It was 1907, Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States, Hoke Smith was Governor of Georgia and in a hustling "Milltown" in South Georgia, Farmers and Merchants Bank was established. Milltown was the first and original location for the Bank as it opened its doors on May 22, 1907 taking in a total of $30.00 for deposit on the first official day of business. The capital, deposits and staff grew as the Bank survived two world wars, the depression, recession and bad crop years. During the Great Depression, Farmers and Merchants Bank kept its doors open while banks here and across the nation were failing. It closed only on Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Banking Holiday".
In 1922, The Bank of Milltown, chartered in 1905, closed its doors and consolidated with Farmers and Merchants Bank. The people of Milltown voted to change its name to Lakeland on July 20, 1925. As it is today, there is only one bank in Lakeland, Georgia, Farmers and Merchants Bank.
By 1957 the assets of Farmers and Merchants Bank had grown to over $1.5 million. The Bank facility was doubled in size and in 1964 the first night depository and drive-in window was added during renovations. By 1972 The Bank had outgrown its bank facility and purchased land to construct a new Bank. The current location was built and was opened for business on December 28, 1973.
As the 80's drew to a close, the Bank's assets were in excess of $40.9 million and despite the slow and rather weak economic recovery our nation was experiencing, the bank continued to prosper and grow through the early 90's. On March 10, 1993, the Bank's parent company, FMB Bancshares, Inc. entered into an agreement and plan of reorganization with United Bankshares, Inc. of Nashville, GA. The agreement was finalized on August 5, 1993 now giving the Bank two locations. With the promise of a new century right around the corner, a third location was established, The Clinch Banking Company which opened for business in January 2001. All three locations were merged to create one charter in 2003 under the Farmers and Merchants Bank name. Since 2003 the Bank has added three new locations, two in Valdosta, Georgia and one in Conyers, Georgia. As 2013 came to a close the Banks assets exceeded $555 million, a far departure from that first banking day in 1907, showing the Bank's dedication to meeting the needs of our customers and establishing financial growth and stability.
All of us here, at Farmers and Merchants Bank, are proud of our banking heritage and are even more excited about our future. We remain dedicated to the development of our long term plans, while remaining open to new opportunities that fit our banking philosophy. We plan to integrate each opportunity into changes that will make this company stronger and better diversified. It is the belief of management and their intention that our bank evolve with the changing needs of our customers. As the times and technology have changed, so has the Bank, but one thing has and will always remain constant is our commitment to be "The Best of the Best".