In Calvin B. Taylor Bank's infancy in the 1890s, the United States, in the Victorian era, abounded with fresh ideas and renewed energy as it moved forward and grew at a feverish pace.
The Eastern Shore of Maryland, Worcester County, and the town of Berlin, Maryland, exemplified that progress.
With the Civil War behind it, America had become a financial giant. Berlin, at that time, mirrored the country's financial success as the busy town boasted at least 12 stores and numerous light industrial businesses in industries such as milling, nurseries, lumber, orchards, brickmaking and coal.
Agriculture and farming, however, were the mainstays of the economy, from Salisbury west of Berlin to the Atlantic Ocean east of town.
Located on the crossroads of two railroad lines, the town was perfectly suited to ship manufactured and agricultural products to metropolitan areas. The Wicomico and Pocomoke Railroad, later to become the Baltimore, Chesapeake and Atlantic Railroad, connected Berlin to Salisbury and Ocean City. The Pennsylvania line intersected the town in a north-south direction.
Because of the rail lines, Berlin became one of the state's leading shippers of strawberries, Harrison's Nurseries became a world-leading supplier of fruit trees, shipping millions annually, and the brick factory, milling company and outlying farms were able to ship their products to distant markets. All of this made Berlin a viable economic center.
Visitors from the urban areas west of the Chesapeake Bay also stopped in Berlin on their way to the new seaside resort, Ocean City. Today, many lovely old homes can be found on the railroad embankments.
Much of the business of the day was transacted through bartering, with businesspeople frequently exchanging farm products for store bought goods. More than one chicken was delivered to the back doors of physicians and merchants who had rendered their services.
Nationally, meanwhile, the banking industry enjoyed strong growth. By 1890, private banks grew at a rate of five times the population, due primarily to the small amount of capital required to open up. Small towns often had several banks catering to different segments of the population.
Berlin, itself, had three banks before the turn of the century. The First National Bank of Berlin, Maryland, also known as the "Dirickson" Bank, closed its doors when a chocolate company its owner invested heavily in failed. A penned note, attached to a stock certificate of The Guth Chocolate Company of Baltimore, said, "Levin L. Dirickson, Founder of the First National Bank of Berlin, was a 'Guthable' man, taken in by a sweet thing, the 'Guthable' Candy Company of Baltimore, Maryland. He was brother to Dr. Edwin J. Dirickson, my grandfather, who I am named after. The bank building is a living monument to BAD INVESTMENTS." The note was signed Edwin Dirickson France II, May 31, 1876.
When that bank closed, Calvin B. Taylor, the founder of Calvin B. Taylor Banking Company, bought its remaining assets so local residents would have a local bank to provide security for the savings of thrifty citizens and so the community could more ably conduct business. The corporate seal of The First National Bank of Berlin is still in the possession of Calvin B. Taylor Banking Company.
The Birth of Calvin B. Taylor Banking Company
Mr. Taylor, a renowned Worcester County citizen, teacher, lawyer and businessman, opened his new bank in 1890 and called it Calvin B. Taylor, Banker. Edward Martin, an associate in a law practice with Taylor, became his banking partner for a short time. After Martin withdrew from the business, Mr. Taylor continued alone.
It is believed that during the 1890s, approximately $100 to $1,000 was required to enter the banking business. It is also believed that Mr. Taylor's wife, Mattie, wealthy to a degree, was his first financial backer. The original bank was located on South Main Street to the south of Odd Fellows Hall. No records of that business survived; they were apparently destroyed in a devastating fire in 1901.
Early records do show, however, that the first four mortgages held by the bank were those of David M. Prettyman, Andrew J. Powell and his wife, Albert J. Brittingham and wife, and Samuel J. Hasting and wife. All were recorded in the Land Records of Worcester County in 1890.
Banks were in stark contrast to today. Most clerks and tellers were men who wore formal attire, including long-tailed coats and starched shirts. Women's hemlines reached the ground. Employees arrived at work by foot, bicycle or horse-drawn carriage. Ceiling fans helped dissipate the smoke from cigars and cooled the summer heat. Hours were 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Many banks experienced a financial crisis in the 1890s. While a general boom existed in financial markets, allowing developers to construct massive projects like The Wicomico and Pocomoke Railroad between Berlin and Salisbury 20 years earlier, farmers were hit hard.
