Jefferson Bank & Trust was organized and incorporated in Missouri on July 20, 1892. It was one of the earliest neighborhood banks in the City of Saint Louis.
The bank’s first location was at the Northwest corner of Jefferson and Franklin (now known as Martin Luther King Drive). Over the last century, Jefferson Bank and Trust has earned an enviable reputation for providing excellent service to small- and medium-sized businesses throughout the Saint Louis Metropolitan area. Our foundation of prudent fiscal policy has served the bank well, even as many other banks in St. Louis have come and gone. It has grown our business – and the prosperity of St. Louis – for 125 years.
Our Timeline – One of the Oldest Banks in St. Louis
The Founding of Jefferson Bank in 1892
A small group of local businessmen founded Jefferson Bank in 1892. At the time, St. Louis had recently emerged as the fourth largest city in the United States. Its status as the ‘Gateway to the West’ coincided with the great expansion of the railroads, the industrialization of the East Coast, and the great movements of people and goods all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
St. Louis giants like Anheuser-Busch and Purina were just finding their legs at the time that Jefferson Bank & Trust became one of the first banks in St. Louis.
The Banker’s Panic of 1907
In 1907, many banks in St. Louis and around the nation failed. During that time, the stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange fell in value by over 50%. Deposits at Jefferson Bank & Trust dropped to a record low of $440.50. In 1909, the bank opened a savings department for the first time as a response to record low deposits. By October of 1915, deposits had grown to $415,000. By October of 1921, deposits were $1,154,000. That’s how Jefferson Bank outlasted many other original banks in St. Louis.
1922: The New Banking House
In January of 1922, workers broke ground for Jefferson Bank’s first new banking house at the Northeast corner of Jefferson and Franklin. This new building featured a Safe Deposit Department inside a modern vault with a capacity of 4000 safety deposit boxes, offering more security than other banks in St. Louis.
1929: The Great Stock Market Crash
Unlike many other banks in St. Louis, Jefferson Bank & Trust weathered both the stock market crash of 1929 and the widespread bank failures leading up to the 1933 ‘Bank Holiday.’ On June 5, 1933 the Board of Directors voted that Jefferson Bank avail itself of the full rights allowed to banks in the state of Missouri, and to exercise all powers granted to trust companies under the laws of the state. This type of change helped Jefferson and some other banks in St. Louis to survive the crisis. Official certification of Jefferson Bank and Trust Company’s new name was received on June 20, 1933. Jefferson Bank thrived while other banks in St. Louis faltered.
1942: Growth Leading up to World War II
By 1942, total assets of the Bank stood at $4,000,000 and grew to $10,000,000 by 1945. Jefferson Bank & Trust survived the Great Depression, whereas many banks in St. Louis in the 8th Federal Reserve District collapsed. St. Louis banks were particularly hard-hit by the depression compared to some other Federal Reserve districts. Jefferson Bank & Trust’s commitment to prudent lending relative to other banks in St. Louis helped it to thrive during this period.
1956: Banks in St. Louis Share in Post-War Prosperity
On April 2, 1956, Jefferson Bank and Trust Company celebrated the opening of the first new bank building constructed in the City of Saint Louis since 1928. This modern building was located at 2600 Washington on the corner of Washington, Jefferson, and Locust featuring four drive-in banking windows and walk-up and drive-up night depositories – a new development for banks in St. Louis at the time. During 1956, the bank grew to $22,000,000 in assets and exceeded $52,000,000 during 1963.
1977: The Bank Continues to Boom
On December 31, 1976 Jefferson Bank and Trust Company’s total assets were $108,000,000 and on March 14, 1977 the 2301 Market Street Jefferson Bank and Trust Company building opened for business, further expanding its prominence relative to less established banks in St. Louis.
1984: The Roaring ‘80s Marked with a Merger of Two great Banks in St. Louis
The owners of Jefferson Bank and Trust Company purchased Eureka Bank in Eureka, Missouri in 1968 to enhance the bank’s reach to customers throughout St. Louis County compared to other banks in St. Louis. They changed the name to Jefferson Bank of Saint Louis County in 1984. These two banks were merged on February 1, 1989 and combined assets approached $200,000,000. During April of 1990, a new bank building was opened in Eureka at the entrance to The Legends, underscoring Jefferson Bank and Trust Company’s commitment to the Eureka community, expanding the service area relative to other banks in St. Louis.
Into the 1990s and the Information Revolution
In August of 1990, a new 10,000 square foot bank building was opened in Creve Coeur in the Heritage Place Shopping Center at the corner of Olive Boulevard and Ross Road. On December 31, 1990, total assets of the bank were $221,000,000. Jefferson Bank was also an early pioneer into online banking compared to other banks in St. Louis.
In December of 1997, Jefferson Bank and Trust Company added more to its locations of banks in St. Louis by opening a new branch in Concord Village at Lindbergh and Baptist Church Roads in the Southfield Shopping Center. At years’ end, total assets were $441,000,000 and increased to $552,000,000 at the close of 1999.
2004 & Beyond
In August of 2004, the newest Jefferson Bank location was opened at 4190 Highway K in O’Fallon, Missouri. This location expanded the bank’s reach westward and emphasized the bank’s continued commitment to being one of the leading banks in St. Louis and the surrounding communities.
Today and in the future, Jefferson Bank looks forward to being a trusted bank in St. Louis. Employees continue to take pride in providing customers with prudent financial direction, counseling, and guidance. Customer relationships are Jefferson Bank’s most important asset and we do not treat them lightly. To learn more, visit one of St. Louis area locations.