Our Story
We're More than a Bank, we're a Tradition.

Claiborne National Bank

Claiborne National Bank

In the fall of 1899, Claiborne National Bank was chartered in the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee in the town of Tazewell. The bank’s first president, George Montgomery, a Claiborne County native, lead the bank to prosperity. In 1919, during the bank’s 20-year anniversary, the name was changed to Claiborne County Bank, which remained the name until the late 1980’s when Chairman Glenn Yoakum decided to expand the bank into Hancock and Union Counties. The bank was no longer a one county bank, and as a result, the name was changed to First Claiborne Bank. However, in 1999, the bank celebrated a “Century of Service,” and to honor that achievement the bank’s name was changed to First Century Bank.

Our story would not be complete if we did not share the purpose of our symbol, the OAK TREE. In the fall of 1936, a 23-year-old man from Authur, Tennessee, named Glenn Yoakum, was hired as a teller. He was one of the bank’s only five employees. He was proud to call himself a banker; however, as World War II escalated, Yoakum joined the Navy in order to serve his country. After the war ended, Lieutenant Yoakum returned to the bank where his position remained. Mr. Yoakum became a seasoned banker, gaining the respect of the community and his co-workers. When the bank’s president, J. T. Hughes, passed away, Mr. Yoakum was named president.

Glenn Yoakum

Glenn Yoakum

To his community, Yoakum was a servant leader. He served 28 years on the Claiborne County School Board (many as Chairman,) he served as Claiborne County Judge, and he served two terms in the Tennessee State Senate. In 1952, Mr. Yoakum established Yoakum Oil Company, which was a distributorship for Shell Oil Company in five counties. True to his farming roots and realizing the importance of cattle and tobacco to the community, he purchased Banner Tobacco Warehouse and the Tazewell Stock Barn. These businesses quickly became some of the most prosperous merchants in East Tennessee.

In 1990, Mr. Yoakum suffered a life ending heart attack, but not before he had created his own legacy in the community he loved. The Claiborne Progress paid tribute to Mr. Yoakum with a front page heading that read: “A MIGHTY OAK HAS FALLEN.” This reference was a fitting analogy as Mr. Yoakum’s life, in many ways, resembled the Oak Tree - strong roots, solid core, and standing tall with pride and dignity. As a tribute to his legacy, the oak tree was added to the bank’s logo.

Eleanor Yoakum

Eleanor Yoakum

Today, Glenn Yoakum’s legacy remains strong with daughter, Eleanor Yoakum, and grandson, Rob Barger, leading the bank. Mr. Yoakum’s leadership is evident in Ms. Yoakum’s actions: she has served in Tennessee State Government as the Commissioner of Personnel and as Chief of Staff to the Governor. Eleanor recalls:


“The bank was more than bricks and mortar, or even a business; it was a family of people serving the community in a spirit that was unique and special to us”.


This is the philosophy and mindset that continues to pave the way for the bank to present day. In 1998, after graduating from the University of Tennessee, Eleanor’s son and current CEO, Rob Barger, began his career at the bank. In 2008, just before the nation’s financial issues, Mr. Barger was promoted to CEO of First Century Bank. Like his grandfather, Rob took the helm during a very difficult economic environment. The first six years would prove to be some of the toughest years in the bank’s history. However, under Rob’s leadership, a strong executive team, and with Eleanor’s support, the Bank again returned to prosperity.

Today, the legacies of the past are not forgotten. The bank’s roots are strong, creating a solid foundation for an institution that stands tall with pride and dignity, just like the Oak Tree.


"Our family has been a part of this bank since 1936. It has been an honor and a tremendous responsibility. I am pleased to offer this brief historical perspective of First Century Bank." Eleanor Yoakum, Chairman of the Board.


Timeline

  View a Complete Timeline of our History

 

  • January 14, 2019

    Market Street Office Established

    Market Street Office Established

    January 14, 2019
    625 Market Street, Knoxville, TN 37902
  • August 20, 2018

    Refreshed Logo Released

    Refreshed Logo Released

    August 20, 2018
  • June 19, 2015

    Maryville Office Established

    Maryville Office Established

    June 19, 2015
    1522 W Broadway Ave, Maryville, TN 37801
  • June 1, 2009

    End of the Great Recession

    End of the Great Recession

    June 1, 2009
    The Great Recession began in December of 2007 and ended in June of 2009, which makes it the longest recession since World War II.
  • December 1, 2007

    Start of the Great Recession

    Start of the Great Recession

    December 1, 2007
    The Great Recession began in December of 2007 and ended in June of 2009, which makes it the longest recession since World War II.
  • January 1, 2007

    Rob Barger becomes President

    Rob Barger becomes President

    January 1, 2007
  • October 1, 2006

    Strawberry Plains Pike Office Established

    Strawberry Plains Pike Office Established

    October 1, 2006
    Office Closed in January of 2016.
  • May 17, 1999

    Name Changed to First Century Bank

    Name Changed to First Century Bank

    May 17, 1999
      On May 17, 1999, the Board of Directors approved to change the name of First Claiborne Bank to First Century Bank.
  • March 16, 1998