A lack of inflation prevented prices from rising, and, in fact, deflated prices in many instances. Wheat which had sold for $3 a bushel before the Civil War had dropped to 56 cents a bushel by 1896.
An interior view of the Calvin B. Taylor Banking Company in 1915. Pictured are (L-R), John E. Smith, assistant cashier; Calvin B. Taylor, president; Raymond Boston, clerk; Lillian Bowen, stenographer; and William L. Holloway, cashier.
Incorporation of Calvin B. Taylor Bank
Farming Economy Improves
Despite the depressed agricultural economy, Taylor Bank continued to grow by providing capital to those involved in farming. In 1896, crop prices slowly began to rise and mark the beginning of good times for farmers that would last into the 1920s.
Shortly after, Mr. Taylor and his wife purchased land which housed a hardware store valued at $1,500 on the corner of Main Street and Commerce Street. The building burned in 1901, but in 1902, the Taylors built the bank building that houses the main offices today at 24 Main St. in Berlin and set the stage for 90 years of tremendous growth.
It is uncertain what led Mr. Taylor to incorporate his bank.
Private banks, which chiefly provided facilities for the growing merchant class, started to decline at the turn of the century because new state banking laws required less capital and made it easier for leading citizens to start a State Chartered Bank. Also, these types of banks received more latitude in lending, especially for real estate loans.
Then, in 1907, the financial market experienced a severe panic caused by the minimal amount of cash on hand in banks and the hoarding of money.
Those factors may have played a part in Mr. Taylor's decision on Dec. 18, 1907, to incorporate the Calvin B. Taylor Banking Company as a state chartered bank. The corporation was founded with $50,000 in capital, as 500 shares of stock each valued at $100 par. Calvin B. Taylor owned 51 percent of the stock and the new corporation paid $3,000 for the land and bank building.
The First Board of Directors
Upon incorporation, the first officers and board of directors were elected. They were:
- President -- Calvin B. Taylor
- Vice-President -- William L. Holloway (Cashier)
- Asst. Cashier -- John E. Smith
- Directors -- Calvin B. Taylor, John W. Pitts, Jehu D. Quillin, William R. Purnell, Ernest E. Burbage Sr., William E. Thomas, David J. Adkins, Reese C. Peters, Harry R. Ayres, William N. Burbage, Christopher Ludlam, William E. Boston
The New Calvin B. Taylor Bank
The first mortgages believed to be held by the new corporation were those of Joseph Schaefer, Sarah L. Bunting, and Rosalie T. Shreve in 1908. From 1908-1911, six more mortgages were held for Thomas E. Cross, Chester M. Gray, John W. Mumford, Guy R. Ayres, Samuel M. Quillin Sr., and Sylvester T. Truitt.
The new banking corporation began to grow and prosper by showing utmost loyalty to the community it served.
Many of the families involved in the new corporation are still represented in the bank by third generation descendants. Local businessman J.D. Quillin III recalled that his grandfather Jehu was so conscientious about being fair relative to business loyalties, that if he stopped to buy a Coca-Cola at one soda fountain on Main Street, he would insist on going across the street to have another at that store's competitor.
The Federal Reserve System
The Panic of 1907 had been caused by banks not having enough cash on hand to meet customer demands during a sudden rush to withdraw their money, but bank's assets in the form of investments were more than enough to cover the demands.
Thus, under the presidency of Woodrow Wilson in 1913, the government created the Federal Reserve System to allow government money to be used in such circumstances. Although approved easily in Congress, many warned it would cause future inflation as it lowered cash reserve requirements to release cash for loans.
By December of 1915, the resources of Calvin B. Taylor Banking Company had grown to $261,734.74.
