100 Years of Service
The Bank of Commerce and Trust Company, formerly known as the National Bank of Commerce, can trace its roots to the oldest bank in Wellington, the Woods Bank. In October of 1873 Mr. John J. Woods opened the Woods Bank at the southwest corner of Washington and 7th Streets in a frame building. For several years, the Woods Bank continued to grow and prosper. However in 1881, a fire destroyed most of the west side of the 100th block N. Washington including the frame building known as Woods Bank. It was at this time that Mr. Woods determined that the city of Wellington should shed its western cowboy appearance. Mr. Woods decided to construct a building to last generations. In the spring of 1882, a new block bank building was built on the same location (Washington and 7th Street) as the previous frame building.
The National Bank of Commerce was formally organized on July 24, 1906 by E. B. Roser, George Harbaugh and George Robinson. The bank opened for business at the corner of Washington and 7th Streets (J. C. Penny and now the Stage Building) on December 3, 1906 in the former Woods Bank building with total capital of $50,000. Mr. George W. Robinson served as President, Mr. E.B. Roser Vice-President, Mr. Charles P. Hangen Cashier and Mr. Amos A. Belsley as Assistant Cashier. The Bank remained in this location until a fire totally destroyed the building on February 1, 1909.
During the spring and summer of 1909, the National Bank of Commerce moved several times until converting the Spahr Store and the first floor of the Arlington Hotel for bank use on the corner of Washington and Harvey. The Washington and Harvey Intersection would be known as the banker’s intersection as for many years there were banks on three corners with the J. C. Smith Clothiers building (Glasco) on the southwest corner of the intersection as the only non-bank.
The National Bank of Commerce was housed in the Commerce Building, or Arlington Hotel Building as it was also known (today The Gold Corner), from 1909 until 1967. The building had two major remodels with the last major remodel in 1959. The 1959 remodel added a drive-up facility at 109 W. Harvey where Rocco's Cafe (formerly Linda's Lunch Box) is located today.
In 1967, to keep pace with modern banking practices and protect against the major threat of the day, loss by fire, George Harbaugh and the Directors of the National Bank of Commerce decided that a new building would be needed. Mr. Marvin P. Jones an Architect in Wichita was hired to design the building and the Reynolds Construction Company was hired as the general contractors to construct the building. The National Bank of Commerce building was designed using "Brutalist architecture style" while also incorporating the "Prairie School of Architecture" popularized by Mr. Frank Lloyd Wright.
In 1975 the National Bank of Commerce ownership changed hands. The Long Family of Harper who also owned the Farmers State Bank in Norwich, purchased the National Bank of Commerce in February 1975 and elected former State Representative W. C. Long, Jr. (105th District 1967-1971) as the bank’s Chairman (1975-2013) and President (1975-2009) and Mrs. Carol V. Long as the Secretary of the Board of Directors. In 1978, Mr. W. C. Long, Jr. changed the name of the National Bank of Commerce to the Bank of Commerce and Trust Company to better serve our customers and the community. (Mr. W. C. Long, Jr. passed away in November 2013 and was Chairman of the Board until his death).
In 2004 former 5-term State Representative J. C. Long (100th District 1983-1991; 105th District 1991-1993) joined the Bank of Commerce as Administrative Vice President. In 2009 Mr. J. C. Long was elected President and Chief Executive Officer of the bank and Chairman of the Board in 2014.
The Bank of Commerce’s Board of Directors, Mr. J. C. Long, Chairman, Mrs. Carol V. Long, Dr. Allan Helsel, Mr. Mike Drouhard, Mr. Jeff Jelinek, Mr. Robert Lauer and Mr. Colby Zeka and the Officers and Employees are thankful to the community for their support and patronage. We are pleased to remain a locally owned, locally operated, independent community bank. Our commitment is the same today as every day, to provide modern-day services with old fashioned courtesy and concern for our customers. We look forward to many more years of serving you, our customers and our community.
The Bank is currently owned by Tri-County Financial Corporation whose Chairman is Mrs. Carol V. Long. Mr. J. C. Long serves as Vice-Chairman, President and CEO of Tri-County.
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