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Bank of Covington Chartered – Moments In Time: April 16, 1901



The first bank chartered in Newton County was the Clark Banking Company, chartered in 1890. But the bank which flourished and endured in the county was the second chartered, The Bank of Covington.

Within 11 days of its organization in March, 1901 with a capital of $25,000, the bank’s first Cashier, C.S. Thompson, had the bank open for business on the square in Covington.

In May, 1901. the bank moved to its second location on the west side of the square in a building it rented from Tavern owners. This remained the bank’s office until 1906 when Mr. Thompson – still the bank cashier – built an office for the bank on the north side of the square just east of the courthouse. The building was modeled after a bank building Thompson had seen in San Francisco which still stands today.

Two men often associated with the Bank of Covington, Robert Raphael Fowler and Nathanial Snead Turner, first became active with the bank that year. Both purchased stock in the bank in 1906, and were elected to the board of directors.

The board elected R.R. Fowler vice-president in 1907. He served as president of the bank from 1918 until his death in 1939. The Fowler family was to continue their involvement and stewardship of the Bank well into the later part of the century with R.R. Fowler, Jr and R.R. Fowler III serving in executive management positions at the Bank, and Louly Fowler Hay being elected as the first female member of its Board of Directors.

A November 1932 issue of “The Covington News” noted that the Bank of Covington was the only bank operating in Newton County. Hard times of the Great Depression had caused the six other banks in the County to fail. But the Bank of Covington continued to grow. It was also in 1932 that the Bank outgrew the C.S. Thompson building and moved into the former N.S. Turner cotton office, the large brick building adjacent to the west side of the courthouse which was erected on that site around 1857.

The Turner Building office remained the flagship of the Bank of Covington and its successors until it was purchased in 2006 by BB&T, who still operates that branch today.

The County’s oldest and most successful bank, The Bank of Covington, was chartered on April 16, 1901. Today – a Newton County Moment In Time.

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