2013 History

 

Bank Owners

Steve Burrage
Chairman of the Board, Owner   
Roberta Burrage
Board Member, Owner     
David Burrage
President, CEO, Owner     


Mike Burrage

Owner

 


Our History

History of FirstBank

The history of FirstBank began in 1901, when the Antlers National Bank was chartered. In 1906, the bank moved to the location where FirstBank in Antlers still operates today. During the 1920's there were three banks in Antlers: Antlers National Bank, Farmers Exchange Bank and Citizen's National Bank. Antlers National Bank acquired Citizen's, leaving two banks in the community. In 1935, during the depression many depositors of Antlers National Bank were given stock in lieu of their money. Two of those receiving stock were Oliver Wood, Roberta Burrage's great uncle, and Robert Wood Sr., Roberta's grandfather, who each received three hundred ninety shares out of ten thousand total shares. The remaining shares were spread throughout the community. That same year Antlers National Bank changed its name to First National Bank.

During the 1950's the Petterson and the Berry Families out of Denison, Texas bought controlling interest of the bank and appointed Alphous Holt to run the bank. Mr. Holt ran a conservative operation and First National Bank was known as a solid bank. Farmer's Exchange Bank grew larger than First National and became the dominant bank in town. Ralph Winters, Roberta's father, joined the bank's Board of Directors and acquired ownership in the bank. Mr. Winters was an accountant who had moved to Antlers in 1933 after graduating from Oklahoma A&M University, now known as OSU.

In 1967 Alphous Holt retired and Ralph Winters' nephew/Roberta Burrage's cousin, Irving "Bo" Winters, was named President and CEO of the bank. Under Bo's leadership the bank became the leading financial institution in the county. That same year Bo Winters and Alphous Holt bought controlling interest of the bank from the families in Denison.

In March of 1982, Bo Winters retired. Also, in the same year Steve Burrage, Ralph Winters' Son-In-Law/Roberta Burrage's husband, left his accounting practice where he partnered with Coy Burgess to become the bank's President and CEO. The bank had $17 million in total assets. The first thing Steve did was remodel the entire bank, buy the land behind the bank and build the current parking lot and drive-thru banking facility. The bank prospered and had doubled in size to over $34 million by 1990. Stockholders included Allen Sparks, Noel & Virginia Gibson, Ethel Loy & Mary Tatum, Bettye Wood, Bob & Norma Holley, Pete & Jackie Puckett, Garland & Luanne Thornton, Leland Tucker, Bill Jackson, Mary Ann West, Lew Akard, Benny & Patricia Akard, Patricia Littke, Dorothy Harris, James Holt, Marilynn Bryant, Marqueritte Newton, Beulah Owens, Anna Pipkin, Jack and Robert Tucker, Mike & Aletha Burrage and Steve & Roberta Burrage.

Late in 1990, First National Bank expanded by purchasing the failed Midwest Federal Savings & Loan location in Atoka. Midwest Federal had $10 million in total assets. Mike and Steve Burrage invited their brother David to join First National Bank the same year. Initially, Atoka State Bank, now known as AmeriState Bank rented space to First National Bank so it could operate until First National could build a new building. Within a year, land was acquired and a new bank was built.

Between 1999 and 2002, Steve & Roberta Burrage, Mike Burrage and David Burrage acquired all shares of the bank that were not owned by the Burrage family. The bank's charter was changed from a national charter to a state charter and the name was changed from First National Bank to FirstBank. During 2000, FirstBank also bought Farmers Exchange Bank in Antlers from the Piester family. The Piester family had owned the bank for a short time, buying it from Jack & Jane Long and their sons, John and Jerry Long. Farmers Exchange Bank had been owned and operated for two generations by the Long family. The Long family was dedicated to the community and operated the bank successfully for many years.

In 2002, Rob Holloway, the husband of Sissy Burrage, Steve, Mike and David's sister, re-designed the bank in Antlers to look as similar as possible to its original structure before the 1945 tornado had damaged the building and its original tower.

In 2006, FirstBank entered the Coal County market by opening a new location in Coalgate, OK. A new building was built and operation began in the middle of a natural gas boom in Coal County. During the time the bank in Coalgate began operations; the Atoka location began a necessary remodel to accommodate its growth and doubled the size of the building.

FirstBank owners, Roberta, Steve, Mike and David Burrage's ties to Coalgate and Atoka actually go back to the early 1900's. In the days before televisions became a common fixture in every home, Eddie Holt, the uncle of Steve, David and Mike's Stepfather, EA Cooper, owned and operated Coalgate's "Wigwam Theatre" as well as, "The New Theatre" which was located on Main Street and EA's aunt, Bertha Barrett owned "The Pix Theatre" in Atoka. EA's parents, Jess and Bessie Cooper owned multiple theaters in Antlers. At one point, they were actually operating three theaters at once. They later owned the drive-in theater in Antlers, which was eventually bought by their son/EA's brother, John Cooper.

In 2011, FirstBank broke ground in the Choctaw County market and built a new locaiton in Hugo, Ok.  In 2013, FirstBank opened thier newest location in Kiowa, OK

FirstBank has more loans than any other local community bank in the Atoka/Coal/Pushmataha county area with over $199 million in loans, $230 million in total assets and $12.8 million in fixed assets. The bank takes pride in their proven track record and long-standing commitment to customer service. To better serve their customers FirstBank has established First Mortgage, which offers long-term fixed rate home loans and First Insurance, which offers a full line of property, casualty, health and life insurance products. FirstBank President and CEO, David Burrage says..."We are performance driven; we strive to assist our customers with all their financial product needs."