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First National acquires Mulberry Grove, Greenville banks

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Ernie Chappel, president of The First National Bank of Vandalia, and Preston Smith, president of The First National Bank of Mulberry Grove, announced on Tuesday that the two institutions have reached an agreement by which First National Bank of Vandalia will purchase The First National Banking Centers located in Mulberry Grove and Greenville.

In that acquisition, The First National Bank of Vandalia will acquire the deposits and certain assets, including loans, of the two Bond County banks.

We are delighted about this opportunity to expand our banking family in the Greenville and Mulberry Grove communities, said Chappel, and we look forward to continuing the fine tradition of community banking established by Preston Smith, his directors, officers and staff. We have operated in communities such as Mulberry Grove and Greenville for 143 years, and we intend to carry on that same commitment to community banking.

Smith said: Our board considered a number of options and concluded that this is an excellent opportunity for our stockholders, customers and our communities. First National Bank of Vandalia is an organization with a long history of community banking service. This was a major factor in our decision, and we look forward to working with them.

Our directors and staff are very proud of what we have accomplished since we first acquired The First National Bank of Mulberry Grove in 1989. We have seen our bank grow from $6 million in assets and one location to over $105 million in assets and four locations, Smith said. The past 19 years I have spent in the Mulberry Grove and Greenville communities have been rewarding to me and I will certainly miss the day-to-day relationships that have grown out of those community banks.

I plan to dedicate my future time to servicing the needs of the Mattoon community and our customers at The First National Bank locations in Mattoon. I also look forward to working again in the Mattoon area and to continuing our relationship with the community.

Once the transfer is finalized, The First National Bank, Mattoon Community Banking Centers, will have more than $50 million in assets in its two locations, with an additional $40 million in trust assets. The bank will maintain its original National Banking Charter, established in 1904.

It is anticipated that the actual conversion will take place in early October.

Following that transaction, The First National Bank of Vandalia will have more than $230 million in assets and seven locations in Fayette, Marion and Bond counties. The bank is one of the oldest independently owned financial institutions in Illinois, with an original charter in 1865.