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Pioneer Bank turns 120 this month

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct an error in the headline.

February marks 120 years in business for Pioneer Bank.

Since Pioneer Bank opened its doors in Roswell on Feb. 19, 1901 as the Roswell Building & Loan Association, it has grown into a large enterprise with more than $861 million in total assets and 150 employees, as well as many locations in six southern New Mexico communities.

“Team Pioneer celebrates 120 years in business by reflecting on our past, but more importantly focusing on our future,” said Christopher Palmer, president and chief executive officer. “The most inspiring aspect of Pioneer Bank’s continued growth and success are our team members and our partnership with the communities we serve.”

An announcement by the company gave the history of the bank, which is summarized here.

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An original meeting of shareholders on Dec. 27, 1900, resulted in a committee of nine being formed to prepare the charter and by-laws. Those were filed with Secretary of the Territory of New Mexico and approved by stockholders on April 5, 1901.

The first president of the board of directors was D.S. Rosenwald. Other presidents throughout the early years included Nathan Jaffa, 1902-1903 and 1906-1907; C.C. Tannehill, 1903-1906; E.A. Cahoon, 1907-1935; and Gov. J.F. Hinkle, 1935-1951.

The building and loan association weathered the depression years and became a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank system on Feb. 1, 1933. Its accounts were insured by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. on Sept. 15, 1936. In May 1967, the name Roswell Building & Loan Association was changed to Roswell Savings & Loan Association.

Several other mergers, stock changes and name changes occurred over the following years. On April 18, 2000, the current name of Pioneer Bank was adopted to reflect the full range of banking services offered. As of the end of 2020, assets stood at $861.65 million.

“Pioneer will pursue expanding their services with new technology and innovation to provide desired services to our customers,” the company announcement indicated. “Pioneer Bank takes being a ‘community bank’ as a personal mission to partner with our communities to cultivate growth for all. This means more than just specializing in deposits and loans. Pioneer Bank understands our responsibility extends to our neighborhoods, cities and towns, state and nation. With over 150 employees in locations that cover southern New Mexico, we know that our success is dependent on the success of our communities.”