Century Bank and Trust, formerly known as The Merchants and Farmers Bank, opened for business in Georgia's Antebellum Capitol City of Milledgeville on March 1, 1898. The Bank's first president was Samuel Evans, a native North Carolinian. Sam served during the Civil War as Jefferson Davis' personal bodyguard. After the war, Sam moved his family to Milledgeville where he became engaged in the manufacture of plug tobacco laced with Cuban molasses. He also owned a grocery store, a cotton warehouse and general supply business. Sam, along with the Bank's Cashier Madison McCraw, ran the Bank until 1902 when Sam resigned due to poor health and Madison left to open a dry goods store.
In 1979, the Merchants and Farmers Bank expanded operations by opening a northside branch and constructed a drive-up motor bank behind its main office building. While the main office facility has been renovated and expanded several times during the past century, the largest renovation project occurred in 1992. The Bank purchased the old Joiner's Market building next door and completely rebuilt the main office. The inclusion of this new space more than doubled the size of the previous Bank building.
Management realized in 1987 that the nature of banking had changed and that Merchants and Farmers Bank would have to diversify beyond its traditional banking boundaries if it were to remain a viable enterprise. The Bank's long-range plan was amended, and a new commitment was made to offer our customers the most modern services available at the lowest practical cost. That year, the Bank established its Trust and Financial Services Division giving our customers access to estate, retirement and financial planning. This addition also enabled the Bank to provide our customers with investment management and brokerage services. In 1993, the Bank's name was changed to Century Bank and Trust to reflect the Bank's evolving and growing role within the financial services industry.
Since 1898, Century Bank & Trust has operated as an independent community bank under local control. The Boards of the Bank and Century Bancorp, Inc., remain convinced, unless faced with strong evidence and trends to the contrary, that this direction can continue to offer against other alternatives, higher returns, a superior level of service to our customers, a more positive impact on the communities we serve, and more rewarding careers to our employees.
Our corporate mission involves several essential elements which we view as vital to the long term success of the Bank. The primary mission of Century Bank & Trust is to provide quality customer service and competitive products by utilizing an experienced staff and the latest banking technology. We will focus on retail customers and small to medium sized businesses. We will generate attractive growth and earnings for our shareholder Century Bancorp, Inc. We will provide competitive salaries and benefits and a challenging work environment for our employees. We will determine the various credit needs through active involvement in the community by our lending officers in various organizations within the community, thus giving the bank exposure. We expect to be active in home mortgages, home equity lines of credit, lake lot loans, personal installment loans, and small business loans. We expect to fund these loans with money market funds, now accounts, consumer savings certificates, and small business deposits.