New bank on tap

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, February 27, 2008

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Fifty years after leaving Escambia County, Farmers Exchange Bank is expected to return with a new full-service branch in Brewton.
The bank has filed an application with regulators for a branch to be known as First Exchange Bank, a division of Farmers Exchange Bank.
Dan Thomas, a veteran Brewton banker, will head the local operation, along with Charlene Godwin, Philip Jennings, Shirley Miley, Doris Morris, Tyree Newkirk and Susan Reeves. Thomas said the new leadership team will have nearly 200 years of combined banking experience.
Pending approval by regulators, the bank intends to begin full-service operations in April.
In the meantime, the bank intends to operate a loan production office at the planned branch location on St. Joseph Street in downtown Brewton, in the old Shannon's gift store building.
Thomas said he is impressed with the community-minded service of Farmers Exchange Bank.
Farmers Exchange Bank was established in 1917 in the western Escambia farming village of McCullough.
The Prestwood family, along with a number of other local families, owned the bank.
In 1958, Robert Bennett of Louisville led a group of investors who purchased the bank charter and the bank's assets and moved it to Louisville, a small town in Barbour County between Troy and Eufaula.
The elder Bennett had always dreamed of having a community bank in his hometown of Louisville, his son and grandson said.