The original 1907 German National building was designed by Columbus architect Charlie Wurdeman whose esteemed projects included the 1908 YMCA (since razed), stately C.D. Evans House, and the present Platte County Courthouse. While little of Charlie Wurdeman’s original German National design remains, some of the 1907 walls were so stout they still stand within today’s structure.
In the early 20’s Columbus had six banks: Columbus State Bank, Commercial National, First National, Farmers State, Home Saving, and Central National (formerly German National). All but Central National succumbed to the Great Depression. Soon after Columbus Bank and Trust opened in 1935. The next new Columbus bank did not open until Citizen Bank and Trust began operation in 1959.
After the 1933 “Bank Holiday” and Emergency Bank Act, this was the only bank that emerged in sound condition and was able to reopen, During World War I, with Germany as an enemy, it was renamed the Central National Bank. In 1961, it became known as First National Bank and Trust.
The building was expanded to the alley in the 1940s and in 1962, the bank was rebuilt and expanded. While most of the walls were razed, some original walls from 1907 still remain today.
In 2022, Columbus has many more than six banks! Today, First National bank is a cornerstone and an anchor to their block!