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Bank Celebrates Building Anniversary

The First National Bank of Celeste, founded in 1900, celebrated its fourth anniversary in the present bank building on Wednesday, December 8, 1982.

The Coffee Club and the bank sponsored a reception in the bank lobby.

Until 1979, the bank remained in its original headquarters downtown, which was remodeled in 1950.

Before moving into the present building, the Celeste Bank had had three presidents, survived three thefts, and the Great Depression.

"We weathered the 1929 and 1930 depression when there were twenty-seven banks in Hunt County. After the dust settled, there were only seven banks left," said Albert Granberry, past president and now chairman of the board.

"As a matter of history, we sustained a nighttime burglary in December of 1969," Granberry said. In 1972, extortionists demanded that "we bring all the money that we had to the first bridge west of Celeste." The thieves claimed that there was a bomb on the top of the bank and machine guns stationed across the street. The bank lost $7,200 in that incident and had no injuries. The money loss was covered by insurance and did not include all the bank's money.

In June of 1974, three armed robbers took $35,000 after a frightening scene in which shots were fired which grazed the skin of some people. No one was seriously hurt.

"In all three of these, the ones guilty were apprehended really soon, except the extortionists," Granberry said.

The Celeste bank has always been owned by people from Celeste until it was bought by a group of investors, some of whom are from Celeste.

Bob Barnard is president of the bank since Granberry retired on August 1, 1981.
(Picture of exterior bank as it looked in 1900. Picture of the interior as it looked before the remodeling in 1950. Listing of bank hours)

(December 10, 1982, The Wolfe City Mirror)

Submitted by Sarah Swindell

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