The First National Bank of Greenwood, South Carolina

The First National Bank of Greenwood



Charter Number:



September 1903


May 1930

    The year 1903 saw three new banks open in Greenwood, South Carolina.  One was The First National Bank of Greenwood and one was The Loan and Exchange Bank of Greenwood.  The First National Bank of Greenwood was the only national bank ever chartered in the county.  In March of 1907 the slightly smaller Loan and Exchange Bank, headed by CP Simmons and JT Medlock, merged with The First National Bank and the name of the new bank was The National Loan & Exchange Bank of Greenwood.  During the merger SH McGhee left the bank and JT Medlock took over.
    The National Loan & Exchange Bank failed during May of 1930.  It had a fairly long corporate life which enabled it to issue 1902 red seals and blue seals along with 1929 small size notes.  Notes with the bank’s first title are quite rare as are notes with a red seal from the second title.  All other notes are readily available for a few hundred dollars.

    If you have some currency from Greenwood, please
tell me about it.  Whether it is for sale or not, I still always like hearing about notes.

First President:

SH McGhee

First Cashier:

EJ Cunningham

Samuel Hodges McGhee Sr.

10/16/1873 Cokesbury, SC
02/25/1948 Greenwood, SC

    Samuel Hodges McGhee was the first president of The First National Bank of Greenwood.  Upon graduating from Wofford College in 1895 SH McGhee began teaching in Marion County.  In 1897 he successfully passed the bar examine and in 1899 relocated to his old home of Greenwood to practice law.  He was involved and a partner of several different law firms in Greenwood and Abbeville County over the years.  He was also an owner and editor of The Greenwood Index in the very early part of the 20th century.  Samuel H McGhee also had a successful stint as a state senator representing Greenwood from 1901-1904 and then again from 1917-1920.  He was also a past president of The Panola Cotton Mill and the Joanna Cotton Mill.
    Most importantly though, Samuel Hodges McGhee was the president of The First National Bank of Greenwood before it changed to The National Loan & Exchange Bank of Greenwood in 1907.  He held this position between the bank’s chartering in 1903 until 1906.  His classmate at Wofford, William Coleman (the only president of The First National Bank of Whitmire) specifically chose McGhee to run the bank, of which Coleman was the principal stockholder. 
SH McGhee would later become president of the Commercial Bank in Greenwood in the 1920s.

Edward Jones Cunningham

abt 1870 - Lancaster, SC
03/10/1962 - Camden, SC

    There was a lot of turnover in the cashier role when The First National Bank of Greenwood opened.  According to OCC reports EJ Cunningham was the first cashier of the bank.  In 1900 an EJ Cunningham was listed as cashier of The Heath Banking and Mercantile Company in Lancaster.  And according to a 1907 banker’s directory, EJ Cunningham was an assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Sumter.  EJ Cunningham is likely Edward Jones Cunningham.  However, he has no living relatives to confirm this assumption.  EE Child followed Cunningham as cashier.  Child was replaced by JE Crymes who is the signer on the only known 1902 red seal national bank note from Greenwood.  In 1911 WT Bailey became the cashier of the bank and he held that role until the bank closed.


Other People Associated with the Bank: JT Medlock, EE Child, JE Crymes, NA Craig, GC Hodges, HL Watson, WT Bailey

1902 Red Seal National Bank Note from Greenwood
Donated to The South Carolina State Museum by Roy Pennell