SCR 8
By: Senators Critcher, Wilkinson, AltesBy: Representatives Breedlove, Pennartz, Walters, Medley, Glidewell

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

CONGRATULATING THE WILKINSON FAMILY AND THE FARMERS BANK BOARD OF DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, AND STAFF ON ITS CENTENNIAL.


Subtitle

CONGRATULATING THE WILKINSON FAMILY AND

THE FARMERS BANK BOARD OF DIRECTORS,

OFFICERS, AND STAFF ON ITS CENTENNIAL.



WHEREAS, Farmers Bank of Greenwood, Arkansas, secured its state charter on August 7, 1907, and opened for business on September 25, 1907, by founder W. N. Wilkinson; and
WHEREAS, Farmers Bank was established seven (7) years prior to the establishment of the State Bank Department; its first deposit was thirty-eight cents ($.38); and on its first day of business, the bank earned a profit of eighty-three cents ($.83); and
WHEREAS, in 1907, founder W. N. Wilkinson was selected President of the Greenwood School Board, a position he held until 1928; and
WHEREAS, Farmers Bank acquired the failed Sebastian County State Bank in Greenwood, Arkansas, in 1917; and
WHEREAS, even during the Great Depression days of moratoriums and banking holidays, Farmers Bank had the distinction of never being placed on a restricted basis or being forced to declare a bank holiday; instead of foreclosing on its customers, Farmers Bank simply held deeds until the economy turned around and people could resume paying their notes; and Farmers Bank was the only bank in Greenwood, Arkansas, to survive through the difficult depression years; and
WHEREAS, in 1935, Farmers Bank acquired financially insolvent First National Bank of Greenwood; and in 1938, Farmers Bank acquired the financially troubled Hartford State Bank, making it the bank's first branch; and
WHEREAS, in 1941, Means Wilkinson, Farmers Bank Vice President and Attorney, was elected Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives; in 1942, he entered the United States Navy in World War II and was wounded in action during the Sicilian invasion and awarded the Purple Heart and two (2) Bronze Star Medals; in 1953 he was named Farmers Bank Chairman and President and he was elected President of the Greenwood School Board; and he also served on the Arkansas Board of Education, the Arkansas State Banking Board, and the Arkansas Children’s Colony; and
WHEREAS, in 1961, Farmers Bank established its second branch banking location in the city of Hackett, Arkansas; and
WHEREAS, in 1968, a tornado devastated the community leaving the town square in ruins; Farmers Bank suffered little damage and became the headquarters for community leaders to begin planning the rebuilding of the town; and the courthouse was completely destroyed, so court was held in the Farmers Bank boardroom; and
WHEREAS, Farmers Bank President and Chairman Means Wilkinson was elected to the Westark Community College Board of Directors, now University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, in 1971; and he was named president of the Arkansas Bankers Association; and
WHEREAS, in 1972, Betty Wilkinson was named president of Farmers Bank; and in 1973, she became the first female bank president to graduate from Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University; and
WHEREAS, in 1973, Farmers Bank established its third branch bank in the town of Bonanza, Arkansas; and
WHEREAS, in 1978, Betty Wilkinson, who held two (2) terms as a member of the Arkansas State Banking Board, was nominated by Senator Dale Bumpers to serve the cabinet position of Treasurer of the United States; and
WHEREAS, in 1985, Stanhope Wilkinson was named President of Farmers Bank; and
WHEREAS, though the 1980s marked a period of unprecedented bank mergers and acquisitions, Farmers Bank remained committed to remaining a hometown community bank; and
WHEREAS, in 1990, Farmers Bank took over the branch of a failed savings and loan branch in Greenwood, Arkansas; and in 1991, Betty Wilkinson was named Chair of the Board of Farmers Bank; and
WHEREAS, in 1991, Ed Wilkinson received a commission into the United States Navy, following his father’s footsteps; in 1994, he was named President of Farmers Bank and Stanhope Wilkinson was named Chief Executive Officer; and also in 1994, Ed Wilkinson followed his late father’s footsteps into the Arkansas House of Representatives; and
WHEREAS, in 1995, Farmers Bank established the Center Street Branch in Greenwood, Arkansas, making it the second location in Greenwood and the fourth branch location; and in 1996, the bank established the Fort Smith Southside branch in Fort Smith, Arkansas, the bank's fifth branch and first location in Fort Smith; and

WHEREAS, in 1996, Farmers Bank attorney and board member Norman Wilkinson was elected to served as Circuit/Chancery Judge for the 12th Judicial District; and


WHEREAS, the years 1998-2007 marked a period of unprecedented growth for Farmers Bank as a result of changing branch banking laws and the information technology advancements; and
WHEREAS, Farmers Bank has had, since its inception, an extraordinary reputation for selfless contributions to the communities it serves; on June 20, 2000, during the 2000 Community Service Awards 23rd Anniversary, Farmers Bank was awarded the Corporate Humanitarian Award from KARK-TV, the Office of the Governor, and Arkansas Division of Volunteerism; and
WHEREAS, also in 2000, Farmers Bank established the Fort Smith Eastside branch in Fort Smith, Arkansas, its sixth branch and second location in Fort Smith, and Ed Wilkinson was elected to the Arkansas Senate; and
WHEREAS, in 2005, Farmers Bank established its seventh branch in Huntington, Arkansas, and its eighth branch in Mansfield, Arkansas; and
WHEREAS, in 2006, Farmers Bank acquired Community National Bank’s Barling branch and converted it into Farmers Bank Barling Branch in May 2006, becoming its ninth branch; also in 2006, Farmers Bank opened its tenth branch location at Lavaca, Arkansas, on July 5, giving it a total of eleven (11) locations; and
WHEREAS, in 2007, the truly unique Farmers Bank celebrates its 100th birthday; with two hundred million dollars ($200,000,000) in resources, it is still wholly owned and managed by the founding family; it operates under the same leadership principles as it did when it was organized; and the board of directors consists of Elizabeth “Betty” Wilkinson, Chair, widow of Means Wilkinson; her sons Norman Wilkinson, Stanhope Wilkinson, and Ed Wilkinson; their daughter Susan Wilkinson; and long-time employee and bank officer Tresa Lowe; and
WHEREAS, also in 2007, construction begins on the Farmers Centennial Fountain, to demonstrate its commitment to the next century; and
WHEREAS, the Senate of the Eighty-Sixth General Assembly congratulates the Wilkinson Family and the Farmers Bank Board of Directors, officers, and staff on its centennial and recognizes the Farmers Bank commitment to the community,
NOW THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE EIGHTY-SIXTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN:


THAT the Senate congratulates the Wilkinson Family and the Farmers Bank Board of Directors, officers, and staff on its centennial and recognizes the Farmers Bank commitment to the community.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that upon adoption of this resolution, an appropriate copy shall be provided to the Wilkinson Family and Farmers Bank by the Secretary of the Senate.






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