History of The First National Bank of Suffield

First Suffield Bank | A DIVISION OF PeoplesBank logo

The First National Bank of Suffield was acquired by PeoplesBank in November 2018, and was renamed First Suffield Bank | A DIVISION OF PeoplesBank at that time. The below recounts the history of The First National Bank of Suffield prior to that.

In 1864 with the country in the midst of the Civil War, three men with faith in America—Henry Fuller, Daniel W. Norton and William L. Loomis—organized The First National Bank of Suffield under a three-week-old law authorizing a system of national banks. The Bank's charter, number 497, was received on July 12, 1864, and it became one of the oldest national banks in the United States when it opened for business on Monday morning, October 3, 1864.

Daniel Norton - First President of The First National Bank of SuffieldFortunes from tobacco farming formed much of the original $100,000 stake, which the three men had gathered from friends as subscribers for stock. Daniel Norton (pictured) served as the bank's first president, while his fellow visionaries, Fuller and Loomis, formed the Board of Directors with Henry Endress, W. H. Fuller, Henry Kent, Burdett Loomis, Byron Loomis, Martin Sheldon, I. Luther Spencer and Aretus Rising. Any doubts about the bank's solvency disappeared when its capital stock doubled 14 days after opening.

The bank's first office was a corner of H. N. Prout's store that was located at the intersection of Main Street and Mountain Road in Suffield, slightly north of the current Kent Memorial Library, that the bank rented for $175 a year.

Four years later, The First National Bank of Suffield moved into its own headquarters a few hundred feet south of the grocery store. The sturdy brick building with a mansard roof was one of several new structures in the town center. A town hall and center school were under construction next to the Prout store and, across the street, the first church was completing the gothic building that stands today.

The bank's business prospered in this location for almost 100 years. Through wars and national financial crises, The First National Bank of Suffield used the wisdom of local business leaders to steadily guide the institution. In fact, it was listed on the Honor Roll of National Banks at the end of the Great Depression because of its sound fiscal policies.

In 1964, The Suffield Center Corporation redesigned the town center. The First National Bank of Suffield stood in the middle of the newly planned intersection of Bridge and Main Streets. Rather than move the aging structure, the directors decided to construct a new building that would “better meet the needs of our growing community and the customers we serve.” The bank became the first occupant of the new Suffield Village with its colonial brick building at 30 Bridge Street. It proudly remain there as the only original business in the Village.

First Suffield Bank | A DIVISION OF PeoplesBank West Suffield Banking Center

To meet the needs of our widespread community, The First National Bank of Suffield opened a branch office in West Suffield in October 1974. Originally located in the Ebb's Corner strip mall, the bank built its own building in West Suffield Center in 1984. It expanded its market in 1995 by opening an office in East Granby at the intersection of routes 187 and 20, and again in 2004 by opening an office on National Drive in Windsor Locks.

The bank's expansion over the years included not only bricks and mortar, but also the entrance into convenient, new product lines to meet its customers’ needs, including drive-up ATMs, Telephone Banking, Internet Banking, image check and statement deliveries and more.

The bank provided financial services to individuals, municipalities, nonprofit groups and commercial enterprises, generally within the Connecticut communities of Suffield, West Suffield, East Granby and Windsor Locks. Its investment in these communities was a high priority of the Bank and its Board of Directors.