Our story begins in a place called Wynne.
In 1891, a group of Northeast Arkansas' most influential businessmen gathered together daily at the old Commercial Hotel to discuss the day’s events. It was here that these men, sitting together in a small room filled with cigar and cigarette smoke, discussed the need for a bank in their small town. At that time, Wynne only had a population of one thousand people.
It was under the leadership of Isaac Block, a planter who owned a large amount of valuable land just outside Wynne, that this discussion amongst businessmen was transformed into an actionable plan to create a bank. In May of 1891, he persuaded 31 individuals to commit to investing $30,000 and made an application to the State of Arkansas to charter Cross County Bank. The application was promptly approved and the charter (#25) was granted on June 5, 1891. This was indeed a historic event as it was only the second bank to be established in all of Eastern Arkansas.
After receiving their charter, the men purchased some land and began construction of what would become the first Cross County Bank. The $5,042.63 price tag of the original bank building, located at the corner of Front and Union, was expensive for 1891. It was a tremendous investment, especially considering the bank only profited $156.57 in its first year of business. This minuscule figure may seem like it may have been quite demoralizing, however it was not long before the need for a bank in that area became clearly evident. In its second year, Cross County Bank’s net income grew to $52,666!
In 2005, the bank expanded into Jonesboro as “First Commercial Bank,” then further expanded with the acquisitions of full-service branches in Brinkley, Manila, Monette, Osceola, and Blytheville.
In 2022, a new chapter began. Having a bank with two distinct brand names was problematic for both customers and employees, so the decision was made to unify the brand under a new name—Cross Bank. This decision was made to serve the best interests of the bank’s shareholders, customers, team members, and communities. First Commercial Bank customers often didn’t recognize they were part of a bank with a 131-year legacy. And Cross County Bank customers often didn’t realize they could conduct banking at a First Commercial Bank office when it may have been more convenient to do so.
Today, Cross Bank proudly serves nine communities in Northeast Arkansas and is part of a vision that has lasted for more than a century. Looking to the future, Cross Bank is committed to providing its customers the highest quality service and carry on its tradition of strength and stability in the region.