The Bank opened February 4, 1901.
After that first day, the total of depository accounts
was overdrawn $5.25! The first bank was a rock building
on the northwest corner of our present bank lot. When
the current bank was constructed, that rock was used for
the planters. The first President was S.C. Butler. In
1906, Karnes County National elected its first of a
number of women to its Board of Directors, Mrs.
Josephine H. Frost. In 1909, the Bank moved to the 200
block of Calvert Avenue where it remained for 62 years.
In 1917, J. D. "Dick" Ruckman began a
53 year career with the Bank, where he later became
President. In 1920, Joe E. Yeary started to work as a
bookkeeper. His career as an employee and later Vice
President and Director totaled 73 years and 8 months! In
1928, the Bank bought its signature chiming clock that
was later donated to City Hall in 1971.
During the first thirty years, many
loans were made to people from all walks of life,
including minorities, to finance farming and ranching
operations, secured by liens on crops, cotton bales,
cattle, horses and mules. In 1932, George Haven began a
62 year career with the Bank as janitor. Mr. Haven, or "Bub",
was well known and respected for his riding, roping and
cowboy skills. During the mid 1930's, the bank
repossessed a cotton gin and operated it for several
In 1942, Dalton A. Kowalik began
working as a bookkeeper. In April of 1943, he was
drafted into the Army Air Corps, and then returned to
the Bank in 1946, eventually becoming Vice President and
Director and worked a total of 58 years. In 1951, the
Bank was remodeled and expanded, Tom Ruckman stepped
down as President after 27 years and J. D. "Dick"
Ruckman was elected to replace him.
In 1970, H. B. Ruckman, Jr. was named
President following the death of Dick Ruckman. In 1971,
the Bank moved into its present location and added its
Time and Temperature Service. In 1985, H. B. Ruckman,
Jr. retired after 14 ½ years as President; and H. B.
Ruckman III succeeded him and the Bank was remodeled.
The replica flags of the Republic of Texas were
purchased to celebrate the Texas Sesquicentennial and
Karnes County National's continued independence. In
1993, the first armed robbery in the bank's history
occurred. About $4,400 was taken, no one was hurt and
about a month later, the two outlaws were caught in
Throughout the years, many fine
employees besides those mentioned here have helped
provide the fast, friendly service for which the Bank
has become known. In 2001, the Bank celebrated 100 years
of service to the community with an open house and a
major new scholarship program for the students of Karnes
County. Obviously, the Bank's history is a history of
its people; directors, officers, employees and last, but
not least, its customers... for without our loyal
customers, the Bank would cease to exist!