Brief History of Clinton and Oklahoma Bank and Trust Company
The City of Clinton was established in June 1903 on land purchased from four Cheyenne Indians, Shoe Boy, Darwin Hayes, Nowahy and Night Killer. It was on land laid out along the banks of the Washita River 4 miles from the County Seat of Arapaho.
This location has since proved to be a crossroads of railroads, interstate highways, and a large airpark. This location has also become the heartland for major farming and cattle operations.
The Clinton area has also become a major energy producer. For years this area has been recognized for its large oil and gas reserves, known as the Anadarko Basin. Recently, wind power has been added to make the area an even more vital producer of energy.
As the city was beginning to grow, a major force behind this growth was the establishment of the Oklahoma State Bank in 1908. On March 4, 1908, Otto Shuttee and Lieutenant Governor George Bellamy were elected the first President and Vice President.
On May 1, 1919, G. C. Wheeler purchased the Bank and G. C. Wheeler became the president. During the next fifty years, Oklahoma State Bank passed through major wars, financial depression, crop failures, low crop, cattle and oil prices, but it was never necessary for the Bank to assess its stockholders, reorganize, or consolidate with any other institution.
On May 30, 1930, the bank’s name was changed to Oklahoma National Bank. It was during the early 1930’s that President Franklin Roosevelt ordered all the banks to close. Oklahoma National Bank was the only bank in town that reopened under its original charter.
Upon Wheeler’s death in 1964, his son-in-law, George Lowry, assumed the role of president. Lowry had been associated with the bank since 1947 after serving in World War II as a marine. His leadership and community involvement lead the Oklahoma National Bank into continued growth, and in 1970, a new building was erected and is today’s main facility.
In 1971, Oklahoma National Bank once again became a state bank and added a new Trust Department. Since that time, it has been known as Oklahoma Bank and Trust Company.
In May of 1971, G. W. Lowry, Jr., after he worked as a National Bank Examiner, came to work for Oklahoma National Bank. In 1975, he became the president, continuing the family tradition of leadership.
In 1982, more buildings were added to the main facility. A large drive-in Express Bank with one-on-one tellers and a large community meeting room were added to better serve employees, customers and the community.
In February 1983, Oklahoma Bancorporation, Inc was formed as a holding company. The holding company owns 100% of the stock in Oklahoma Bank and Trust Company, and in 1990 Oklahoma Bancorporation purchased the Custer County State Bank at Arapaho. This bank was merged into Oklahoma Bank and Trust Company making it a full-service branch, in 1999. This Arapaho branch now hosts a new facility at 115 South 10th Street and Highway 183 in Arapaho. It features a convenient drive-in and safe deposit boxes.
In January 2005, Wheeler Lowry became associated with Oklahoma Bank and Trust Co. and is serving as Vice President and Director making him the 4th generation of the Wheeler Lowry Families to serve the bank.
In 2013, Keith Ventris became the President of Oklahoma Bank and Trust Company. Keith had grown up in a well-known banking family and had a successful career as president at another Oklahoma bank before coming to Clinton.
To further provide the best in technology and service to Oklahoma Bank and Trust Company customers and the City of Clinton, a large two-story department store on Clinton’s main street was totally remodeled into a large state-of-the-art Financial and Investment Center. This attractive new downtown facility now houses the operations, financial accounting, training center, Board of Director room, a CPA firm, and a law office.
Now, in its 114th year, Oklahoma Bank and Trust Company has grown to over $200,000,000.00 in assets. Oklahoma Bank and Trust Company continues its tradition of stability by maintaining a strong capital structure, efficient employees, and up-to-date services. Oklahoma Bank and Trust Company has received very favorable ratings from private rating services as well as from its government regulators.