Clay County Bank was formed at a meeting of Stockholders on June 2, 1902. At this meeting was A.J. Stephenson, T.B. Stephenson, James Reed, W.T. Hamrick, C.S. Pearcy. T.B. Stephenson was elected as its first President. The Bank opened for business in a small frame building on Main Street in the town of Clay.
At the Annual Meeting of Stockholders held on March 21, 1904, it was reported that the total assets of the bank had grown to $110,646.09. The Board of Directors was authorized at that meeting to build a building at a cost not to exceed $5,500.00. On June 6, 1904 a contract was awarded to M.S. Boggs of Spencer, WV to build the building for $5,700.00. That two story, red brick building, located just beside the original frame building, housed Clay County Bank until August, 1959, when it was torn down to construct the present home of Clay County Bank.
At a Special Meeting of the Board of Directors held on May 14, 1931, it was reported that the other bank in Clay, the Elk Valley Bank, had asked that Clay County Bank to buy their assets. The Board of Directors authorized the purchase on that day.
On March 2, 1933, all Commercial Banks in the United States were closed by Proclamation of U.S. President, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Clay County Bank was authorized by the West Virginia Department of Banking to reopen on March 15, 1933.
On September 30, 1933, the Board of Directors voted to join the then new Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
On March 7, 1959, Charleston Architect, Henry Elden, was given a contract to design a new building for the Bank. In early August 1959, the banking office was moved across the street from the bank lot, into a room in back of a service station. The bank was operated from this office until the new building was completed and opened for business on May 2, 1960. The total assets of the bank at that time were $2,851,572.99.
In late 1958, the Pittston Corporation purchased the Elk River Coal and Lumber Company. One division of the Elk River Coal and Lumber Company was the Bank of Widen. The Pittston Corporation approached Clay County Bank as to the possibility of selling the Bank of Widen to Clay County Bank. On May 29, 1959, the Board of Directors agreed to purchase the Bank of Widen, and the physical merger was completed over the Labor Day Weekend in 1959. After there being three banks in Clay County, now only Clay County Bank remained.
At the August 21, 1965, Meeting of the Board of Directors, W. Murray Smith was named as the fifth President of Clay County Bank. Mr. Smith’s selection as President was the first time the bank’s President was a full time employee of the bank and as President was to oversee the daily operation of the bank.
At the September 26, 1980, Board of Directors Meeting, a contract was awarded for construction of additional bookkeeping space and expansion of the drive thru from one lane to four lanes.
President W. Murray Smith died on September 12, 1986. He had been an employee of Clay County Bank for 48 years, a Member of the Board of Directors for 46 years, an officer of the bank for 45 years, 21 of those years as President. Under Mr. Smith’s direction as President, Clay County Bank had grown from total assets of $3,900,000.00 when he became President, to $35,000,000.00 at his death, and in 1982 was named the Ninth Strongest Bank in the United States.