In 1890, First Financial Bank began serving the Abilene area as Farmers and Merchants National Bank. The bank was launched with a capital of $50,000 and opened its doors at 283 Chestnut Street. During that time, Abilene was home to over 3,000 optimistic pioneers. Depositors placed $33,000 with the bank in 1890, and all transactions were recorded in longhand - 75 entries were regarded as a "fair day's business."
Under the steadfast leadership of Walter Johnson, President of the bank from 1954 to 1975, then Farmers and Merchants Bank helped the region diversify its economy, and in 1957 the bank changed its name to First National Bank of Abilene. In 1973, First National became a member of First Abilene Bankshares, Inc., a newly formed holding company that would become First Financial Bankshares, Inc. in 1993.
Through the turbulent times of the 1980s, when more than 500 Texas banks would fail and require FDIC reorganization assistance, First National Bank received national recognition when it was named one of the safest banking organizations in the United States.
The bank began expanding in 1987, when the state approved branch banking, adding locations on Judge Ely Boulevard, Buffalo Gap Road, and the corner of South 14th and Willis. In 1995, First National Bank introduced the concept of "supermarket banking" to Abilene with the opening of a new location in the HEB grocery store. The addition of offices in Wal-Mart Supercenter and United Supermarket further expanded the bank's ability to serve Abilene neighborhoods.
In 2005, First National Bank changed its name to First Financial Bank and added new locations in Clyde, Moran, and the additional Wal-Mart Supercenter. A new branch in Albany was then opened in the summer of 2007. Shortly after, in 2008, a new branch was opened in Odessa with rapid growth in South Abilene, a new branch located on Antilley Road opened in the fall of 2012. In Abilene, Clyde, Albany, Moran, and Odessa, we now serve our customers with 14 convenient locations, 24 ATMs, complete investment and trust services, and an exciting lineup of enhanced accounts and technology-driven services.
This is a very exciting time for First Financial Bank. Although many things have changed in the past 122 years, First Financial continues to provide friendly faces with the experience to support customers and the communities in which we live.
First Financial Bankshares, Inc. is a financial holding company that operates twelve regional banks with 60 locations in Texas, a trust company, and a technology operating company. First Financial Bankshares, Inc. is listed in the NASDAQ Global Select Market, which has the highest initial listing standards of any stock exchange in the world based on financial and liquidity requirements.
The Presidents of First Financial Bank:
- General Fleming W. James, 1890-1893
- B. B. Kenyon, 1893-1895
- Ed S. Hughes, 1895-1923
- Henry James, 1923-1949
- W.L. Sibley, 1949-1953
- Walter F. Johnson, 1954-1975
- Kenneth T. Murphy, 1975-1984
- Michael R. Brooks, 1984-1987
- William A. Crumrine, Jr., 1988-1991
- F. Scott Dueser, 1991-2001
- Charles "Chuck" Cowell, 2001-2005
- Ron Butler, 2006-2012
- Marelyn Shedd, 2012-Present
The Presidents of First Financial Bankshares:
- Walter F. Johnson, 1973-1986
- Kenneth T. Murphy, 1986-2000
- F. Scott Dueser, 2001-Present
You're Banking with Family
With 60 locations in 12 banking regions throughout Texas, the First Financial Family offers its customers convenient banking options and local, personal attention. We are familiar names and faces ready to offer you more than you would expect from a bank.
Because we’re family, our customers can visit any of our banks, any of our locations, and always get the same great service. That means more convenient ways to bank the way you want, like choosing from more than 71 different ATMs.
First Financial customers get more value, too. Our banks offer free Online Banking, free Bill Pay, free Debit Cards, and more with every checking account.
More and more, we're the banks Texans turn to for financial services.