Zephyr plans to construct historic bank replica

Kevin Holamon kevin.holamon@brownwoodbulletin.com
Pictured is one of the two teller windows that are part of the 14.5-foot long teller cage from the First National Bank of Brownwood that will be used in the replica of the First State Bank of Zephyr.

ZEPHYR — The Zephyr Community Historical Association is on a mission to preserve the community’s rich and storied history. The next big project is to construct a replica of the First State Bank of Zephyr that existed in the first quarter of the 20th century.

Records show the bank was chartered June 11, 1907, by its president, O.D. Couch, and is believed to have been located on the south corner of what is now the intersection of County Roads 272 and 274, the block between the highway and the railroad tracks.

Two years later, the Zephyr Cyclone reportedly lodged a piece of lumber through a rock wall of the bank.

In 1916, Couch sold his interest in the bank to a man named Skipping.

A newspaper article found in the June 30, 1930 issue of the Breckenridge American indicates the bank merged with the First National Bank of Brownwood at that time.

Myrna Wright, a member of the Zephyr historical group, said they learned the stone structure collapsed in about 1960 and local residents John and Linda had salvaged the stone. The second of two vault doors has also been located, currently being used as a door on a pump house. Both the rocks and the vault door have been donated for the replica construction.

This week, the association was able to purchase a period teller cage, taken from the FNB Brownwood, which will be installed in the replica building.

Wright said they hope to begin construction at the beginning of 2015, locating the building behind the Zephyr Community Center along with the replica post office and an authentic, primitive log structure.

If anyone has more information on the history of the bank or particularly photographs, please call Wright at (325) 641-8391 or Nola Sweatman at (325) 643-3071.