An organizational meeting for the purpose of organizing a bank for Trenton and area was held on February 22, 1955 at the courthouse at Trenton.  Present were:  Col. M.J. Hale, H.F. Allison, Roy W. Moore, Mrs. Catherine Morrison, R.M. Morrison, James C. Case, W.M. Austin, R.S. Townsend, Col. VanDiver and others. Col. VanDiver was elected Chairman.


After a lengthy discussion it was decided that a bank was needed and the name should be Bank of Dade.  The following were elected to serve as the bank’s first directors.  George H. Harrison, Douglas E. Morrison, D.T. Brown, Jules C. Case and R.S. Townsend.


The proposed directors met Feb. 26, 1955 in Col. M.J. Hale’s office with al present except D.T. Brown who was ill and unable to attend.  The principal purpose of the meeting was for election of officers for the first year.


D.T. Brown was elected chairman, George Harrison, president and Col. D.E. Morrison indicated that Mrs. Morrison would have a building erected on the public square and the bank would lease quarters in the new building.  This was accepted.  Application for the charter and deposit was signed and submitted to the proper authorities.  In due course of time applications were approved.  Of course it took time for the erection of the building.  The bank opened for business on January 12, 1956.


A dedication devotional was held led by Rev. Robert Hilton of the Trenton Methodist Church, with directors and employees present, just before the doors were opened for business.


Gov. Marvin Griffin appointed the bank as a Depository for State Funds on January 27, 1956.  The activity of the bank was from its opening date.  By the end of 1956 totals had readied to approximately $750,000.  Earnings were good and stockholders were paid a dividend for each succeeding year.


George H. Harrison and Mrs. Mabel Moore were the only active employees for the first three or four months.  Mrs. Ball, wife of the Rising Fawn Methodist pastor, came to the banks as the third employee.


Mr. R.M. Morrison came to the bank in early 1957.  He is now retired.  Mrs. Val Nethery also was employed in 1957 as a valued employee and continues with the bank as vice president.


Brief History of Bank of Dade


The Bank of Dade is now in its sixteenth year of operation.  First opening for business on January 12, 1956, the bank has enjoyed a steady, consistent growth and is proud to have played a part, and to continue to play an even more important part, in the growth and development of Dade County, and the surrounding area.


The original Board of Directors of the Bank of Dade were D.T. Brown, Chairman; Col. D.E. Morrison, Vice-chairman; George H. Harrison, Jules A. Case and Raymond S. Townsend.  George Harrison was the Bank’s first president and served from its organization in 1956 until his retirement in 1966.  D.T. Brown and Raymond Townsend are now deceased.


Present directors are Col. D.E. Morrison, Chairman; Jules A. Case, Vice Chairman; George H. Harrison, Edward F. Wilkie, A.L. Dyer, H.E. Gross, and Dr. N.H. Hutchison.  Edward F. Wilkie has served as president of the bank since 1966.  Other employees of the bank are R.M. Morrison, Vice President; Mrs. Martin Nethery, Cashier; Mrs. Herman V. Moore, Assistant Cashier; Mrs. Milford Brown, Assistant Cashier; Jay T. Jones, Assistant Cashier; Charles O. Meeks, Assistant Cashier; Mrs. Jewel McBryar, Miss May Garrett, Mrs. Charles Bynum, Mrs. J.W. Brown, Miss Wanda Whited, Mrs. Joyce Waddell, Mrs. Loretta Mullins, Mrs. Wesley Barrett, Miss Gail Moore, Miss Sandra Smith, Mrs. Dorris Payne, Mrs. Betty Ellis, and Mrs. W.E. Reeves.  (This includes part-time employees).


Total resources of the Bank of Dade are presently slightly in excess of six million dollars.


About Our New Quarters


The new quarters of the Bank of Dade are located on a convenient site at the corner of U.S. Highway 11 and Georgia Avenue in the heart of Trenton’s business area.  In size being more than 5,000 feet in floor area, the new, modern building which houses the bank, together with furnishings, equipment and fixtures incidental to banking operation and the land on which located, cost more than $225,000.  Construction of the building was accomplished under the supervision of Klaus Peter Nentwigh.  AIA Architect of Chattanooga, and Mabry and Parker, Inc. of Chattanooga was the general contractor.  


Other firms who played a part in the construction of the building and or preparation of the new facility were:  Winkler Sign Company, Chattanooga; E. & B. Carpet Mills, Dallas, Texas; Hughes Electric Company, Chattanooga; Dalton Public  Service Company, Dalton, Georgia; Protective Systems, Inc. Chattanooga, Tennessee; Watco, Inc., Shelbyville, Tennessee; Lookout Mountain Nursery, Rt. 1 Lookout Mountain, Tennessee; National Safe Corporation, Clearwater, Florida; Diebold, Inc., Canton, Ohio; Clayton’s Office Machines, Chattanooga; Mrs. Betty Spear, Spear Draperies, Trenton, Georgia; Ervin’s Draperies, Chattanooga; Roadbuilders, Inc.; Georgia Power Company, Trenton, Georgia; National Cash Register, Dayton, Ohio; A.J. Atchley Construction, Trenton, Georgia Ivan Allen Company, Chattanooga; McWhirter-Murphy, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia; Sheriff Allison Blevins, Dade County, Georgia; and Trenton City Policemen Gerald Smith and Sidney Hallum.


The Meredith Brock Bishop Paintings


Of especial interest to those visiting will be the ten paintings which adorn the walls of the new bank building.  The Bank of Dade commissioned Lookout Moutain Artist Meredity Bishop to paint this collection of pictures showing landmarks of Dade County before 1900.  Mrs. Bishop, who is a native of Dade County, did a remarkable job in fulfilling the request made of her, and this series of paintings will bring enjoyment to citizens of this area for years to come while serving as a link between today’s progressing Dade County and the civic, religious and industrial life of Dade County of yesteryear.


Mrs. Bishop recently received deserved recognition of her paintings of these works in a extensive article in the Chattanooga News Free Press by Helen McDonald Exum.


The Ani-Yun-Wiya  Collection


Contained in the display case just inside the west entrance is a collection of artifacts gathered by a local group of young people who call themselves the “Ani-Yun-Wiya.”  This is a phrase of Indian derivation meaning “They were the original people.”


This group interested in acquainting the people of this area with the history of the Southeastern Indian and, in this respect, with a vast and interesting heritage belonging to  Dade County and surrounding counties in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.


The artifacts are displayed in  honor of the Cherokee, Creek and Yuchee Nations as well as the unnamed tribes which preceded them in our area by hundreds and thousands of years.


The local members of the Ani-Yun-Wiya are Kenneth Pennington, James Cureton, Bob Hill, Jerry Hill, and Tony Hill.  (Used by permission HISTORY OF DADE COUNTY GEORGIA, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, 1981.)

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