Citizens Bank is celebrating 85 Years of Banking in East Tennessee! Through November 5, 2019, we will be sharing Fun Facts about Citizens Bank, East Tennessee and money on our Facebook Account.
Below is the chronological timeline of Fun Facts and information on our WHY I LOVE EAST TENNESSEE Social Media Contest. Visit our Facebook account often to enter the contest and vote for your favorite entries! 
1934 (November 5)

Citizens Bank opened in the midst of the Great Depression with $75,000 in capital in the former First National Bank building at 601 Elk Avenue in downtown Elizabethton.

Original founders included: Dr. E.L. Caudill Sr. (president), Raymond C. Campbell, R.C. Turrentine, James D. Deal, Joe E. Godsey, Dwight L. Maugans, Allen F. Taylor and Judge Ben Allen.


Citizens Bank’s Main office moved to 6060 Elk Avenue in Elizabethton.


Dr. E. L. Caudill Sr. was elevated to chairman of the board: R.C. Turrentine became the second president of Citizens Bank.

1946 (November 12)

The first “drive-in bank” was introduced by the Exchange National Bank of Chicago.


Diners Club introduced the first universal credit card.


Raymond C. Campbell became the third president of the bank following the death of R.C. Turrentine in August 1953.

1956 (October 1)

Joe LaPorte Jr. joined Citizens Bank as a lending officer.


Joe LaPorte Jr. became the fourth president of Citizens Bank, Raymond C. Campbell remained vice-chairman of the board and Dr. E.L. Caudill Sr. was still chairman of the board.


Citizens Bank opened their first Drive-Thru Banking lanes/windows.

1966 (March 10)

Citizens Bank opened Elizabethton office at 300 Broad Street, which became the bank’s headquarters.


The first ATM was unveiled in the United States (Chemical Bank).

1970 (October 5)

Third office opened in Hampton.

1973 (May 7)

Citizens Bank opened the Fourth office on Bemberg Road in Elizabethton.


Clinchfield Railroad Station in Kingsport is listed on National Historic Register (built in 1916), later it became Citizens Bank’s downtown office.

Citizens Bank became part of Tennessee Valley Bancorp Holding Company.


Joe LaPorte III joined Citizens Bank as a loan officer after graduating from the University of Tennessee. 


First electronic cash counters were introduced in Great Britain.


When was online banking first introduced? The precursor to the modern home banking services was the distance banking services over electronic media from the early 1980s.


Joe LaPorte III became manager and loan officer in the new Tri-County office near Johnson City which was still within Carter County (banks were not allowed to branch outside of county lines at that time).

1982 (October)

LaPorte family purchased Citizen Bank stock back from Tennessee Valley Bancorp for $8 million.


Citizens Bank earns status as Certified Small Business Administration (SBA) Lender.


Joe LaPorte III named Citizens Bank’s fifth president.


Joe LaPorte III named CEO in addition to existing title of President.

1988 (September 20)

Joe LaPorte Jr. passed away.

1988 (December)

Broad Street office in Elizabethton was remodel completed and added two floors to bank headquarters.


Citizens Bank acquired Executive Park National Bank with two Kingsport offices.


Citizens Bank expanded into Johnson City.

Citizens Bank established a Small Business Resource (SBR) subsidiary.


Colonial Heights location opened in Kingsport.


Acquired two First Union banking offices including the historic Train Station office in Kingsport and the Allendale office.

Bill Dudney named sixth president; Joe LaPorte III retained titles of Chairman and CEO.

Citizens Bank surpassed $250 Million in assets.

1996 (November 25)

New State of Franklin office opened in Johnson City


Consolidated to previous Executive Park National Bank offices into the Preston Forest Branch in Kingsport.


PayPal was introduced as the first user-friendly money transfer service.

1999 (May 24)

Citizens Bank Investment Services Inc. established through acquisition of independent brokerage firm affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services Inc.*






When was online bill paying first introduced? Although the technology was available from the mid 1990s, uptake was initially slow until internet access by households increased. By 2000, adoption of electronic bill payment systems started to dramatically increase.

Citizens Bank surpassed $500 Million in assets.

2000 (November 20)

Acquired Twin City Bank with three locations in Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia including Bonham, State Street and Parkway.


Citizens Bank opened the Johnson City University location.


Remote deposits became legal in the United States when Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act went into effect.

2004 (February)

American Trust Bank of East Tennessee founded in Knoxville; offices in Lenoir City and Lafollette (acquired by Citizens Bank in December 2016).


Joe LaPorte, Jr. posthumously honored by the Tennessee Bankers Association as a “Leader in Banking Excellence.”


Bitcoin digital currency was introduced.



Citizens Bank Tri-Cities Foundation Ltd., invested in the University of Tennessee College of Business Administration to make sure its students stay well-connected to Wall Street.


Citizens Bank surpassed $700 Million in assets.

Acclivity Financial, a subsidiary of Citizens Bank, launched as a nationwide small business lender specializing in government guaranteed loans.


