The institution known today as City Bank had its beginnings on August 2, 1941, in a small West Texas town where five men founded the First State Bank of Morton. The bank was originally capitalized with $129,335.48. By the end of 1942, the bank had just over $1 million in assets. During its first five years, the bank had an armed robbery and a major fire, but by the end of 1946, the bank had more than $2 million in deposits. During the next 10 years, the bank grew and in May of 1957, moved into its current location in Morton, Texas.
On August 28, 1962, a group of local businessmen and farmers, including D. E. (Gene) Benham, and J. K. Griffith, purchased the bank from its founders. The bank had just over $4 million dollars in assets. Mr. Benham became president and led us with great distinction for the next 22 years. During that time, he not only kept the bank strong and profitable, he was very active in area, state and national banking organizations. He was one of the founders of both the Independent Bankers Association of Texas and the Texas Independent Bank, the first “bankers’ bank” in the nation. He also served as president of IBAT in 1975-76. Mr. Benham’s principles of community banking and his example has always inspired us.
When Mr. Benham retired in early 1985, James Dewbre became president. He had started as a bookkeeper (and janitor) in 1957, and eventually held almost every possible position in the bank. Mike Liner followed James as president in January 1990. The bank then had more than $40 million in total assets. Mike served as president/CEO for the next 18 years, providing outstanding leadership as we grew from a small-town bank with two locations into one of the largest financial organizations in the region. Mike moved to the position of Vice-Chairman in 2008, and into retirement in 2011, and was replaced by our current president/CEO, Cory T. Newsom.