Marking a Milestone

Bedford Bank to celebrate 125th anniversary with series of events

April to feature art show of work by bank employees

BEDFORD, Ky. (April 2016) – Bedford Loan and Deposit Bank first opened its doors in Bedford, Ky., at 45 Hwy. 42 East on Nov. 2, 1891, as a full-service bank. Since then, it has grown to include three branches and has become a staple in the community.
In November, it will celebrate 125 years in business – quite a feat for a small, community bank. But that may just well be the reason it has survived for so long.

Photo provided

The staff at the Bedford Bank main branch is pictured. The bank will celebrate its 125th anniversary this year.

Bank President John Manning attributes the bank’s longevity to the “support of the community and the fact that we’ve been a relatively conservative lender.”
Eighty-five years after the first branch opened, a second branch was established. On April 5, 1976, 1029 Brownsboro Rd. became the home of the Sligo Branch, which has since relocated to 943 Pendleton Rd. in Pendleton, Ky.
After serving Trimble County for 111 years, Bedford Loan and Deposit Bank opened its doors to even more prospective customers. On June 17, 2002, a third branch was established in the heart of Oldham County at 1010 New Moody Lane in La Grange.
Year-long events are planned leading up to the 125th anniversary of the bank. An Arts Gala show will be held during the month of April at the main Bedford branch.
“Past and present employees will have their artwork on display,” said Deanna Ralston, Vice President of Bedford Loan and Deposit Bank.
A reception will be held for the artists from 4-5 p.m. Friday, April 8. Nine pieces of artwork will be displayed in the bank’s lobby, Ralston said.

John Manning

She is in the process of publishing a book on the bank and its history. The book will contain mostly pictures, she said. Displayed will be open houses at Christmas time, past presidents, employees and various scenes throughout the years.
When the bank first opened for business in 1891, J.A. Trout was its president. W.F. Peak was vice president, W.R. Logan was cashier and D. L. Bell was assistant cashier. One of the first acts of the newly incorporated board of directors was to purchase a safe and small vault from Hall Safe & Lock Co. for $725.
The board purchased the original building site, a 20x35-foot lot, from J. W. Bell for $80. Bell accepted payment in the form of bank stock.
The bank was supportive of the community and nation as a whole during the war years. In 1917, Kentucky Gov. A.O. Stanley called a meeting in Louisville of Kentucky bankers to discuss government military financing.
Trimble County had a Liberty Bond quota of $57,103. The bank bought war bonds and loaned money to customers to do likewise at a reduced rate of interest.
Plans for a new building were under way in 1925, and a committee formed to pursue construction. Additional land was purchased as well. An upgrade was installed in 1929 with the placement of a new vault, which was carried in by horse and wagon.
But tragedy struck on Feb. 23, 1936, when the new building was severely damaged by a fire that swept through almost the entire block. New light fixtures, something desperately needed, had just been installed the day before.
In time, the bank rose to its former standing. On its 50th anniversary on Nov. 2, 1941, the bank’s deposits totaled more than $400,000. One year later, World War II required that much attention be given to military financing and the promotion of government savings bonds once again.
By 1948, the bank approved a plan to cooperate with the G.I. loan programs. On Dec. 19 of that year, the Bell Hotel building on the north side burned, damaging the bank wall and roof in the amount of $500.
In 1953, the bank began sending some of its employees to the school of banking in Lexington, Ky. Also during this decade, the first outside clock was installed, credit insurance was made available to customers, and the first air conditioner was installed in the bank.
A 75th anniversary celebration combined with the annual Open House in 1966. The bank staff dressed in colonial attire, and 325 guests visited the bank that day.
Business continued to grow. A complete redo and much needed expansion was planned for the bank, and an Open House held Sunday, Nov. 15, 1970, for the community to take a look at Trimble County’s new banking facilities.
Technology came to the bank in the 1980s, said Ralston. “We got our first computer system that filled half of a room. Computers filled the bank, and eventually all employees had their own to operate.”
As a testament to increasing economic times, “Interest rates were the best in the ’80s. You were able to purchase a Certificate of Deposit at 15 percent,” said Ralston. 
The bank has always cooperated in funding local projects. It has had a hand in helping to establish churches, schools, fire department, post office, public water system and supporting local students wanting to obtain a college education.
Each year for the past 27 years, activities for the Bedford Bash have been held in the parking lot of the Bedford Loan & Deposit Bank. The bank has graciously sponsored an evening of music, food, activities and socializing for the community. 

The bank plans to hold an Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, at the main Bedford branch to celebrate the actual 125th anniversary of the bank opening its doors to the community.

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