Florence Deposit Bank
The Florence Deposit Bank, one of the most progressive institutions in Boone County, opened for business on the twenty-fifth of July in 1904 as the first bank in that town and after the need was apparent to all the influential people of that community. Throughout its existence, the stockholders have shown unusual judgment in the selection of the officers and directors who have guided the destinies and growth from a capital stock of $15,000 at the start to the present total of $35,000 which was inaugurated in 1926. The first president of the Florence Bank was W. H. Rice, who also had a great deal to do with the formation of the depository. He was a man of sterling character, a leader in church work loved by all who knew him and his workers and the public in general sincerely regretted to see him leave Boone County when he gave up the presidency in October, 1919 and moved to Erlanger, where he resided with his daughter until the date of his death. W. H. Scott was the first vice president and no better choice could have been made. He saw the bank grow in influence year by year and he, in a large measure, was a factor in this development. Mr. Scott literally died in harness for he was called to his last regard quite suddenly while attending a directors meeting at the bank in 1920. He was a devout member of his church and among many other enterprises had been a most successful dairyman. At the time of the formation of the Florence Bank, the highway through that town was the main artery of travel for most of the country going to the cities of Covington and Cincinnati. No better place could have been chosen for a successful bank and it was on the main road where the building was erected to house the bank. If the road carried much travel in 1904 it certainly carries many times as much now and it is hard to estimate the future possibilities when the through road from Louisville to Covington becomes reality. In the erection of the bank building every precaution was taken to make secure the place where the public's money was stored, with the necessary safes and vaults as first consideration. Besides Mr. Rice and Mr. Scott, the original officers of the bank were as follows: C. W. Myers, Secy., with the following directors: E. O. Rouse, M. P. Barlow, J. S. Surface and B. H. Tanner, who with Mr. Myers, are still on the board. The other members of the present board are C. F. Blankenbeker, J. B. Respess, L. C. Acra and Theodore Carpenter, with Mr. Blankenbecker president; J. S. Surface, vice president; E. O. Rouse, Secretary, and J. G. Reneker, Cashier. Mr. Blankenbecker has been president since 1919 and Mr. Renaker cashier since 1909. Perhaps the Florence Bank would have prospered without these two gentlemen, for it was a sound institution from the start, but there is no doubt, as figures will prove, that since their advent into office the growth has been steady and sure. Their high character and business integrity has instilled confidence in all their depositors and their earnings for the stockholders have been both pleasing and profitable. The assistant cashiers of the bank are Mrs. Eva. R. Miller who has been a valued employee since 1916, and Mrs. George Y. Tanner since August 1926. The friendly spirit and reliability of both these ladies has been appreciated by the customers as well as the bank. The very first six months the bank was in operation a six per cent dividend was paid on the capital stock which proved positively the justification and need of a banking house at "Stringtown on the Pike." In 1926 the capital stock was increased to $35,000 at which time a cash dividend of 160 per cent was paid to the stockholders, plus the customary 9 per cent semi annual dividend. To the writer this seems like a wonderful and extraordinary occurrence and one of which every officer, director and stockholder and depositor can well be proud for it reflects the proper credit for such a bank and must indeed be most gratifying to those in charge. Before the increase in capital stock there were approximately fifty stockholders which was raised to about 190, the majority of whom live in Boone County. The Florence Deposit Bank has moved step by step with the community as it has grown and prospered and no doubt has been a contributing factor for that growth, and in the future one can only see as the years roll on, further increases in the prestige of such an institution.
from the 1930 Historical Edition of the Boone County Recorder