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Matagorda County
Recorded Texas
Historic Landmark


Old Bay City Bank


Matagorda County Buildings
Designed by Jules Leffland


2044 Avenue F

28585932N       955812.87W



Old Bay City Bank

In 1898, Mr. Frank Hawkins and Mr. Henry Rugeley established a private bank in Bay City known as "Bay City Bank." It was located on a corner one block east of this building, where the present First National Bank now stands, in a small frame building, facing west.

The town of Bay City was just beginning, having been laid out as a townsite in 1894, and the county seat had been moved from Matagorda to Bay City.

The "Bay City Bank" was the first bank in Bay City. The new building was completed about 1903 and was an imposing addition to the square of the Bay City townsite. It is of red brick with white stone trim and it's interior and exterior have been changed very little. The teller's cage is now used as a business office for a loan company.

The Bay City Bank expanded and became the Bay City National Bank, then later was called the Bay City Bank & Trust Co. During the depression it purchased the First State Bank and moved to the First State Bank building. Since that time the building has been occupied by First Federal Loan & Savings and at present, by Caney Valley Loan & Thrift Co.

This building is indicative of an era in the development of Bay City, is of interest architecturally, and will be preserved by the owners.


The Bay City Bank to Begin Work in a Few Days.

Building to be of Pressed Brick and Handsome Appearance.

Hope to Have it Ready for Occupancy by October.

Mr. Hy. Rugeley, who directs all the affairs of the Bay City Bank, is a most non-communicative man, especially regarding his business affairs, and so, although the TRIBUNE man sees him every day, he learned by accident yesterday that the contract for the new bank building had been let, and work would commence at the very earliest possible moment. In fact the contractor, Mr. Robert Ellert of Cuero, is already in the city and preparing to commence operations.

The new building will stand on the same lot now occupied by the present wooden bank structure, and that building will be moved back and turned around so as to face on 7th street, and the bank will continue to occupy it until the new building is completed.

The TRIBUNE man was allowed a peep at the drawings and plans for the banks new home, and found that they called for a very handsome modern structure 25 x 60 feet, fronting on Avenue F. The structure will be two stories high, with a slated French roof and a tower on the front center, rising above the roof, surmounted by a flag staff.

The corner fronting the avenue and Seventh street, will be flattened to allow entrance from both streets, the overhanging upper story being supported by a carved granite pillar. The windows of the lower story will be arched with plate glass, protected by handsome iron grill-work, giving the structure a handsome and most metropolitan appearance.

The outside walls will be laid with Elgin, Texas buff brick, and trimmed with St. Louis gray pressed brick, laid in stone-work effects at the corners and around the windows, giving a most handsome architectural appearance.

The interior will be fully up to the elegance of the exterior finish. The floor of the entrance and inside of the bank will be laid in handsome Mosaic tile effects, while the bank fixtures will be of polished oak surmounted by brass grill-work. At the rear is located the vault built of brick and fire-proof, it will be fitted with a Diebold steel door and time lock, while on the inside will be a burglar-proof steel money chest. In fact, everything will be of the most approved modern design.

The entrance to the second story is at the rear of the building, on the 7th street side and the upper floor will be fitted up in six office rooms, the handsomest in the city.

Every citizen of Bay City feels a personal pride in this, the oldest financial institution of the city, and will congratulate Mr. Rugeley upon the handsome new structure which his bank is soon to occupy.

Matagorda County Tribune, June 26, 1903?


Copyright 2011 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Sep. 5, 2011
Sep. 5, 2011