Andrews Bank & Trust Co. began its community service in 1924 when it was granted its original charter on December 18 and officially opened its doors in January of 1925. The young bank was based on the investments of 14 stockholders and their faith in Andrews -- even in near - Depression days. These were the late Mayde M. Andrews, H. L. Smith, Jr., W. H. Andrews Company, T. W. Bellune, J. H. White, The Wiehrs Company, Argent S. Levy, V. H. Howle, H. S. Parsons, J. B. Grant, J. W. Morris, and Henry Danzig of Savannah and Frank Danzig of Georgetown.
Mrs. Andrews, as a substantial stockholder of the new banking venture was elected the first president. Subscribing in varying amounts were John B. Grant, vice president, H. S. Parsons, cashier who later became president, R. B. Clemons, assistant cashier and Miss Mattie McCullough, bookkeeper. The first slate of directors included Mrs. Andrews, V. W. Howle, J. B. Grant, J. H. White and H. L. (Bert) Smith, Jr.
The first AB&T was located in a small building on Main Street and in 1950, it moved across the street into a new location. When this expansion was indicated, Arthur H. Parsons, the current AB&T president, John M. Blakely, Jr. and Woodson Stamper made a trip to Norristown, PA to bring back new equipment in a pick-up truck -- setting a record for diversity of bank duties. A later move saw AB&T located at its present site on Morgan Avenue in Andrews.
Back in the early days of the bank, collateral accepted included pigs, cows, cotton and tobacco crops as well as family autos. Loans of that day ran from $4 borrowing to one $1,800 loan request that required careful consideration by the bank which regarded such an amount almost extortionate
The Bank had its ups and downs -- but one brush with the law occurred when it was robbed outright of a safe and entire silver deposits. One small boy had placed his deposit in the AB&T and when he heard of the theft -- the bank president was hard pressed by the little fellow to explain how his deposit would be salvaged.
Andrews Bank & Trust Company claims the distinction of being the oldest original bank in Georgetown County due to its unbroken line when it weathered the Great Depression of the 1930's. Primarilly a closely-knit banking association between officials, stockholders, and depositors -- this survival was threatened once, but the bank men went up and down Main Street -- exacting promises from depositors to abstain from check-writing for 30 days until the little institution could regain its breath. This was prior to all customer deposits being assured by the Federal Deposits Insurance Corporation.
Many facts of banking interest in the development of AB&T -- perhaps unique because of the size of its town -- are remembered by those who knew of its origin and organization. For instance -- the late H. S. Parsons who began with AB&T as cashier -- became president in 1936 but he never drew a penny of salary until 1939, when he was put on the payroll -- he drew $50 month.
Mrs. Irma Mears, one of the first tellers in the newly organized bank, went to work in August of 1934 -- and worked for nothing except training. She later was given a $60 per month salary -- and she retired in October of 1963 when her salary was considerably more.