Cameron’s former First National Bank getting marker
CAMERON—The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has recognized the former First National Bank of Cameron building as a significant part of Texas history by awarding it an Official Texas Historical Marker. The designation honors the building, which is now home of Classic Bank, as an important and educational part of local history.
A dedication ceremony to commemorate the event will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 5 at the bank, 102 S. Houston in Cameron.
First National Bank of Cameron, organized in 1889, was one of the first banks in Texas to be chartered. It was preceded by two private banks, the Buckholts Exchange Commission, a small frontier deposit office which failed in 1892, and the Milam County Bank which was a victim of the Panic of 1892.
Through the years the bank has been stable and solid and has been of great benefit to Milam County. The bank has enjoyed strong leadership. For the past sixty three years, three generations of the Williams family have provided strong leadership for the institution. Because of this and other effective leadership, the bank remains today a solid, influential financial institution.
Representing the Texas Historical Commission for this occasion will be Bratten Thomason, director of the Division of History for the Texas Historical Commission, Geri Burnett, chair of the Milam County Historical Commission, Jackie Thornton, marker chair of the Commission and bank president Ricky Williams.
“The Official Texas Historical Marker program helps bring attention to community treasures and the importance of their preservation,” said Mark Wolfe, executive director of the THC. “Awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of our state’s history. This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of important cultural resources,” Wolfe said.
A subject qualifies for a marker if two basic criteria are met: historical significance and age. Historical significance is established by reviewing its role and importance in local history, and the age requirement depends on the topic. The THC’s Official Texas Marker Policies are outlined in the Official Texas Historical Marker Guidelines and Application Form, which may be obtained by contacting the History Programs Division, Texas Historical Commission, at 512-463-5853 or visiting the web site at www.thc.state.tx.us.
There are two types of Texas Historical Markers. Subject markers are posted solely for educational awareness and awarded more frequently than the Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL), which is a legal designation for historic structures and comes with a measure of protection. Unlike subject markers, the RTHL must also meet a third criterion—architectural integrity.
Texas has the largest marker program in the United States with approximately 12,000 markers. Seventeen states have used the Texas program as a model; the THC reviews more than 200 marker applications each year.
The Texas Historical Commission is the state agency for historic preservation. The agency administers a variety of programs to preserve the archeological, historical and cultural resources of Texas.