For more than 100 years and four generations, the Austin Family has been deeply ingrained and involved in the Texas banking industry. They have personified banking in East Texas since 1909 when John F. Austin, Sr. became a founder of the First State Bank of Frankston. A savvy, ambitious businessman who had his eye on financially expanding and evolving the small town, he dutifully served the community bank until his death in 1931.
Sallie and John F. Austin’s sons, John F. Austin, Jr. and Jeff Austin, Sr., continued to honor that legacy. John stepped into the role vacated by his father’s death. Jeff Sr. joined the Frankston bank in 1937 and was named president in 1946. With the purchase of First National Bank of Jacksonville in 1959 (name later changed to Austin Bank), Jeff Sr. also assumed the roles of President and Chairman. Upon his death in 1997, Jeff Austin, Jr. took over his position as Chairman of the Board. In 1972 Sissy Austin joined the Bank as Vice President and Assistant Trust Officer. Jeff Austin III, a fourth generation banker, continued the family legacy when he became President/CEO of FSB Frankston in 1999 and Vice Chairman of Austin Bank in 2003.
Jeff Austin, Sr. carried and greatly expanded the family legacy of leadership, in banking as well as civic and philanthropic endeavors, during his lifetime. It was under his leadership that the Bank grew. From 1944 to 1985 the Austin Family acquired six separate community banks in Big Sandy, Jacksonville, Longview, Rusk, Timpson and Whitehouse. Other banks were also acquired in Troup and Grand Saline. In 1996 the separate banks were all renamed Austin Bank. Seven Bank of America locations throughout the East Texas area were purchased in 1997.
All of the individual banks were combined in 1999 under the bank charter of Austin Bank Texas N.A., Jacksonville which was originally chartered and opened for business in 1900. Efforts to continue serving the East Texas area brought additional acquisitions in 2004 (First National Bank of Bullard) and in 2008 (City National Bank of Kilgore). In 2010, the First State Bank of Frankston was merged into Austin Bank, further expanding the Bank’s service area. Continuing this expansion, the Bank opened new locations in Lufkin (2015), Lindale (2017) and Cleveland (2019).
Why should you bank with Austin Bank?
L-R: Russ Gideon, President/CEO;
Jeff Austin, Jr., Chairman;
Jeff Austin, III, Vice Chairman