A Look At Our Past
On March 6, 1933, the President of the United States required that all banks in the nation be closed for a few days, until the national money panic ended. The Great Depression was now in full swing. This cessation of banking business was termed “Bank Holiday.” It was during these few days, in the lowest phase of our nation’s economic history, that the City Bank & Trust Company was to be organized.
The City Bank & Trust Company was a successor of the Merchants & Farmers Bank. There was a series of events, other than the money panic, that resulted in the closing of the Merchants & Farmers Bank.
During the depression banks had no money due to the lack of confidence of its depositors. The Merchants & Farmers Bank was very liquid in assets but it was not liquid in cash terms. The Merchants & Farmers Bank closed its doors on March 5, 1933, never to reopen.
The new bank was to be called the City Bank & Trust Company of Natchitoches, Louisiana. In their reorganization, the City Bank & Trust Company took over all the assets of the prior bank. Stockholders of the old Merchant & Farmers Bank lost all their invested money. Depositors, however, were paid fifty cents per dollar on deposits and fifty cents per dollar in stock in the new bank. Thus, depositors of the Merchants & Farmers Bank became stockholders in the City Bank & Trust Company. When organized, the stock had a par value of $1.00 and there were 50,000 shares issued. The Merchants & Farmers Bank had 79 stockholders when it closed. City Bank had 354 stockholders when it opened.
There were four charter men, later to become directors, that were responsible for the City Bank & Trust Company’s beginning. These men were Hyman Cohen, Judge C.M. Cunningham, E.C. Readhimer and J.D. Rusca. These men appointed Mr. C.L. Krieger as the first President of City Bank & Trust Company. He served as President until his death in 1945. After his death, G.H. (Doc) Pierson became President of City Bank & Trust Company and he, too, served until his death in 1951. His son J.E. Pierson became President immediately after his death and held this position until 1985. Upon J.E. Pierson’s retirement Joe H. Pierson, the bank’s Executive Vice President, was promoted to President and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1993. Joe H. Pierson, Jr. was elected to succeed his father as City Bank’s President and served in that capacity for 20 years.
In 2014, John E. Ackel was elected President of City Bank and Trust Company. Ackel, a lifelong resident of Natchitoches, has been with City Bank since 1998 serving as a Commercial Lender and Senior Vice President before his promotion to President in 2014.