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Merchants & Planters History

The Merchants and Planters Bank of Raymond, Mississippi was chartered on January 27, 1906 by J. L. Gaddis, Sr., George C. McLaurin, B. W. Griffith, Marye Dabney, R. L. Crook, W. W. Downing, C. S. Spann, Sr., S. S. Carter, H. S. Perkins and P. D. Ratliff as the original incorporators. All of these were local business people with an interest in seeing that the community of Raymond should be served with a locally owned and operated bank. The sizable sum of $25,000 was placed in the bank at that time as capital.

Mr. J. L. Gaddis, Sr. served as the first president of the bank and was succeeded in 1936 by his son, J. L. Gaddis, Jr. The descendants of Mr. Gaddis, Sr. remain as principal shareholders of the bank today. The bank originally opened in the building adjacent to the Hinds County Court House in Raymond on Main Street. Included in the bank was a large safe that was manufactured in 1903 by the Mosler Safe Company of Hamilton, Ohio. The safe was placed on a concrete slab and the wooden floored building constructed around it. It was not until 1981 that the safe was moved from the original bank building and placed on display in the existing bank building in the same city block. The safe required considerable restoration work after having survived a fire and years of neglect. The main office of the bank today is located in a building constructed for that purpose in 1923.

The Merchants and Planters Bank was one of only a few area banks that did not close during the Great Depression. The panic of the so-called "Bank Holiday" of 1932 soon passed due to the fortitude and stability of the Raymond people. Although the local economy suffered, the bank survived those days by committing itself to the needs of its customers. That lesson was well learned and serves as the basis for the bank's success today.

The bank remains as one of the very few small, independent community banks in Hinds County. Although the list of services provided to its customers has grown considerably from the early years, the commitment to extending only the best in basic, personal banking to a local market is unshakable. The legacy of genuine concern for people as outlined by former presidents T. H. Kendall, Jr. and H. R. Kilby, Sr. remains in the minds of many bank customers today.

Today, the bank maintains four offices in central Hinds County. In an attempt to better meet the needs of its mobile customers, the bank in 1979 opened its first branch office just east of Raymond. The office featured two lanes of drive in services along with easy access to Highway 18 and Main Street.

In 1987, the bank acquired the stock of the Merchants Bank of Bolton, Mississippi and developed that office into the bank's third location. The Merchants Bank of Bolton had also maintained a long and successful history of serving a local market. The banking philosophies of both banks were similar and resulted in a merger of two common interests in customer satisfaction.

In late 1992, the bank established its fourth office in nearby Clinton, Mississippi in a temporary location. In August of 1995, a new and permanent facility with all the up to date banking conveniences was dedicated in place of the temporary quarters. With strong capital and a desire to extend services to a fast growing commercial and residential market, the bank continues its commitment to serve all of that market with the best in small bank products. The board of directors, officers and employees of the Merchants and Planters Bank extend to you an invitation to join us in the healthy banking relationships that we have strived to maintain since 1906!