In the late 1850s, an Irish man by the name of Mark Tully arrived in Converse, Indiana. By 1885, he established Mark Tully's Exchange Bank. The Exchange quickly became known as one of the most solid and dependable in the area. With investment from other area businessmen, the operation became known as the Farmer State Bank in 1907.
The Farmer State Bank weathered the Great Depression and several agricultural hardships. In 1946, Farmer State Bank and its local competitor First National Bank merged to form First Farmers National Bank.
Over the course of the next 5 decades, the new bank would face some of the greatest challenges to community-style banking. Banking deregulation, increased competitive pressures, and dynamic economic conditions threatened smaller banks. First Farmers recognized the need for growth. The bank merged with the State Bank of Amboy in 1975 and Union State Bank of Windfall in 1990, building the asset base needed to become a multi-county institution. Product diversification allowed the bank to serve more customers as the loan portfolio grew significantly in mortgage, consumer, and commercial credit.
By 1995, the bank served five counties with eight different offices and took the name First Farmers Bank & Trust. The institution continued to grow through the construction of four branches and the acquisition of two bank offices in new markets. An increased number of ATMs and an online banking platform improved customer access to bank services. In early 1998, First Farmers Wealth Management Division was established in cooperation with Raymond James Financial Services, adding the ability to provide a full array of stock, mutual, and other investment products.
Focused on growth, First Farmers Bank & Trust expanded operations into nearby areas of Culver, Huntington, Knox, Logansport, Marion, North Judson, Russiaville, and Wabash, while adding additional branches in Kokomo. More recently, the bank expanded its footprint to include four branches in Southwestern Indiana and 7 locations in Illinois. In late 2015 and early 2016, the bank further added locations in Flora and Fairmount, IN. Another full service location in Lafayette was added in 2018 along with a second location in Terre Haute.
First Farmers Bank & Trust now serves over 60,000 clients throughout Indiana and Illinois from 35 offices and has become one of the premier community banks in the Midwest. With more than 400 employees and over $1.7 Billion in assets, the bank has come a long way from its origins. First Farmers is committed to remaining an independent institution. The bank knows it must be free to meet ever changing customer needs while staying true to its roots--providing state of the art banking with old-fashioned service.