Citizens Bank expanded into the Knoxville area by acquiring American Trust Bank offices in Knoxville, Lenoir City and LaFollette.

2016 (August 2)

Citizens Bank launched their Personal Banking Online Account Opening.

2017 (July)

Online Account Opening introduced for personal deposit accounts.

2018 (March)

Bill Dudney retired as President of Citizens Bank; remained on Board of Directors; Joe LaPorte III continued as Chair and CEO.

Larry Estepp promoted to become the seventh president of Citizens Bank.

2018 (December)

Larry Estepp, Citizens Bank president, received the prestigious Kingsport Chamber Lifetime Member Award for his career-long commitment to civic service and regional economic development.

1937 (November)

McKellar Field, now known as Tri-Cities Airport, was dedicated by Sen. Kenneth McKellar.


Tennessee Eastman (headquarters in Kingsport) played a major role in producing explosives for the U.S. during World War II, and managed the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge which produced the world’s first atomic bomb.


Robert Lee "Bobby" Dodd was a multi-sport athlete at Kingsport’s Dobyns-Bennett High School (Class of 1927). Ultimately, Dodd became one of only four individuals inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame both as a player (University of Tennessee) and head coach (Georgia Tech).  His 1952 Georgia Tech team won the National Title, which concluded a 12–0 perfect season and Sugar Bowl conquest of previously undefeated Ole Miss.  In 2009, Dodd was inducted into the Inaugural Dobyns-Bennett High School Hall of Fame.


Bristol Motor Speedway was constructed.

1961 (July 30)

Bristol Motor Speedway held its first NASCAR race.


East Tennessee State College achieved University status.

Steve Spurrier graduated from Science Hill high school in Johnson City and went on to win the 1966 Heisman Trophy in College football (played quarterback at the University of Florida). He became a highly successful college head coach.

1969 (December 13)

East Tennessee State University won the Grantland Rice Bowl football champion ship defeating Louisiana Tech 34 to 14. This was the only College Bowl loss for Terry Bradshaw as a student at Louisiana Tech … who later became a four-time Super Bowl Champion quarterback (Pittsburgh Steelers) and was inducted into the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

Two of this region’s college men’s Cross Country teams dominated the NCAA championships.  The University of Tennessee was National Champion and East Tennessee State was runner-up.

Pat Head Summitt took her first job at the University of Tennessee Knoxville as a physical education teacher and coach.


The new ETSU College of Medicine enrolled its first class of 24 students.


Overmountain Victory Trail (trailheads located in Elizabethton and Kings Mountain National Park, SC), 214 miles, was the first National Historic Trail established in the eastern United States.

1982 (May 1 - October 31)

The 1982 World’s Fair, also known as the Knoxville International Energy Exposition, ran from May 1 – October 31.  More than 11.1 million visitors attended during the six-month run.


The University of Tennessee won the National Football Championship.


LaPorte family contributed to the renovation of what is now the LaPorte Stadium (track and field) at the University of Tennessee.

2013 (November)

Pat Head Summitt statue unveiled on the University of Tennessee in Knoxville campus to honor the NCAA Women’s basketball all-time winningest coach including XX NCAA titles – the LaPorte Family made a Leadership gift for the statue.

2014 (August 1)

Birthplace of Country Music Museum, and affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, opened in Bristol, VA. To commemorate the historical significance of the Bristol Sessions (1927) that included The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Ernest V. Stoneman and others.

2015 (September 4)

New Citizens Bank Stadium opened at Elizabethton High School.


Pat Head Summitt, legendary University of Tennessee women’s head basketball head coach, retired with her teams having won eight NCAA national championships…  and an Olympic Gold Medal winning basketball team (1984). She is the most decorated coach in the history of U.S. collegiate women’s sports.

2016 (August)

LaPorte Track opened at Elizabethton High School.

  • Did you know that Kenny Chesney was born in Knoxville and graduated from Gibbs High School in Knox County and later ETSU?
  • Did you know that 1961 Rebel Railroad opened on the site of what is now Dollywood which subsequently opened in 1986?
  • Did you know The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited park in the United States, ahead of the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone?
  • Did you know that David Crocket – the legendary Frontiersman, hunter, soldier and politician – was born in Greene County’s community of Limestone in 1786 (located between Greenville and Johnson City)?
  • Did you know that Tennessee Ernie Ford (a.k.a. Ernest Jennings Ford), a national television personality and recording artist of the 1950s-1970s, was born in Bristol, Tennessee in 1919?
  • Did you know that during The Great Depression (1929-1939), 9,000 banks failed?
  • Did you know that the soft drink Mountain Dew was developed in Knoxville in the 1940s and later bottled in Johnson City?
  • Did you know that the First Bank of the United States was conceived in 1790 in Philadelphia?
  • Did you know that there is more Monopoly money printed every year than actual cash?
  • Did you know that the largest denomination of U.S. currency was the $100,000 bill printed from December 1934-January 1935 and only used in transactions between Federal Reserve Banks and the U.S. Treasury?
  • Did you know that the eagle on your money has a name? Peter the Mint Eagle!
  • Did you know that U.S. paper money is not paper at all? It is 75% cotton and 25% linen.
  • Did you know that coins have ridges to protect against counterfeiting?
  • Did you know that a dollar bill only lasts 18 months before it wears out?
  • Do you know how the word “buck” came to describe money? It’s because before paper money, people traded deer and elk skins (bucks) for goods and services.
  • Did you know that until 1974, banks could (and usually would) refuse to issue a credit card to a woman unless she was married and her husband co-signed for the card?

