| Friday, December 19, 2014
In 1892, Benjamin Harrison, a civil war veteran, was serving as President of the United States. It would be another 11 years before Orville and Wilbur Wright made their historic flight.
On April 14, 1892, Bank of Hillsboro first opened for business. On that day, the president and initial founder Thomas Donnell and associate Charles Kleinschmidt, aided by one or two stockholders, set in motion a financial institution that was to help set the pace for Hillsboro’s growth.
The first home for the bank was a small two story brick structure on Main Street. The bank occupied the one room main floor level. A new brick structure on the same site later housed the bank. The bank took up new quarters in the summer of 1964. The current location is First Street and Highway 21, one block from the county courthouse.
According to the memory of some of the senior citizens of Hillsboro, Mr. Charles Kleinschmidt succeeded Mr. Donnell as President, a position he held for many years. Mr. Ross Donnell, son of the founder, served as president until his death. Following Mr. Donnell was E. M. Williams, Wallace LaFoon, and Hubert Gonz. Mr. Thomas Law began his tenure at the bank in 1962. He later became president in 1981 and served in that capacity until a few years before his retirement in 1998. Mr. Hugh Anderson served as president from 1996 up to his death in 2002. Mr. Anderson was a former FBI agent and well known attorney in the Hillsboro community. Mr. Ronald Ravenscraft, was elected president in 2002 and continued until August 2006, when Vincent S. Coleman was elected president and director until he left the position. October 1, 2012 Art Kniffen, Bob Hawkins' son-in-law, took over as president and holds that position currently. Bob's grandchildren, Benjamin and Cassidy Wanner both work in the bank. His daughter, Melany is the Chairman. In 2007, his daughter Peggy was the project manager for a major remodeling of the bank that resulted in the handsome building you see on Business 21 today.
In 1959, Mr. R. W. Hawkins, a Navy veteran and attorney purchased stock in the Bank of Hillsboro and later became sole shareholder. There have been many favorable words said about Mr. Hawkins. One of our favorite quotes was “Bob was a man of few words, but the words he spoke mattered.” Mr. Hawkins was a true advocate of community banking and committed to a conservative approach to commerce. This philosophy has served the community and bank well through the years.
In ever changing times, one thing that will not change is our dedication to our customers. We would like to thank our past, current, and future customers. We would not be where we are now without our loyal customers.
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