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Bank History
The Commercial Bank, Mason, Texas

Born to wealth in Germany, Anna Martin lived much of her formative years in poverty on the wild Texas frontier after the family’s wealth was lost. Her husband lost first his wealth and then his health; daily life became a struggle to survive. It was her indomitable spirit alone which sustained the family. It is that frontier spirit of determination to succeed which built not only The Commercial Bank, but Texas.

It is that spirit we celebrate in this remarkable woman who simply refused to give up. It is that spirit which guides our banking decisions today.

Anna Martin’s battles for survival on the frontier shaped her character. She developed leadership qualities that stood her in good stead throughout life. She and her husband dealt with Indians and lawless men who flocked to the frontier during the Civil War, when civil authority was absent. Loyal to the Union, the two were often harassed by Confederate sympathizers. “If a stranger came to our door I greeted him always in fear that they came to kill my husband,” she said.

Under such conditions Anna Martin developed the traits of self-reliance; determination, courage, and hard work that helped her succeed. The Commercial Bank shares that commitment to Mason County. As the oldest bank in Mason, we’re here to stay.  

In 1864 Anna Martin’s husband became ill, and for the next fifteen years most of the burden of supporting the family fell on her shoulders. She kept a way station for the stage, sold groceries, made butter for Fort Mason, and took in sewing while she cared for an invalid husband. In 1879 both her husband and her mother died. Despite poor health brought on by overwork, she and her sons began to “battle life for all we could.” In two short years she was out of debt and could at last build a nice home for her family.

Anna Martin worked hard to secure the future of her family. We at The Commercial Bank are committed to working hard to help you secure your future.

Ann Martin dealt with the problems of being a business leader in a male-dominated world in a very direct way “She excelled at what she did.” “I heard men say she is only a woman, but showed them what a woman could do and I had no trouble anymore. A many man came to me and consulted me in their affairs and still do,” she wrote. “If you need more money, you can have it here, as much as you wish,” she told good customers.

By her own account she “drifted into the bank business,” but one suspects she was being overly modest. Few things this remarkable woman did seem to have happened by accident.

The Commercial Bank today is small enough to know its customers, yet large enough to meet their needs. Just as it was in Anna Martin’s time, our excellence is at your service.




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