    Emory Road Office Established

    Emory Road Office Established

    March 16, 1998
    600 E. Emory Road, Powell, TN 37849
  • February 21, 1989

    Sneedville Office Established

    Sneedville Office Established

    February 21, 1989
    1479 E. Main Street, Sneedville, TN 37869
  • April 25, 1988

    Maynardville Office Established

    Maynardville Office Established

    April 25, 1988
    2969 Maynardville Hwy, Maynardville, TN 37807
  • February 10, 1988

    Name Changed to First Claiborne Bank

    Name Changed to First Claiborne Bank

    February 10, 1988
    On February 10, 1988, the State approved a change in name from Claiborne County Bank to First Claiborne Bank.
  • January 24, 1983

    Harrogate Office Established

    Harrogate Office Established

    January 24, 1983
    6946 Cumberland Gap Pkwy, Harrogate, TN 37752
  • December 4, 1972

    New Tazewell Office Established

    New Tazewell Office Established

    December 4, 1972
    301 North Broad Street, New Tazewell, TN 37825
  • January 2, 1968

    Moved to Hwy 25E

    Moved to Hwy 25E

    January 2, 1968
    On January 2, 1968, the Bank moved to its new location on Highway 25E – where it remains today. 1780 North Broad Street, Tazewell, TN 37879
  • December 31, 1947

    Glenn Yoakum becomes President

    Glenn Yoakum becomes President

    December 31, 1947
  • September 2, 1945

    End of World War 2

    End of World War 2

    September 2, 1945
  • October 29, 1939

    End of the Great Depression

    End of the Great Depression

    October 29, 1939
    The Great Depression lasted from 1929 to 1939 and was the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world.
  • September 1, 1939

    Start of World War 2

    Start of World War 2

    September 1, 1939
  • July 28, 1936

    Norris Dam Completed

    Norris Dam Completed

    July 28, 1936
    Norris Dam was completed and the gates closed on March 4, 1936, constructed at a cost of $36 million. The dam’s first generator went online July 28, 1936.
  • October 29, 1929

    Start of the Great Depression

    Start of the Great Depression

    October 29, 1929
    The Great Depression lasted from 1929 to 1939 and was the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world.
  • October 23, 1919

    Chartered as Claiborne County Bank

    Chartered as Claiborne County Bank

    October 23, 1919
    On October 23, 1919, the Bank was chartered as Claiborne County Bank.
  • July 1, 1919

    Foley Property Purchased

    Foley Property Purchased

    July 1, 1919
    In July 1919, the Foley property located on Main Street in Tazewell was purchased for $4,000.00 by the Bank.
  • November 11, 1918

    End of World War 1

    End of World War 1

    November 11, 1918
  • July 28, 1914

    Start of World War 1

    Start of World War 1

    July 28, 1914
  • May 15, 1905

    Chartered as Claiborne National Bank

    Chartered as Claiborne National Bank

    May 15, 1905
    On May 15, 1905, a National Charter was issued to Claiborne National Bank.
  • October 10, 1899

    Claiborne County Bank Organized

    Claiborne County Bank Organized

    October 10, 1899
    Claiborne County Bank was organized on October 10, 1899, with Capital Stock of $10,000. The bank was located on the corner across the street from Tazewell Baptist Church.

Our Mission

To provide a strong financial institution committed to our customers, our employees, our markets, and our great tradition.

Our Vision

To exceed banking standards, by providing the best products and services in our industry, utilizing a team of leaders who are passionate about serving our customers and giving back to the community.

Our Values

Honesty – Loyalty – Integrity – Dependability – Character

“Striving for excellence as we meet your financial needs.”
Rob Barger, CEO

Board of Directors

First Century Bank combines an exceptional level of personalized service and local decision-making.

  • Eleanor Yoakum, Chairman of the Board
  • Rob Barger, President, CEO
  • Danny Stone, Director
  • Dr. Carroll Rose, Director
  • William Dunavant, Jr., Director
  • Dr. George Day, Director
  • Greg Garren, Director
  • Howard Phillips, Director
  • Jennifer Lovin, Secretary of the Board

The Bank's Customers are its most important asset.

High-quality customer service is a foremost priority of this bank. No other part of an employee's job comes first. Only through the accomplishment of high-quality customer service can we reach our profitability goals.

Our next most important asset is the Bank's employees.

Without dedicated responsible employees, it would be impossible for the bank to be a responsible employer. All bank employees will be provided the necessary training needed to allow them the opportunity to achieve peak performance. All bank employees will be treated with dignity and respect. All will be given equal opportunity and a fair wage without respect to race, color, sex, age, physical disability, religion, or national origin.

Our customers have known for decades that First Century Bank is a responsible business that provides high quality service. If you are not already banking with us, give us a try and allow us to show you why we are the only bank you will ever need!