Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Local News

October 21, 2013

Old stories at the center of bank event — Stories, either truth or just good legend, are all part of the history of an Elmore City bank preparing to join the community in a big celebration.

Many of those stories will likely be a part of the upcoming event by First State Bank in EC.

The bank is inviting the public to be a part of it’s 110th anniversary with a special community gathering throughout much of Tuesday, Oct. 22.

At the same event the bank is unveiling a look into the past with tours of its old bank building located directly across the downtown street.

The old bank is being restored into a museum as effort continue to get it recognized as an official historic place.

Among those leading that effort are a couple of hometown folks — Nancy Warren, an executive vice president at the bank, and J.R. McCaskill, a retired history teacher.

“This is my hometown,” Warren said.

“These buildings are something to be proud of. They’re part of my history. Now we’re trying to get it back as a historical site,” she said about the old bank.

“I grew up here. Our customers are our friends, our neighbors. They know we’ll take care of them. There’s a trust there.”

Warren and McCaskill are right in the middle of an ongoing effort to not only get the old bank listed on the National Register of Historic Places but find the documents that tell us more about the many bank stories told over the years.

There have been many events of historical significance for the old bank. Maybe the biggest was an attempted robbery in 1917.

It involved some suspicious men driving a car in town one day. They were reported to authorities.

Apparently bank employees took notice as they moved the money away from the bank, some say hidden in a water well.

That night the thieves got into the bank as an explosion severely damaged the front side of the building.

In the end it’s believed the thieves got away with a grand total of $1.25.

It was the sixth attempted robbery in six years at the old bank with another one coming in 1908 at the original bank site.

Even more history of the bank site area comes from a longtime Elmore City resident, Bill Ward.

After the 78-year-old Ward strolled over for a recent chat in front of the old bank building he offered a few bits and pieces of what the downtown area used to be like back in the day.

Ward is quick to stress the town used to be filled with the hustle and bustle of a lot of activity back in the oil boom days a few decades ago.

He also pointed out a blacksmith shop once stood where the current First State Bank building serves its community today.

Then there was once a few yards away a drug store with a doctor’s office in the bank. There was also even a “beer joint” not far from there.

Both Warren and McCaskill say the hope is the old bank set up as a museum would be an amazing connection for students and adults alike to Elmore City’s early history.

The first step has already been taken toward getting the old bank recognized as an official historic place.

“We’re already identified it as a historical resource,” McCaskill said. “Then we needed to stabilize the building.”

In the mid-’90s an old general store located right next door to the old bank building was deemed so dilapidated it had to be taken down.

More recently some work and a new paint job to the old bank’s exterior were completed setting things up for a few more needed things on the inside that included a make-over to the back area used for storage.

Text Only
Local News
  • Bob's Pig Shop Fire Bob's Pig Shop Fire


    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • A school election that is no more

    First there was an election date, now there’s not as Wynnewood school officials are starting over searching for a new plan to address building needs.

    July 28, 2014

  • Dancing VBS Good times for VBS volunteers

    Summer can provide a plethora of enriching opportunities for kids with plenty of time to spend. One of the most popular avenues has always been the good old-fashioned vacation Bible school.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pup up for adoption 7-25-14 Pauls Valley Pup up for Adoption


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • One hurt in head-on wreck

    Authorities are not sure what caused a vehicle to veer to the left resulting in a head-on collision near Hennepin early Wednesday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Winners plentiful at peach festival

    With no shortage of visitors making the Stratford Peach Festival a summer destination, it was a win-win situation for all parties this past weekend.

    July 24, 2014

  • Indian Meridian and Grant Wreck Indian Meridian and Grant Wreck


    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Search on for new 911 boss

    The search for a replacement is now on after it was announced the coordinator of Garvin County’s 911 center is stepping down.

    July 24, 2014

  • Stratford Peach Festival 2014 PeachFest draws big crowd

    Unseasonably comfortable weather, a day full of family fun and one of the best fruit crops in recent years. Mix that together and you have one of the best-attended Stratford Peach Festival’s on record.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ‘Evening in the Valley’ set

    It might still be summer but some in Pauls Valley already have an eye on a new school year right around the corner.

    July 23, 2014

Business Marquee

  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.





    e-mail request to

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow