In 1935 America faced the long road to recovery following the turmoil and uncertainty of the Great Depression. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had just announced a massive new public works program called the Works Projects Administration (WPA) and plans for an all-inclusive social security system. The WPA was destined to create millions of jobs for the unemployed. The program restored forest, built streets & highways, constructed buildings and extended electrical power to every rural area of the country. Social Security would soon provide a brighter future for the masses. It was during these dark and difficult days Durden Banking Company, Inc., was founded. The bank, then located in the small community called Summit, Georgia, received its charter on June 26, 1935 and opened its doors for business nine days later on July 5.
Organizers Robert Wade Durden and wife Annie Kate Roberts Durden had a simple plan for success—“ serving the needs of the community we serve”. The bank opened its doors with $38,935.00 in deposits and began serving a wide range of customers characterized as both large and small accounts. Ben L. Rountree served the bank as its first president and chairman of the board while Ottis A. Hall was named vice president and R. Wade Durden, cashier.
From those early days, the bank began a solid, steady growth mainly serving the Graymont/Summit area now called Twin City, Ga. Serving as president of the bank were Ben L. Rountree, 1935 to 1945; B. Lewis Brinson, 1945 to 1974; J.F. (Foots) Mathis, 1974 to 1976; J. Thomas Durden, July 1976 to August 1976; F. Dickson Durden, 1976 through 1996; G.W. Johnson, 1997 to 2020 & H. Wade Johnson 2020 until present.
In 1952 the bank with much fanfare, moved into a new building in Twin City at the site of its present location on Railroad Avenue. In April of 1967, the building was completely renovated and enlarged to over 8,300 sq. ft. The total assets of the bank had grown to $21,937,917 as of June 30, 1986.
In 1994, the Board of Directors announced the bank’s first expansion. The bank purchased property on South Main Street in Swainsboro, Georgia installing a temporary structure to begin its operations. Soon thereafter, an impressive brick veneer, two-story structure was underway. An “open house” dedicating the new facility was held in September 1996. The bank assets topped $44,000,000 at that time.
In 2002, the bank announced another expansion, this time into the Metter/Candler County market. The bank purchased a lot on South Lewis Street and soon opened a new facility under the name, Metter Bank, a division of Durden Banking Company, Inc. This venture was successful with the bank’s assets hitting the $100 million mark in 2004.
The bank completed two major construction projects in 2009. A new two story brick facility was built replacing the existing Metter Bank office on Lewis Street in Metter. The Twin City location was expanded with new offices, loan department and additional drive through lanes with an ATM.
To broaden our community banking market, we constructed and opened a new banking office on Highway 25 in Millen Georgia in July 2017.
Today, Durden Banking Company, Inc. with offices located in Twin City, Swainsboro, Metter and Millen serves a growing customer base. The bank still operates under that same simple plan for success– “serving the needs of the communities we serve”. This focus has been and will continue to be the foundation for our success.