American Heritage buys FNB

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
American Heritage buys FNB

American Bancorporation, Inc., the holding company for American Heritage Bank, recently announced its pending acquisition of First National Bank of Pawhuska.

In a Friday press release, American Heritage officials said the bank group intends to acquire Pawhuska Financial Corp., the holding company for First National, through a stock purchase transaction. The transaction will be subject to approval by bank regulators and is expected to close by the end of the first quarter in 2015, the release stated.

For over a century, First National Bank has been a prominent fixture in the Osage County financial community. Its offices at 100 W. Main St. are located in the heart of downtown Pawhuska. First National of Pawhuska listed $26 million in deposits at the end of June 2014 fiscal period, with total assets of approximately $30 million.

The Sapulpa-based American Heritage Bank group serves 15 communities in seven area counties — Osage, Washington, Creek, Okmulgee, Payne, Pawnee and Tulsa. As of June 30, 2014, AHB had approximately a billion dollars in consolidated assets and $925 million in consolidated deposits, bank officials said.

American Heritage has an existing Pawhuska location at 239 E. Main St. — the former Osage Federal Savings and Loan. AHB acquired the 96-year-old Osage Federal bank in December 2012.

Bank officials said the transaction will allow American Heritage Bank to expand its financial services and product offerings for new and current customers in Osage and nearby counties.

“We are excited about the opportunity to expand our presence in Pawhuska and provide our new customers access to our other locations in Northeast Oklahoma,” said American Heritage Bank chairman and CEO, Bill Berry.

No staffing changes are expected to result from AHB’s pending transaction, Berry added. American Heritage Bank was founded in 1905 and is one of the oldest independently-owned banks in the Tulsa area.

Charles F. Stuart founded First National’s Pawhuska predecessor in 1906, prior to Oklahoma statehood, which gives the financial institution a 108-year history in the community. A nephew of the First National Bank founder said the local bank has developed a reputation among its depositors and loan customers for providing “a personal touch.”

“We believe the bank’s customers will continue to be well served by American Heritage Bank,” said Douglas G. Stuart, who is one of several second-generation family members who are still involved with the local bank’s operations.

The AHB transaction will not leave Pawhuska without a First National Bank, however. Renovations are currently underway on a downtown building that is to become a branch office for First National Bank of Sedan (Kan.).