An Interior view of Taylor Bank’s main office in Berlin, Maryland
Post World War I Years
The "Bally-hoo Years"
During World War I, European countries had borrowed heavily to finance the war effort. With the war over in 1918, massive amounts of gold entered the United States because of the repayment of debts and marked the beginning of the so-called "Bally-hoo years."
A time of profound exuberance in America with grand excesses in morality and spending habits, the stock market soared in the 1920s, reaching unheard of heights by 1927 and encouraged by a low discount rate by the Federal Reserve.
In Berlin, peach crops were in their glory and an annual festival, called Peach Day, was held on North Main Street. Bands were brought in from as far away as Wilmington, Del., for the celebration.
As of December 1925, Taylor Bank's total assets stood at $628,546.13.
Working in Ocean City
At Taylor Bank, part of the normal business procedure included William Holloway and Reese Cropper Sr. boarding a train to Ocean City to collect the deposits of the bank's customers on the island.
The train left Berlin at 4 p.m. and returned at 10 p.m., making for a long work day for the employees. That service was discontinued in 1933.
Changing of the Guard
In 1929, Mr. Holloway suddenly died. He had been the bank's cashier for 22 years. John E. Smith, by seniority, would have succeeded Mr. Holloway but declined consideration in an eloquent letter to Mr. Taylor.
Totally deaf by then, Mr. Smith wrote on June 26, 1929, "However, with the gradual seeping out of hearing, long since, there went with it any delusions I might have had of future positions, and then and not now was the situation a trying one, for I now feel I am too practical to give it more than a passing thought... Of course, there is only one thing we can do, and that is to make Reese Cropper Sr. cashier..."
That decision made Mr. Cropper the youngest cashier in the state.
In 1932, Mr. Taylor, the bank's founder and president, died. He was succeeded as president by Ernest E. Burbage Sr., who had been a director since 1907.
Taylor Bank has had only four chief executive officers since its founding. Calvin B. Taylor, its founder, Reese F. Cropper Sr., Reese F. Cropper Jr. and current CEO Ray Thompson. After Mr. Taylor's death in 1932, Reese F. Cropper Sr. became chief executive officer and was responsible for the bank's day-to-day operations under three presidents.
Back then, it was common practice in small banks for the cashier to run the bank while the president pursued his profession outside the bank. The presidency was an honorary position given to senior directors.
In December 1930, the bank listed assets of $1.068 million.
The Great Depression
A Stronger Bank
In 1932, the Exchange and Savings Bank in Berlin closed but was reopened when many Taylor Bank directors bought stock in the bank.
The move strengthened Taylor's position in the community as several prominent families moved their business accounts from Exchange and Savings to Taylor.
On Feb. 24, 1933, the governor of Maryland declared a three-day banking holiday and by March 1, several states and thousands of banks across the nation, including Taylor Bank, had announced banking holidays.
Then on March 5, 1933, President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt declared a nation-wide banking holiday. Calvin B. Taylor Bank reopened within a few days on a basis of 2% deposit, meaning depositors would be limited to a 2% withdrawal of the account balance.
After enactment of the Banking Act of 1933, which created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to give confidence in banks to the general public, Calvin B. Taylor Banking Company recapitalized with 5,000 shares of stock with a $10 par value. That created a capital of $50,000 and a $12,500 surplus.
The new issue stock sold for $15 per share to local people. Former stockholders received one share of new stock for a share of their old stock.
During this time, in one of his famous fireside chats, President Roosevelt told the nation, "I can assure you that it is safer to keep your money in a reopened bank than under the mattress." Depositors believed him and when Taylor Bank reopened, deposits began coming in.
Shortly after the banking holiday, Calvin B. Taylor Bank opened an account with Equitable Trust Bank for check clearing. Taylor Bank was one of the first banks to form this relationship with Equitable Trust.
Cash still wasn't readily available or plentiful and many area residents recalled the phenomenon of "Due Bills." During the height of the Depression, with cash so hard to come by for the average family, merchants also felt the pinch.
To address their cash shortages, merchants often gave change for a purchase in the form of "Due Bills." The privately minted coins, with the names of the business on them, allowed, for instance, for farmers to accept payment for butter in the form of due bills, which they would later use as cash to purchase needed store supplies.
