The Board of Directors of First National Bank in Altus has announced that effective Dec. 14, the bank will be known as Frazer Bank.
Driven by a desire to be the best bank we can be for our customers and the communities we serve, the Board voted to change the bank from a National Bank to a State Bank. Because the bank will no longer be a “national” bank it is necessary for the bank’s name to change. The change will allow the bank to better meet the needs of customers while creating a brand that will enable the bank to continue to grow in Southwest Oklahoma and expand into other market areas.
The name Frazer Bank was selected because we wanted a name that was unique and new while still remaining true to our local heritage. The name reflects the original settlement of Frazer that later became Altus. The community of Frazer was located two and one-half miles west of present day Altus along the banks of the Frazier River. In 1887, J. R. McMahan, the founder of our bank, together with his family happened onto Frazer while traveling from Bell County, Texas. While visiting Frazer, one of the mules that pulled their wagon died and Mr. McMahan had to trade for another mule. It was while talking mule trade that Mr. McMahan learned that the community had $200 to be paid for a term of school. He had been a teacher in Tennessee and was successful in obtaining the position. He remained to teach four terms and the family made Frazer their permanent home. In June of 1891 two days of incessant rain flooded the community destroying most of the houses and filling the dugouts. Since all the houses had to be built again and dugouts dug, the people of Frazer decided they would build on high ground, thus the town of Altus (a Latin word meaning “high”) was born. By selecting Frazer Bank as our name we not only incorporate the history of the area, but also pay tribute to the spirit of change for a more promising future.
Dennis Vernon, CEO of the Bank, explained, “Only our name is changing, we will be the same bank, with the same people, and the same service you have come to expect for the last 100+ years. We are not merging with another bank, and our ownership and management remains the same. Deposits are still insured by the FDIC up to at least $250,000 per depositor. If there are any questions or concerns, we invite you to stop by or call any of our offices and we will be happy to answer your questions.”