John W. Aldrich founded and became the first president of the First National Bank of Normal in October 1893. The By-Laws were adopted and the Board of Directors elected December 18, 1893. By 1948, the bank’s assets had grown to more than $4 million.
The first bank building was located on East Beaufort Street, Normal. In 1917 the bank moved to the northeast corner of Broadway and North streets. The bank moved to an entirely new building on Broadway in January 1962. Assets at that time were $8.5 million. By January 1965 assets had increased to $13.25 million, a growth attributed to the expansion of the bank’s services.
The bank celebrated its 75th anniversary on December 20, 1968, and more services were subsequently offered. A total of four drive-in facilities were in operation by March 1970. Free checking accounts were instituted in June 1971. The bank services grew to such an extent that an addition to the building was added in 1973. In 1978 First National Bank’s new facility opened at the corner of College and Towanda avenues. In December 1987, the First National Bank of Normal and The Peoples Bank of Bloomington merged and became The Peoples Bank.
The collection includes documentation of the founding of First National Bank of Normal, legal documents relating to its expansion, lists of directors and officers, annual reports, and financial statements. Though sporadic, they provide an overview of the growth of the bank.