The Depression was an unfortunate time for many farmers. In Berlin, a man's farm went up for sale at an auction on Main Street. W.J. McCabe later told his son Irving that a prominent farmer, Clyde Bassett, placed the high bid. As he did so, Mr. Bassett reached into his truck for a slat and wrote his check upon it, indicating the unsophisticated attitudes of the times.
The Recovery Begins
Calvin B. Taylor Bank, on June 1, 1933, made 75 percent of deposits available to its customers. With the remaining 25 percent classified as deferred deposits, Certificates of Indebtedness were issued to cover the same.
Those certificates were paid off in seven years (12.5% for each of 6 years and 25% on the final year in 1940). The earnings were good, but a good deal of the funds were made through the efforts of President Ernest E. Burbage Sr. and John W. Humphreys, a director.
Both men studied the recovering bond market and invested wisely. Mr. Humphreys is widely credited for working many hours on the bond market to allow Taylor Bank to recover its investments. Several of Mr. Humphreys' worksheets have been preserved by the bank in its Berlin executive offices.
Taylor Bank also, during this time, loaned a neighboring bank, The Bank of Bishopville, funds to help it out of the early Depression years. After the Bank of Bishopville reorganized, it gave stock to Taylor Bank in return for the money advanced.
Federal Reserve System
After the banking holiday, Taylor Bank officials felt they should join the Federal Reserve System. Reese Cropper Sr., Ernest Burbage Sr., and J.R. Phillips drove to Washington, D.C., to apply for membership and made Taylor Bank the first bank to apply for membership after the banking holiday.
That made Taylor Bank a test case for the nation, but the Federal Reserve Board of Governors ruled that no bank with outstanding Certificates of Indebtedness would be allowed to join. The rule was later rescinded and Taylor Bank was asked to join, but declined.
A Full Recovery
As business increased and the need for more employees was evident, the bank hired C. Vincent Holland as bookkeeper and teller in 1934 at $850 per year. He was the fourth employee for the company at that time. By 1936, a fifth employee, Hilda Jackson was hired as a bookkeeper and teller.
In May 1937, at a Masonic meeting in Cambridge, Md., assistant cashier John E. Smith died suddenly of a heart attack after serving the bank for 30 years. He was replaced by C. Vincent Holland.
That year, the bank's assets had reached $1 million. By December 1940, all of the Certificates of Indebtedness had been paid off.
In a letter to the bank's customers, Reese F. Cropper Sr., then the bank's cashier, wrote, "It is with some pride that we have been able to retire and pay in full every dollar that our depositors assigned in 1933, and for which we issued to them these certificates. In order that you may know what we have done, we wish to say the original amount of these Certificates in 1933, was $152,361.23 ... We again wish to assure each and every depositor of our appreciation of the cooperation and support you have given us and trust we may have your continued good will and assistance."
The landmark occasion was celebrated with a dinner party for the directors and officers at the home of William Thomas, one of the original founding directors.
World War II
The Black Poultry Market
After the United States became a participant in World War II in December 1941, the value of poultry began to increase as the demand for foodstuffs around the world escalated. As the war progressed and the economic importance of poultry continued to grow, the federal government imposed a ceiling of 28 cents per pound for the duration of the war.
Though most abided by the regulation, a black market sprang up that paid much higher prices for poultry. At the same time, the black marketeer assumed the responsibility of transportation to the market place.
The temptation was too inviting for many local farmers who took advantage of the 40 to 50 cents a pound paid in the black market. One Berlin citizen remembered a farmer shopping in town with his money in a bucket during that time.
Internal Revenue agents, backed by a government decree that taxes be paid on the illegal profits, came to Berlin. Then bank investigators searched local bank accounts for illegal gains.
But just as quickly, the agents and investigators were ordered off the case with no explanation. As recently as 1960, it wasn't uncommon when a musty bill was used in a transaction for older residents to smile and say "Must be chicken money."
