Centennial Year Celebration
In 2022, First Federal celebrates its 100th anniversary. Over the 100-year history of First Federal, progress was achieved by "changing with the times" and growing from a savings and loan association into a full-service bank. That process involved meeting all personal and business banking needs in both deposit and loan services. As we begin our next century of serving the financial needs of Northeast Texas, we trust our principles of community service and customer respect will provide for our continued success in the decades to come. First Federal's 100-year legacy will continue well into the future.
Read more about our history in our Centennial Book.
A group of local businessmen came together in May 1922 to form Paris Building and Loan Association. The original mission of the organization was to lend money for building, improving, and paying debts on homesteads and to lend money to members of the Association. Originally organized as a state chartered stock company with an initial offering of $5 million, the Association converted to the federal mutual form of ownership in 1934 and remains that way today.
Initially the Association was located in an office in the First National Bank Building in downtown Paris, Texas. The first loan was approved at the very first meeting of the board and given to Mr. and Mrs. Emory Shaw for a home on East Houston Street in Paris. That structure still stands.
The Association's conversion to a federal charter in 1934 followed a national trend. All shareholders received 100% of their investment back - and no one has ever lost on their investment in First Federal. The federal charter opened up funding opportunities through participation in federal programs of the time. This capital, brought by the Association to our area of Northeast Texas, helped fuel the post-depression recovery.
First Federal celebrated its 15th anniversary in 1937 by relocating its offices to a building at 30 Clarksville Street in downtown Paris. At this point in its history the Association had total assets of less than $1 million. By World War II, First Federal had prospered to the point of being able to be a contributor to the war effort as well as a player in keeping the economy at home moving along. First Federal was the leading seller of war bonds and a large purchaser with its excess funds. After the war, First Federal stepped up to meet the housing demands of the returning GI's, aggressively making loans.
In 1966, the Association moved to its current location at 630 Clarksville Street in Paris, and branches were later established in West Paris and in Clarksville, Texas. The Association continued to prosper and surpassed $100 million in assets. The West Paris branch later closed, but the Clarksville branch was later joined by one in Mount Pleasant, Texas, in 1987, and an additional branch in Paris on Loop 286 in 1999. In 2013, the Association converted from a federal Savings and Loan charter to a State Savings Bank, or SSB, whose line of business is better supported and appreciated by the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending than by federal regulators since the dissolution of the Office of Thrift Supervision.
In 2021, First Federal reached over $500 million in assets, up from $200 million in 1997, evidencing explosive growth over the last 24 years. In 2022, First Federal celebrated its 100th anniversary, and is poised to continue to faithfully serve the communities that have helped it to thrive over the years.