Old State Bank
925 Bank Street NE
Decatur, Morgan County, Alabama, 35601
The State Bank Building, Decatur Branch, commonly known as the Old State Bank, is a historic Jeffersonian-style bank building in Decatur, Alabama.
The Decatur branch of the Alabama State Bank opened its doors on July 29, 1833. It was authorized by the Alabama General Assembly in 1830 to be one of three branches of the Alabama State Bank. After outstanding debts of over $1 million were unable to be reformed the Decatur branch franchise was revoked.
The building remained vacant until the 1860s when it was one of four buildings that survived the Civil War in Decatur, Alabama. During the Battle of Decatur, the bank was used as headquarters for the Union forces in the area and was also used as a hospital while battles raged outside. Such evidence of the battle remains: bloodstains are visible in one of the three vaults and slugs from musket fire and Minié balls are still clearly seen in the walls of the building.
In 1881, the First National Bank opened its doors in the Old State Bank building. But, when First National Bank completed its new office in 1902, the bank building was used as a residence and office by J. Y. Cantwell. After signs of deterioration began to show themselves, Cantwell's grand niece, W. B. Edmundson, deeded the building over to the City of Decatur in 1933.
By the year 1946, the building was deeded by its owner to the Morgan County American Legion, Post No. 15. At some point, the original bank building was completely obscured by a brick facade which also enclosed the front portico and columns. The appearance was simply a huge, ugly, brick warehouse and, by the early 1970s, the original history was long forgotten.
The project to demolish the old, blighted warehouse quickly transformed into restoring this centerpiece of a newly formed historical district.
in 1975, the American Legion, Post No. 15, donated the Old State Bank building to the City of Decatur. Plans for restoration were put together in the year 1976, as the bank turned 143 years old, and was put under the control of the Old Bank Board members. Restoration of the bank was finished in the year 1983, at the age of 150.
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