The War Years
Another incident involving poultry, an industry that contributed greatly to Calvin B. Taylor Banking Company's growth in the 1940s, involved government poultry inspectors assigned to identify so-called "reject" birds.
In many instances, arrangements made with the inspector resulted in the number of rejects increasing dramatically. That created a market in which the unfit birds brought more profitable returns than the normal birds.
During that time, poultry plants from Millsboro, Del., to Snow Hill, Md., were customers of Calvin B. Taylor Bank. The numerous support businesses, such as feed mills, made poultry the primary contributor to the economy of Berlin and to the growth of the bank.
With the war in progress, few consumer goods were available except for essentials, which were rationed by the government. Little could be done with earnings but purchase war bonds or deposit them at the bank until the end of the war.
Also during this time, the nurseries were sold, ending another phase of the county's agricultural history. Harrison's Nurseries had been northern Worcester County's largest employer.
Post War Years
The post-war economy boomed as people satisfied their pent-up demand for goods they hadn't been able to buy during the war or even as far back as the Depression.
The national banking system was well-prepared to meet the demands for new and modern household furnishings, automobiles, televisions, etc. Bank lending in general exploded after the war.
Consumer buying power, fueled by bank lending, began to exceed the capabilities of companies producing the products, resulting in a spiral of wage and price increases.
Taylor Bank, rather than jump head-long into consumer loans, continued its policy of small loans on open notes. The bank wouldn't establish a consumer loan department for 15 more years, in 1965.
By 1949, Taylor Bank needed major additions and general upgrading of its buildings. At that time, teller counters were installed and a separate bookkeeping department was added along with a larger vault, all housed in a new two-story building added to the rear of the original structure.
The original bank building's entire space was turned into a lobby and teller counters. Reese F. Cropper Sr.'s office was simply a desk in the lobby area with a small railing around it. Completely open to the public, he ran the bank from that space for 18 years. Vincent Holland kept the corporate records without a private office, as well.
During the 1940s, Taylor Bank's assets grew from $1,078,273 to $4,215,831.
Taylor Bank's Board of Directors about 1949 (L-R) -- Reese F. Cropper Sr., E. Bowen Quillin, Victor R. Strickland, J. Richard Phillips Jr., Charles S. Ludlam, Ernest E. Burbage Sr., Victor H. Boston, Roland W. Beauchamp, William E. Thomas, Dr. Lee W. Warren, Nutter J. Wimbrow Sr.
Ocean City Grows
With the availability of modern automobiles and the expansion of suburban areas, businesses branched out in the 1950s. The affluence of the times and better highways (Route 50 had been dualized and Route 611 had been built during the war) encouraged citizens from metropolitan areas to vacation in Ocean City.
A major development in the resort business was the construction of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in 1952 by the state of Maryland. The bridge replaced a car ferry and cut the journey to the resort to three hours or less. Many prominent Berlin families who had been involved in agriculture began building hotels and motels in the north end of Ocean City (then 15th to 33rd streets).
On May 1, 1956, the bank's stock split three for one, making $150,000 capital. At the same time, Reese F. Cropper Sr. began encouraging larger Baltimore banks to participate in the growth of Ocean City.
The First Taylor Bank Branch
In 1960, Taylor Bank officials decided to build the company's first branch office at 20th Street in Ocean City. James R. Bergey was appointed the branch manager.
The branch succeeded immediately. Customers and businesses Taylor Bank had long worked with in Ocean City found the branch more convenient as a whole new world of opportunity sprung up in the north end of the city's older section.
In addition, people who had vacationed in Ocean City began purchasing second homes at the beach as opposed to renting. A severe northeast storm in March 1962 caused land values to drop, and investors eagerly began a new wave of building.
Taylor Bank suffered few loan losses as a result of the storm and by December 1962 listed resources of $9,478,756. Also during this time, William E. Thomas had assumed the presidency from Ernest E. Burbage Sr., who retired, in 1960. Three years later, Mr. Thomas retired and was succeeded by Victor Russell Strickland.