Prizes: One (1) winner will receive one (1) $850 gift card for the grand prize. Five (5) runners up will receive one $85 gift card.     

Judging: Each comment to the post will be judged based on the number of “likes.” The comment with the highest number of “likes” will be the winner of the grand prize followed by the five runners-up. In the event of a tie a committee of Citizens Bank employees will cast the final determination.

How to Enter:

Contest begins on August 28, 2019 at 12:01 a.m. ET and ends on October 24, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. ET (the “Promotion Period”). Between August 28, 2019 and October 24, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. CT (the “Entry Period”) any participant must:

  • Comment on Citizens Bank’s original contest introduction post.
  • Entrants will comment on the post (no more than 50 words) telling us why you love East Tennessee.


  • Hand-print your name, address, city, state, zip, day and evening phone numbers, your Why I love East Tennessee message and the words "Why I love East Tennessee Contest” on a 3"x 5" card, and mail in a stamped #10 envelope, hand printed, to: "Why I love East Tennessee Contest”, P.O. Box 1900, Elizabethton, TN 37644-1900. – Citizens Bank will post the content to a comment disclosing that this is a mail-in entry. 


Limits: One entry per person.  All comments will be screened by Citizens Bank employees for relevant content, obscenity, abuse, profane language, etc. If a comment is found to contain one or more, the comment will be hidden and/or deleted. 


ELIGIBILITY: TO PARTICIPATE, YOU MUST BE A LEGAL U.S. RESIDENT, AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE AT THE TIME OF ENTRY. The following are not eligible to win: a) officers, directors, and employees of Citizens Bank (the “Sponsor”), its affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, and any other party that is directly involved with the development or implementation of this Sweepstakes; and b) the immediate family members (spouse, parents, children, siblings, and their respective spouses) of employees and household members with whom they may reside (whether related or not).

OVERALL WINNER SELECTION DATE: On Tuesday, November 5, five (5) runners up will be announced and the one (1) grand prize winner will be announced.

PRIZES & CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive one (1) $850 gift card for the grand prize. Five (5) runners up will receive one $85 gift card. The winner will be selected based on the voting method described above. Winners will be required to execute and return an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability Release and (optional) Publicity Release within 3 days of the contest notification date. Winner releases Sponsor from any and all liability for injuries, damages or expenses sustained in connection with the giveaway or with the receipt, ownership or use of the prize. Prizes are not transferable, except at Sponsor’s sole discretion. All taxes are the winner’s responsibility. A 1099-MISC tax form will be sent to winner and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the cash equivalent amount of the prize package. 

ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning the “Why I Love East Tennessee” Contest depend upon the total number of eligible entries received as of October 24, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. and the “likes” that each comment receives.

GENERAL: Any prize claim by any entrant is subject to final verification by the Sponsor, whose decisions are final and binding in all matters relating to this promotion. All federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations apply. Sponsor is not responsible for printing, distribution, or production errors and Sponsor may rescind, cancel or revoke this contest based on any such error or any other factor outside of its reasonable control without liability at its sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to void any and all entries and/or votes of an entrant who submits more than the stated maximum limit of entries by using multiple/different Facebook accounts, e-mail addresses, identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods, or who Sponsor believes has attempted to tamper with, influence or impair the administration, security, fairness, or proper play of this Contest. Participants agree to the terms of these full Official Rules and that the prize package will be awarded upon the condition that Sponsor, its advertising/promotion agent, Facebook and/or vendors associated with this promotion shall have no liability whatsoever and shall be held harmless for any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind to persons or property, including death, sustained, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, in connection with or resulting from acceptance, possession or use/misuse of any prize, or participation in this sweepstakes or participation in any sweepstakes-related activities, and further acknowledge that said parties have neither made, nor are in any manner responsible or liable for, any warranty, representation or guarantee, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relative to any prize offered, including but not limited to its quality, mechanical condition or fitness for a particular purpose.

WINNER INFORMATION: Winner will be notified by Facebook Messenger from Citizens Bank through the messaging button located below the winning comments. The winners will then sign a release form for their names will be announced on the Citizens Bank Facebook page ( and website ( To obtain the name of the winner, available after November 10, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Citizens Bank, “I Love East Tennessee” Winner Information Request, P.O. Box 1900, Elizabethton, TN 37644-1900.

SPONSOR: Citizens Bank, P.O. Box 1900, Elizabethton, TN 37644-1900.

This contest is being administered by Citizens Bank. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.