Heritage, Volume 02, Number 04, Fall 1985

"I think it is a good name and if we can
live up to the character of George Washington,
we will do well." Giddings selected
the old Norton building owned by
Mr. T. H. Dwyer at 115 East Main Street
and made the purchase of that property
for a total of $5,062.50. This excerpt is
taken from the Brenham Banner Press
dated Thursday, August 10, 1905, page 5:
"The old Norton building, purchased by
the new State Bank corporation, has been
thoroughly overhauled and improved in
general appearance. A fine glass front has
been put in, a first class vault has been
built, the banking house furniture and appurtenances
have arrived and been placed
in position, and it is a beautiful piece of
workmanship. As soon as the burglarproof
safe arrives, it will be placed in
position and the vault closed in and the
new bank will be ready for business."
There was, of course, opposition to the
new bank as it was felt that the community
could not support three financial institutions.
The two already in operation
were the First National Bank and Giddings
& Giddings, a private bank. However,
the first month's deposits were about
$100,000.00 with the new bank bringing
more money into circulation and at the
same time increasing the deposits at the
other two banks.
"We opened the bank on August 14th, but
did not receive deposits until the next day.
Mr. Oscar Bronenkant was the first man
to come in and congratulate us and Mr.
H. N. Hyman was among the first depositors,"
said Giddings.
The bank had to have a collector. Mr.
Henry A. Wood served in that position
for a while and was later succeeded by
Alfred Mueller. Giddings said, "We had
cotton accounts, slow notes and overdrafts
for a time." "There was one panic
in the early days,' Giddings wrote, "when
all banks had to limit withdrawals to
10 percent of deposits. Some people
came to the bank every day to withdraw
their 10 percent, but we weathered it all
right," Giddings wrote.

The bank has had only two locations. The
Norton building at 115 East Main Street
was renovated for the new bank at the
time the bank opened. It was again remodeled
in 1935, 1953 and 1965. In 1978

the bank moved to its present location of
200 West Vulcan Street.
The bank has had five presidents to lead
the institution. The first was H. K. Harrison
who served from the date of its organization
until his death in 1914 when
he was succeeded by F. H. Bosse who
served as president until his death in
1945. Bosse led the bank through more
than thirty years of prosperity with steady
growth year after year. After his death,
F. J. Kubitza was elected president, a
position he held for 17 years. Kubitza
died in January of 1963. M. L. Everett
was then elected as president and trust
officer and Dr. 0. F. Schoenvogel was
elected Chairman of the Board. Schoenvogel
had served as a board member for
33 years.
Everett led the bank through a period of
growth which included the move to the
present location of 200 West Vulcan.
Upon the retirement of Everett on December
31, 1980, William R. Gaskamp
was elected president of Washington
County State Bank and serves in that capacity
at this time heading a staff of 60
employees, all of whom take pride in their
work and strive to provide the best possible
service for Brenham, Washington
County and the surrounding community.
Under the leadership of Gaskamp, the
bank has completed a major expansion
program in an effort to more effectively
meet the needs of their customers.
Billy W. Sohns, Vice Chairman of the
Board, started with the bank some fortysix
years ago. Sohns said, "I was the runner.
The newest employee usually got the
job. I would go out and sell the cotton for
the growers and then deposit the money in
their account." Mr. Sohns recalls, "Mr.
Giddings kept the books manually, recording
each day's deposits and withdrawals
in the ledger." Mr. Sohns, who
has gained the loyalty and respect of the
whole community with many customers
seeking his advice and guidance, is referred
to as the resident historian of our
bank.
Washington County State Bank has helped

many people in the last 80 years and has
grown with the community. Currently assets
total more than $111 million as of
June 30, 1985 as the bank continues to
grow and serve.

References
"New State Bank," Brenham Banner
Press, Thursday, July 6, 1905, page 5.
"Frank Bosse Elected President,"
Brenham Banner Press, Friday, March
20, 1914, page 8.
"The New State Bank," Brenham
Banner Press, Thursday, August 10,
1905, page 5.
"Kubitza Elected New President,"
Brenham Banner Press, Monday,
April 30, 1945, pages 1 and 6.
"Brenham Has Oldest State Bank in All
of Texas," Brenham Banner Press,
Friday, August 7, 1953, pages 4 and 5.
"Frank Kubitza, 77, Noted Citizen
Dies," Brenham Banner Press,
Thursday, January 7, 1963, pages 1
and 6.
"Washington County State Bank: A
Proud History," Brenham Banner
Press, Thursday, January 7, 1978,
page 1.
"Washington County Bank Marks 75th
Anniversary," Brenham Banner Press,
Friday, August 15, 1980, pages 1 and
12.
Deed to Washington County State Bank,
Dwyer, T. H., Book 52, page 176,
August 21, 1905.
Department of Banking, State of Texas,
Charter Number 5, July 1, 1927.
LaNell Arndt, now serving as Assistant
Vice President and Personal Accounts
Manager, joined the staff of Washington
County State Bank in August of 1983.
EDITOR'S NOTE:

Information gained from her research has
led her to believe that Henry Quebe, Sr.
was her great-grandfather and one of the
original stockholders of the Washington
County State Bank.

HERITAGE * Fall 1985

19

Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 02, Number 04, Fall 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45445/. Accessed July 11, 2014.