First State Bank has been your community bank since 1884. Presently there are thirteen banking center locations in Southern Ohio; Manchester, Peebles, Seaman, West Union, Winchester, Ripley, Georgetown, Mt. Orab, Hillsboro, Washington Court House, St. Bernard, Wilmington and Fayetteville and three in Eastern Kentucky; Inez, Louisa and Warfield.
In 1884, Lucien Jerome Fenton formed the Winchester Bank Company (presently First State Bank, Winchester Branch) with capital of $50,000. At that time, the bank was a two-story building and was shared by a dry goods store. The new bank was built in 1976, and remodeled in 1990, in the same location as the original Winchester Bank Company. In 1959, the Winchester Bank Company acquired The Seaman Bank. Today, after renovations in 1977, and 2004, First State Bank's Seaman Branch stands in the same location as the original Seaman Bank.
The Bank of Manchester (presently First State Bank, Manchester Branch) was formed in the late 1800's and was originally located on Second Street in Manchester. The Manchester banking center then moved to 210 Pike Street in 1976, where it is still located today. On May 1, 1969, First State Bank was formed as the result of a merger between the Bank of Manchester and the Winchester Bank Company. At the time of the merger, the bank had offices in Manchester, Seaman, and Winchester. In July of 1989, First State Bank saw a need for an office centralized in its market area. A branch was built in the Adams County seat of West Union on the property that was originally known as the Old Shell Property.
In October of 1996, First State Bank expanded by building a branch in Peebles on the corner of Main and Church Street. Years ago, the property was occupied by an old church which was later converted into a large home. The property is best known for the McFarland Ford Dealership that once occupied the lot until the bank's construction in 1996. In April of 2008, First State Bank acquired three branch locations in Brown County that had previously been owned and operated by Oak Hill Financial, Inc. (Jackson, OH). These branches are located in Ripley, Georgetown, and Mt. Orab. The Ripley and Georgetown locations were at one time branches of the Ripley National Bank. This bank was acquired by Oak Hill Financial, Inc. in 2004. The Mt. Orab location was built by Oak Hill Financial, Inc. in 2006.
In 2013, First State Bank opened a ninth location in Hillsboro, Ohio. In 2014, the company acquired a banking center location in Washington Court House in Fayette County. In April 2016, First State Bank opened a loan production office in Wilmington, Ohio and acquired First Safety Bank, with locations in Georgetown and St. Bernard, Cincinnati. In 2018, First State Bank opened a banking center in Fayetteville, Ohio and converted the loan production office in Wilmington to a full service banking center. In 2019, First State Bank built a new banking center in Wilmington. In February 2021, First State Bank acquired Inez Deposit Bank, with three locations in Lawrence and Martin Counties in Eastern Kentucky. This brings the total number of First State Bank banking centers to 16 banking centers.
First State Bank employs more than 185 full time and part-time employees. First State Bank is owned by dedicated stockholders and directed by a board of nine directors. First State Bank's staff and directors are active business owners and citizens in and around the area. The board members include: Chris H. Baxla, Chairman; Alan W. Foster, Vice Chairman; Matthew Greene; Daniel R. Naylor; Michael P. Pell; David Richey; Roy (Spud) Gustin; Tony Applegate and Eric Toole.
Being locally owned and operated, the goal of First State Bank is to enhance community and individual financial prosperity in surrounding neighborhoods. The bank has the unique ability to make decisions locally and within guidelines that benefit customer needs. First State Bank holds honesty, integrity, ethics, and customer service as top priorities. The employees of First State Bank take great pride in participating in civic activities that are held in the area throughout the year, including festivals and many local community functions. First State Bank is involved in local Chamber of Commerce organizations as well as local school activities, and social events. The bank is proud to be a part of Southern Ohio and its communities.