The Chappell Hill Bank located just north of Houston may be the oldest continuously operated bank in America. It didn’t close on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s bank holiday in 1933.
It’s been robbed five times in its 100-plus year history, most recently in March 2010. Bank President Ed Smith didn’t want it to happen again. To send this message to would-be robbers, he took down the “No Firearms” sign posted on the bank’s front and posted the new policy on the front door:
Lawful concealed carry permitted on these premises. Management recognizes the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as an unaliienable (sic) right of all citizens. We support and encourage the carrying of licensed concealed weapons.
The policy applies to his tellers as well as customers. Seven women tellers are licensed to carry.
“No damn Yankee is going to tell us what to do,” Smith said. He means what he says. He had to stand up to regulators over the new policy. It’s not the first time he’s had to do so. An examiner once tried to get him to remove paintings of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from the bank’s walls.
“You don’t know that (customer) Mrs. Middlebrooks doesn’t have a .38 in her purse right there,” Smith said. “And, if you try something nefarious in the bank, you might wind up in a horizontal position. Come in here, and you might leave feet first.”
The policy seems to work. The bank hasn’t been robbed since. A number of new customers have come on board in response to the policy.