Tallahassee's oldest bank opened its doors in 1895 with one location, five directors and three associates. In the many years since then, Capital City Bank has survived depressions, natural disasters, and world wars to become one of the largest financial institutions headquartered in the state of Florida.
Today, Capital City Bank Group, Inc. provides a full range of financial services with offices in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. None of this would be possible without the vision and dedication of George W. Saxon, the dry goods store owner who founded Capital City Bank more than a century ago. George got his start in banking when he started making small loans to farmers in the 1880's, which eventually led to the approval of a state charter on March 20, 1895. By the end of June, Capital City Bank reported total deposits of $41,000 with resources totaling $84,000.
Capital City Bank was built on a foundation of strong community ties, and in 1917 the Bank approved a $10,000 loan to the City of Tallahassee, establishing itself as "the community's bank." By 1925, resources and liabilities climbed to more than $1 million during a year when 18 other state banks failed. Bank assets continued to grow throughout the next decade, despite the collapse of the national economy in 1929 and the Great Depression that followed.
By 1940, Godfrey Smith (son of Director William H. Smith) became president of the newly formed Industrial Bank, only three short years after joining Capital City Bank. When Godfrey was called to join the war effort in 1941, the comptroller allowed Industrial Bank to pay off investors, liquidate assets, and temporarily close until 1946 when hostilities ceased.
Capital City Bank continued to keep up with the area's unprecedented growth over the next few decades, and changed its name to Capital City First National Bank in 1963. In 1967, the Bank was granted another charter, establishing Capital City Second National Bank. By the mid-seventies, Godfrey Smith and Director DuBose Ausley (great grandson of founder George Saxon) began developing the concept of Capital City Bank Group. The Group was formed in 1975, bringing together local banks controlled by common directors. By 1980, the Capital City family included 13 banks, 17 offices and eight Bank N' Shop outlets. Capital City Bank Group, Inc. was solidified in 1982 with the installation of Automatic Teller Machines at First National, Second National, and City National -- organizing the six banks under one company.
In 1989, Bill Smith assumed the role of president when his father, Godfrey Smith, retired after more than 50 years of service with Capital City. Bill chose Tom Barron, president of Second National and Industrial National Bank, to serve alongside him. Under their leadership, each of the banks owned by Capital City Bank Group officially assumed the Capital City Bank name in 1995, uniting a long-standing family of banks as one.
Since then, Capital City Bank has expanded outside of the Tallahassee area, serving a geographic circle inside Jacksonville, Atlanta, Birmingham, and Orlando. With acquisitions such as First Financial Bancorp, First Union, and First National Bank, Capital City has grown its client base in Taylor, Madison, Hernando, Pasco, Washington, Bradford, Alachua, Clay, and Putnam counties in Florida, as well as Burke, Troup, Chambers, Bibb, Grady, and Laurens counties in Georgia and Alabama.
Capital City Bank continues to look forward and has big plans for the future. The Bank has plans to seek acquisitions in dynamic markets while never abandoning the small town roots that made it strong. Community service and a commitment to clients will continue to be hallmarks of Capital City Bank for many years to come. It has been a long journey, and Capital City Bank is proud of its heritage as your hometown bank. – less