Eastman National Bank opened its doors October 9, 1893 and was chartered in Newkirk, Oklahoma. The Eastman family, led by E.B. Eastman, took out the charter for the bank in the name of the Bank of Santa Fe after the name of the community at the time. The bank was the first bank to be chartered in Kay County. An industrial brochure published in 1900 described the bank as “doing a general banking and collection business with capital stock of $10,000, deposits $60,000, surplus and profits $8,000, cash and sight exchange $4,500”. In 1900 the bank began laying stone on an impressive limestone building that is still standing at the corner of the one stop light intersection in Newkirk. When built, the Republican News hailed the Bank of Santa Fe as the “finest building of its kind in Oklahoma” and “the most striking and substantial building in Kay County”. The bank began serving customers before the Oklahoma Land Run (1889) and even before Oklahoma was granted its statehood (November 16, 1907). On January 21, 1908, the Eastmans’ officially changed the name of the bank to The Eastman National Bank of Newkirk and had capital of $50,000.
The Eastmans’ sold their bank in 1923 and Mr. Eastman is quoted as saying, “I am not going back into the business again. It isn't what it used to be. The automobiles will bust the most of the farmers; wheat at $.75 and autos at $750 — too much difference.” Eastman has weathered every financial storm and crisis since 1893.
Over the years, Eastman National Bank has merged and absorbed other Newkirk financial institutions including: The State Guaranty Bank established in 1909, taken over by Eastman in 1911; Kay County State Bank chartered Oct. 12, 1893, and changed to First National Bank in 1900 and absorbed by Eastman in 1933; the Farmers State Bank organized in 1899 and absorbed by Eastman in 1926; the Security State Bank organized in 1917 and consolidated Dec. 31, 1926, with Eastman. The assets of the Kildare State Bank were purchased Oct. 22, 1927.
It is also believed that the Peckham State Bank was absorbed by Eastman in 1926. As the Dilworth Bank had previously transferred to Peckham, ultimately the Dilworth Bank also became a part of Eastman.
The Security State Bank was the only one that was solvent when it merged with Eastman. This merger brought F.S. Midgley into the Eastman National Bank. The Midgley family would lead the bank for multiple decades and a Midgley descendent is still employed with the bank today as she has been since her teen years.
In July 2004, a group of investors announced their intention of buying Eastman National Bank of Newkirk. At this time Eastman had $46.4 million in assets and $40 million in deposits. The ownership changed and six long-time bankers of Kay County began efforts to expand Eastman’s footprint.
On October 4, 2004, the first Ponca City branch was opened in downtown Ponca City in the former Security Bank building at the corner of 3rd Street and Grand Avenue. This location also allowed customers the convenience of a motor bank. Growth for the bank was immediate and was astonishing. In the winter of 2005, Eastman built another full-service branch location at North 5th Street and Prospect (Northpark) in northern Ponca City. The addition of this branch allowed Eastman to be prominent in a strong retail area of Ponca City.
Changes to the banking industry and a focus on branch closures led to the closures of three large national banks in Ponca City in 2015. Eastman capitalized on this opportunity and was able to assume a branch location near the Ponca Plaza, centrally located in Ponca City. Although other banks were downsizing nationwide, Eastman went against the norm by adding another branch location to meet the needs of their customers and to provide relief to their Northpark branch which was at capacity in terms of service.
Today, Eastman has four full-service branches in Kay County, three in Ponca City and the original one in Newkirk. Mark T. Detten serves as the President and CEO of the bank and James H. Leach is the Chairman of the Board.