In 1966, Taylor Bank decided to expand its main offices again. The bank purchased the deteriorating Worcester County Health Department building behind the bank at public sale for demolition and the William N. Burbage property across Williams Street from the Burbage Funeral Home at public auction.
The county, in turn, bought a portion of the Burbage property on Williams Street and erected a new health center. The remainder of the property was used for municipal parking for the Town of Berlin courtesy of Taylor Bank.
The Building Boom
The Cropper Era
On Jan. 7, 1970, Victor R. Strickland retired as president and was succeeded by Reese F. Cropper Sr., who had assumed the position of Cashier and Chief Executive Officer at the age of 26 in 1929 and had guided the bank through the Great Depression, banking holidays, and World War II.
Mr. Cropper led the bank to invest in Ocean City, a decision resulting in tremendous profits. In his 45 years of operating the bank, its assets grew 3,000 percent, from $1.068 million in 1929 to $30,411,625.22 by the time he retired as president in 1974.
In 1975, he was elected chairman of the board, a position he held until his death in August 1976.
Branching Out Again
Under Mr. Cropper's direction, in June 1971 the bank opened another branch, this one at 142nd Street in Ocean City just south of the Maryland-Delaware state line. Samuel Baker was appointed manager.
The bank's Capital Stock had split two for one in November 1970, making Capital of $300,000. By December 1971, the bank listed assets of $23,339,772. In January 1974, the Capital Stock again split two for one, making Capital of $600,000.
In the meantime, the bank's surplus had reached $1.4 million. With all of the stock splits since the 1930s, each original share was now 12 shares.
A New Cropper Era
Upon his retirement, Reese F. Cropper Sr. was succeeded as president of the bank by his son, Reese F. Cropper Jr. The younger Cropper led the bank through phenomenal growth, building branch offices in the Ames Plaza in Berlin, at 91st Street in Ocean City, and in Ocean Pines.
In 1974, the bank installed its first computer system, leaving behind the antiquated and time-consuming method of hand-posting all records.
The 1970s represented an unprecedented era in construction in Ocean City. Until this time, the resort consisted mainly of hotels, motels and hundreds of pastel colored apartments and cottages regarded as second homes by many along the mid-Atlantic coastal region's metropolitan areas.
Almost overnight, the concept of multiple family dwellings of masonry construction took the city by storm as condominiums and townhouses began to dot the landscape. As the 1970s advanced, whole buildings were sold out in some cases before actual construction commenced.
The construction swelled the resort's summer population from 50,000 to 250,000 on any given weekend and the supporting business base increased dramatically, as well. Calvin B. Taylor Bank provided startup money for many of these new businesses.
The bank did, however, curtail its lending for new condo buildings in 1970. Managers and directors felt the condo market had become saturated. The largest condominium project financed by Taylor Bank was the Covington Towers Condominium.
Another Building Boom
Yet another building boom commenced in northern Worcester County in the 1980s. Although tourism remained the primary industry in the Ocean City area, many families moved to the northern part of the county to take advantage of the service jobs being created there. It became obvious to the bank's directors that the area was being looked at as more than a place to vacation now.
On Sept. 20, 1982, Calvin B. Taylor Bank opened its branch office in Ocean Pines and appointed Mike Parks manager.
The original concept of Ocean Pines was developed by U.S. Land Corporation and then sold to Maryland Properties Inc., which in turn sold to Boise Cascade in the 1970s. Many of the local property owners, however, had little confidence in Boise Cascade and resisted selling to it.
Because of the resistance, Reese F. Cropper Sr. and Taylor Bank acted as escrow agents for the deeds to the various properties that now make up Ocean Pines. Upon payment of the funds to the bank, the deeds to the properties were turned over to Boise Cascade.
That contributed greatly to the growth of Ocean Pines into an outstanding community.
In December 1985, the bank began advertising itself as Taylor Bank. Its assets were $103,582,465.
Growth Dictates More Branches
As the entire area became a favorite retirement spot for people who had vacationed here with their families, Taylor Bank decided to open another branch, this one at 91st Street. Tina Kolarik was appointed manager.
