CELEBRATING 125 YEARS - Macon Atlanta State Bank


​It is with great honor and pleasure that we at The Home Press, cover and help congratulate local businesses on milestone achievements. Celebrating 125 years of businesses and service to citizens of Macon County and the surrounding area, we would like to extend our deepest appreciation and thank you, to Macon Atlanta State Bank.

​I sat down with Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, Andee Bush and talked about this historic time for this local bank. Prior to talking about the events and service opportunities that the bank is putting on in light of Celebrating 125 years, Mrs. Bush provided me with an article that was written about the history of the bank during the Century Celebration. To quickly give a historical cap on this iconic bank in Macon County, on April 13, 1893 the bank was founded by Jett Dearing and Frank Hays – at the time it was known as “Atlanta State Bank.” Hays moved on to St. Louis which left the directing of the bank, to Dearing. Throughout the many years ahead, Dearing traveled horseback around the countryside, selling stock to area farmers. Well into the Great Depression where many local banks sunk, this bank went on unscathed. Going into the Depression, Macon County had 23 Banks; at the end, twenty of those banks closed or were reorganized. With Dearing being known as a hands-on individual while utilizing every resource possible, the bank easily surged forward into the mid-90s. Bill Gaines (former President) was quoted by saying that Mr. Dearing was very “conservative” in his approach and made banking his life. During the 30s, Macon did not have a bank. With the help of community members, Dearing (in his 70s) decided to move the bank south on highway 63, into Macon. Prior to the move, Dearing pulled in a younger gentleman by the name of Howell Gaines to help with the move and the directing of the bank. Gaines had married Jett Dearing’s niece, Jettie Dearing. On January 2nd, 1935 the bank opened its doors for business in Macon, Missouri with it’s new name, “Macon-Atlanta State Bank.”

​Stated within the historical article, Dearing loved to give a young person a chance – he would give a young kid a ten-dollar loan and if they were able to make right with the loan, Dearing would go the extra mile with that individual the next time. With the bank changing locations within Macon, it was still that “small town personal service” that kept the bank charging ahead after Dearing retired in the 40s. With many of the demographics changing in Macon and some of the businesses in the area – like the Thomas Hill Mine and the Railroad - just like many of the hardships facing banks around the Midwest and Rural America, Macon-Atlanta State Bank too, faced some challenges, but quickly adapted while still holding true to their founding roots. {One of the most recent adaptions the bank has had to make is following the governmental regulation that came down after the Housing Crisis in 2007} The article ended with a quote by then, President Bill Gaines, “We’ve invested 100 years in providing good service to our area. We simply hope to continue that tradition. And I use the word ‘hope,’ because it won’t happen automatically, but I think we are up to the task.”

​Sitting down with Mrs. Bush, she highlighted the roots of the bank – being agriculture. “Farmers and business people invested in this bank. They took a chance on us. We must never forget our roots,” stated Bush. She went on to say that the aspect of “re-investing” dollars into our community, makes Macon-Atlanta State Bank unique, compared to much larger corporate banks in the nation. Bush went onto to highlight some of the events that the bank is putting on to “give back” to the community that is has given so much to them. In light of the bank celebrating 125 years, Bush and her Marketing Assistant Whitney Neill, helped organize a committee that outlined and came up with, “125 Days of Caring.” These events are meant to uplift members of the community. These 125 Days are broken up into a Summer and Winter/Christmas Portion. The following is the list of events within this special time: May 28 – June 1st (Beautify our Communities), June 4-8 (Child Safety Car Seat Checks), June 11-15 (Support our Military), June 18-22 (Appreciation for First Responders), June 25-29 (Agriculture Safety Week), July 2-6 (Breakfast for Charity), July 9-13 (Food Pantry Collection), July 26-20 (Macon Summer Reading Program), July 23-27 (Macon Lunch in the Park), MASB Employee Appreciation (Baseball in June and September), August 6-10 (Ray of Hope and Women’s Crisis Collection), August 13-17 (Bevier Homecoming Cookshack), August 13-17 (Pet Adoption and Awareness), August 20-24 (Senior Appreciation), and August 27-31 Customer Appreciation – Monday: Popcorn, Tuesday: Doughnuts, Wednesday: Cookies, Thursday: Ice Cream, and Friday: Hot Dog Meal).

Once again, from everyone here at The Home Press, we would like to give a BIG Congratulations to Macon-Atlanta State Bank for their historic and honorable 125 years’ worth of business! Thank you for everything you do for our wonderful community! Wishing many more prosperous and successful years ahead!