Welcome to State Bank of Cochran Online. We are a locally-owned bank with three branches in adjoining counties. We offer convenient, full service banking at First Laurens Bank in Dexter and Dublin and at Community Bank of Johnson County in Wrightsville. We are the largest bank in Bleckley and Johnson Counties and second largest in Laurens County. Please call or come by to see us soon. We look forward to serving you.
A charter was granted on December 22, 1921 for State Bank of Cochran. Operation began in the bank building formerly occupied by Citizens Bank of Cochran, which is located on Second Street. The bank opened for business on January 5, 1922 with $177,572.37 in assets. State Bank purchased assets including the bank building, deposits and loans from Citizens Bank of Cochran during their voluntary liquidation. Original Directors of the bank were J.S. Helms, I. A. Willis, Thomas Wilmore Fisher, Sr., J. E. Lane, H. F. Lawson, J. R. Porter, and Lewis Sullivan Leach. Many of their descendants are still associated with the bank today.
Profits were lean during the twenties and early thirties. During the later thirties and forties the bank prospered. The building was remodeled and additions made to include a drive-thru and add air conditioning. Eventually the bank outgrew its location, and in April 1974, a new bank was opened at the corner of Beech and Third Streets. The old location was sold to another institution and still functions as a bank today. Since 1974, the bank has undergone several renovations to remain modern and competitive.
In 1998, State Bank of Cochran purchased the branch of First South Bank in Wrightsville, and the name was changed to Community Bank of Johnson County. Much was invested into the Johnson County community to remodel the bank, install the city's first ATM machine and offer new products to its customers.
In 2001, State Bank of Cochran expanded again by purchasing the branches of Knight State Bank located in Dexter and Dublin. They became known as First Laurens Bank. Computer upgrades and minor renovations were initiated. Soon land was purchased to build a new location in Dublin. The construction of the new office on Veterans Boulevard was completed in December 2003.
Primary Officers of State Bank have included J. S. Helms, Thomas Wilmore Fisher, Sr., Robert T. Cooper, Lewis S. Leach, L. D. (Jack) Griffin, Taylor Edward Howell and Ernie Tripp. These men and a dedicated staff have seen the bank grow from $177,000 in assets to more than $220,000,000.
State Bank of Cochran is proud of the service we have provided our hometown for more than 90 years. We are also proud of the additional communities we serve. We look forward to continued growth in all of our markets and invite you to become a member of our family.
The present Community Bank of Johnson County was originally The Exchange Bank of Wrightsville. The bank, chartered in 1909, was located at the corner of West Elm Street and South Marcus Street . The first officers of the bank were U. R. Jenkins, President; J. M. Mason, Vice President; and E. E. Daley, Cashier. The directors of the bank were A. F. Daley, E. E. Daley, J. M . Mason, U. R. Jenkins, R. E. Hayes, J. F. Fulford, T. G. Holt and C. T. Bray. C. T. Bray became president of the bank in 1910.
By 1958, officers of the bank were W. R. Jackson, Sr., President; W. L. Thompson, Vice President; G. T. Brantley, Cashier and Nannelle Frost, Assistant Cashier. Directors were N. F. Bray, Hayes Hall, W. R. Jackson, Grayson Rowland, F. F. Shurling and W. L. Thompson. A new bank building was erected in 1965 at the corner of West Elm Street and Myrtle Street. The present bank is still at this location.
In 1983, The Exchange Bank of Wrightsville was sold to First South Bank, headquartered in Ft. Valley, Georgia. Bank officers at the time of the sale were Tredway Shurling, President; J. D. Vanlandingham, Executive Vice President; Glynn P. Rogers, Vice President; Katherine Snell, Cashier and Faye W. Brantley, Corporate Secretary. Directors were W. R. Jackson, Jr., Chairman, T. L. Bray, Joe Harry Rowland, D. S. Shurling, James M. Cook, Jr., J. D. Vanlandingham, James L. Jackson, L. E. Parker, Jr. and Tredway Shurling.
One interesting fact is that a member of the Bray family was either a President or a Director of the bank from the time it was chartered until 1990, when T. L. Bray retired from the board at the age of 75.
The bank remained with First South Bank, who later moved their headquarters to Macon, from 1983 to 1998. In 1998, the Wrightsville branch was acquired by State Bank of Cochran, and the name was changed to Community Bank of Johnson County.
Community Bank of Johnson County offered Johnson County citizens their first bank ATM machine and was the first to offer Visa Check Cards and imaged bank statements. They also offered Johnson County citizens their first bank travel club. Club members enjoy traveling together on late model, state-of-the-art coaches provided by Excursions Unlimited, a Savannah travel agency.
Employees and directors of the bank are well integrated into all aspects of the community in order to provide leadership and efficient service to the customer base.
First Laurens Bank began as Dexter Banking Company. Dexter was Laurens County's most prosperous town during the railroad boom. The Dexter Banking Company was granted a charter on January 18, 1904. Among its early officers were Dr. J. E. New, the first president, H.F. Maund, the first cashier, and W. B. Taylor. The bank voluntarily liquidated itself at the end of the depth of the depression.
A new charter was purchased by W. B. Taylor, Loomis Taylor, U. G. B. (Boney) Hogan and D. W. Knight, Sr. In 1933, the new private bank became the Taylor-Knight-Hogan Banking Company and later the Taylor-Knight Banking Company. Nearly two decades later the bank again changed its name to reflect the new owners, the Knight-Hogan Banking Company. Following Mr. Hogan's death, the bank was changed to Knight Banking Company. In 1967, stockholders received a state charter and changed the name to Knight State Bank.
In 1974, Knight State Bank moved into a new building on the corner of Main Street and Omega Street, located across the street from their original home. In 1990, Knight State Bank was purchased by Wrightsville Bancshares, the owners of the Bank of Wrightsville. A branch office was opened at 201 North Jefferson Street in Dublin. The location is in the heart of downtown in a building originally occupied by First Federal Savings and Loans.
Knight State Bank's branches were purchased in February 2001 by State Bank of Cochran, and the name was changed to First Laurens Bank, a division of State Bank of Cochran. In 2003, a new office was built in Dublin at 2040 Veterans Boulevard. This location features many modern banking conveniences and provides easier access for our customers.
Over the years the primary officers of the bank have included: W. B. Taylor, U. G. B. Hogan, D. W. Knight, Sr., D. W. (Bill) Knight, Jr., M. E. Knight, H. L. Stripling, Cecil Passmore, Jr., John Knight, Steven Griner, Allen Lancaster, and Ben Bradshaw.