Banking on Buz

All of the downtown banks in McKinney had moved west to Central  leaving the downtown without any banking facilities at all.

A group of us decided that we would correct that oversight and charter a new bank. We got a diverse group together and hired a banker that was the president of a bank in Athens, Texas by the name of Buz Rolfe. He was a graduate of West Point and Harvard and had been in banking for a number of years. He guided us through the process and on May 16, 1986 we filed an application for a new National Bank for McKinney with the Comptroller of the Currency.

For the previous year we had been busy as the Board of Directors (Proposed) meeting weekly with Buz and acquiring land, personnel and building designs. We had a commitment from two bankers that had been in McKinney their entire banking career. One was an expert in consumer loans and the other controlled most of the loans to the larger farmers and ranchers in the area. We also had a commitment from a lady banker who was VP at a local bank and she had handled the “back room” day-to-day business of the bank transactions for many years.

We purchased a city block two blocks west of the downtown square and hired an architect to design the building pretty much to the specifications Buz suggested. We closed on the land and approved the final drawings from the architect. We began getting bids in on the building and located a mobile home office that another new bank had used before opening down in Allen.

Finally, we received our charter and were ready to open for business. We had three more spaces for directors and elected a Doctor, an Attorney and the past Mayor. As you can see we were all set to go. However it was early 1987 and by this time, a few banks in Texas were beginning to fail. The Bank Examiners had descended in mass on the Texas Banks and were demanding additional capital requiring bankers to call notes against their wishes. We kind of pulled in our horns and sort of hunkered down to see what was going to happen. As the months went by, more and more banks in Texas failed and we had to decide what to do.

  1. We could move forward as planned with the new building and open the bank for business.

  2. We could open in the mobile home office and hold up on the building.

  3. We could ask the Comptroller to put our Charter on hold and continue to meet and pay our President as well as other ongoing expenses.

  4. We could decide to terminate the dream, send the Charter back and not open the bank at all.

We agonized over flushing all most three years of effort but in the end we decided on number 4. We returned the Charter and closed out our bank effort.  It took about a year to sell the land but we finally sold it to the city and it is now a city park.  

So that ended my almost banking experience and if the timing had been different, Charlotte and I could add Banking to the list of things we did in our lifetime.

Photo of park found here.