First National Bank of Cameron
Milam County, Texas
30 51.050' N 96 58.640' W
Directions: Start at the intersection of Houston Avenue and 1st Street. The building is on the northwest corner.
Text: Two banks operated in Cameron prior to the establishment of the First National Bank. The Buckholts Exchange Commission, a small frontier deposit office, faltered during the Civil War, and the Milam County Bank closed during the panic of 1895. On August 22, 1889, the First National Bank of Cameron opened its doors for business in a rented building, while construction commenced on a permanent bank structure at the corner of First Street and Houston Avenue. John M. Hefley and other businessmen realized the necessity of a new financial institution for the growing town of Cameron, and they began the bank with $50,000 capital. Hefley was elected as the bank's first president, and continued to serve as a director and stockholder until his death in 1903.
The bank grew slowly at first, but record cotton prices and the discovery of oil in the county during the late 1910s and early 1920s helped the bank to develop. The bank temporarily relocated to the former post office building during construction of a newer, larger structure at the bank's original site in 1921. Although the bank reorganized during the Great Depression, it remained open, unlike several other banks in Milam County. As a product of the reorganization, the bank was renamed First National Bank in Cameron. In 2007, the bank's name changed again to Classic Bank, to reflect the expansion of its holdings to several cities which already had First National Banks. Today, the institution that began as the First National Bank of Cameron continues to serve the citizens of its community.