In 1876, a forward-thinking group of Yazoo-area businessmen formed a bank to supply capital for the cotton industry, which was finally rebounding after the devastation of the Civil War. Over the next 40 years, Bank of Yazoo weathered all manner of challenges, from Yellow Fever epidemics to major floods to plummeting cotton prices to the infamous 1904 fire that claimed not only the Bank’s offices, but 27 blocks of Yazoo City. After the fire, the bank rebuilt in a more favorable location, and by 1914, the bank became a “guaranteed” bank with deposits approaching $1 million.
When the great Depression reached Yazoo City, the Bank took swift action, closing briefly to keep deposits and depositors safe from a “run” on the bank. In 1935, the same year Bank of Yazoo began accepting FHA home loan applications, it was also accepted by the newly formed Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. As World War II approached, Bank of Yazoo proved equally foresighted, entering into an agreement to sell U.S. Defense Savings Bonds six months to the day before Pearl Harbor. A few years later, after oil was discovered in the county, the Bank began encouraging yet another industry with loans for oil leasing and drilling.
By 1945, resources were up to nearly $6.5 million, and the Bank was accepted as a member bank of the Federal Reserve System. The 1950s brought drive-through service for customers, another first for Yazoo City banking, while the 1960s and 1970s saw record growth in deposits, branches and service when the Bank opened its personal loan department in 1976. More recently, Bank of Yazoo marked the new millennium with successful entry into new markets: in Madison County with the opening of the Flora office in 2005, and in Rankin County with the opening of the Crossgates office in 2005 and the Flowood office in 2007.