Homebank to celebrate 90th anniversary on Thursday with cookout at Palmyra branch

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PALMYRA, Mo. — Homebank is celebrating its 90th anniversary at the end of June with a cookout from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, at 400 S. Main. The public is invited to the free event which will include lunch, entertainment and prizes. No reservations are required.

Homebank was founded on June 25, 1934, as Palmyra State Bank. The opening followed 18 months during which the residents of Palmyra had no bank. The stock market crash of 1929 and the run on banks in 1930 had forced the closing of the last two banks (Bank of Palmyra and First Savings Bank) in town.

Thanks to the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce, an announcement was made in March 1934 that a sale of stock for a new bank was in progress. Dislocated Palmyra banker Albert Juette raised shares from local investors at $125 each (nearly $3,000 in 2024 money). In all, more than 40 investors purchased 250 shares.

The new bank purchased the old Bank of Palmyra building, and doors opened on June 25, 1934. The bank received $15,000 in deposits during the first day of business. Five months later, deposits had reached $195,000. On more than one occasion, it was reported that residents had brought money in jars that had been buried in their backyards.

Controlling interest in the bank was sold in 1959 to Byron B. Webb of St. Louis. A retired car dealership owner, Webb was living in California, and the sale was transacted over the phone, sight unseen. A few months later, Webb visited the now $6-million bank and chose to make Palmyra his home.

Palmyra State Bank needed a new home by 1980. A branch had opened in West Quincy in 1977, assets had grown to nearly $28 million and employees totaled nearly 30. A colonial-style red brick structure was built on the former site of the well-remembered Savoy building, and the former building was donated to the City of Palmyra for use as a library.

Bank of Quincy was established in 1999 as a separately chartered bank owned by the Webb family. This bank quickly outgrew its space in the lower level of a local business complex, and land was bought on the southwest corner of 12th and Broadway in Quincy, Ill., for a new building. The new facility opened on July 15, 2003, and a second branch opened at 305 N. 48th on July 15, 2011. Palmyra State Bank and Bank of Quincy were merged in 2015 to form the new entity known today as Homebank.

Today, the building at 400 S. Main serves as Homebank’s flagship branch and corporate headquarters. The organization boasts of 130 employees and nine branches in Palmyra, Canton, Hannibal, Bowling Green, Centralia, Mexico, Lake Saint Louis and two in Quincy, and assets total more than $600 million. Joe Thomas of Palmyra serves as the organization’s chairman of the board and CEO.

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