In November 1986, with Maryland National Bank of Baltimore's decision to sell seven Eastern Shore offices, Taylor Bank officials felt it would be wise for the bank to purchase the offices in Pocomoke City and Snow Hill to extend its coverage of Worcester County. The bank also purchased a leased location in South Pocomoke.
The total value of the real estate and deposits was $36 million and immediately increased the holdings of Taylor Bank by a third. The managers of the newly acquired locations: Bryan Phillips at Snow Hill; Carla Killmon at downtown Pocomoke; and William L. Bundick at South Pocomoke.
An advisory board was also established for the new branches and consisted of Albert N. Ardis, Richard L. Bunting, B. Randall Coates, Robert C. Darby, Carlton E. Massey Sr., and Paul E. Northam.
1990s to Today
1990s to Today
Taylor Bank purchased the long-vacant Burbage and Powell clothing store in 1983. The bank, with the approval of the Berlin Historical Commission, successfully renovated the building, which was occupied by executive offices and the computer department in 1985. Today the building houses loan offices.
Taylor Bank’s first ATM installation occurred in December 1989, with two additional ATMs installed in early 1990. As of 2007, we now have eleven ATMs – one at each of our offices – plus one located in the Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin.
The bank’s West Ocean City office, opened in 1991, has witnessed tremendous retail and residential development in West Ocean City. Opened for the convenience of our West Ocean City customers, it has become one of our fastest growing offices.
In 1993, the new Atlantic General Hospital opened in Berlin. Two of Taylor Bank’s retired directors, Dr. Frank Townsend and Mr. Irvin Bainum, worked tirelessly in leading the fundraising efforts. Taylor Bank was an early supporter of their efforts, pledging $100,000 to the hospital. This support continues today, as the bank makes annual contributions to the hospital’s foundation.
At a special stockholder meeting held on February 7, 1996, Taylor Bank’s shareholders approved a plan whereby the bank became a wholly-owned subsidiary of a new holding company, Calvin B. Taylor Bankshares, Inc. The primary purpose of this new holding company structure was to give management greater flexibility in the planning and execution of its business. As a result, the holding company became the sole stockholder of the bank and the stockholders of the bank became stockholders of the new corporation.
To allow our entry into Delaware, Calvin B. Taylor Bankshares, Inc. chartered a new bank, Calvin B. Taylor Bank of Delaware, which opened on May 22, 1998 in Ocean View, Delaware.This separate bank charter was converted to a branch of the Maryland bank in 2002.
A new branch office was built in Pocomoke, in 1998, to replace the aging downtown branch office building. This historic building was donated to the Pocomoke City Chamber of Commerce for their use. The South Pocomoke office was, then, consolidated into the new branch location in early 2000.
In 1991, Taylor Bank purchased the vacant building next door to the Main Office in Berlin, formerly Williams Tavern. An eight thousand square foot addition to the bank was built on that site. This two-story addition included a two-lane drive thru, a new data center on the ground floor, and the bookkeeping department, Boardroom and offices on the second floor. The new addition dedicated on November 23, 2003 was named the Cropper Building in recognition of the almost 100 years of dedicated service to the bank by Reese F Cropper, Sr., and Reese F. Cropper Jr.
The bank began providing imaged statements to its customers in 1999. A new state-of-the-art computer system was installed in November 2001. Since that installation, Taylor Bank has continually invested in technology to enhance our ability to provide superior service to our customers. Our electronic data storage was upgraded, and a teller system was installed. Internet Banking Bill Pay and telephone banking offers our customers 24/7 access to their account information.
In 2002 Raymond M. Thompson became the bank’s seventh president. Reese Cropper, Jr. continued as Chairman and C.E.O. In January 2006, Mr. Thompson was elected President and CEO, while Mr. Cropper retained the position of Chairman of the Board.
In February of 2007, the bank began electronically processing its incoming and outgoing checks with the Federal Reserve Bank. To further improve efficiency, remote branch capture (RBC) was installed in May 2007. RBC enabled the bank’s branches to electronically submit checks and deposits to our data center for processing, thereby speeding up the collection process.
And the story continues...