In 1980, nine local businessmen got together to form what would become the 4th local bank in Paris to help meet the financial needs of the community. In January of 1981, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a bank charter to Lysander Bassett, James Rheudasil, Jimmye Newman, Eric Clifford, Artis Edzards, Leo Parsons, David Buster, Larry Walker and Lawrence “Cotton” McDowell of what was then named Lamar County National Bank. By 1984, the bank had assembled a management team, who among others included Michael Rhodes, Linda Belcher, Debbie Lewis, Reggie McDowra, Joe Iglehart and JB Bankhead.
While Mr. Bankhead has retired, he remains the Chairman of the Board of Lamar National; the remaining bankers mentioned above are still working here today as officers of Lamar National Bank, as are Lin Reid, who came aboard in 1986, Tammy Moore in 1991, and our newest hire Dick Severson who has only been here a “mere” 13 years after leaving his role as the President of Hibernia National Bank.
Lamar National has grown every single year since inception, built around the experience and loyalty of these seasoned veterans and an outstanding staff. “Our employees are our greatest asset”, says Michael Rhodes, President and CEO of Lamar National Bank.