On July 7, 2017, Central Bank Illinois acquired all of the assets and branches of the former First National Bank & Trust Company of Rochelle. Branches in Rochelle, Ashton and Oregon joined the CBIL structure. FNB of Rochelle brings with it a great tradition of community banking and the staff remains focused on service to our customers, shareholders and communities.
Banking began in Rochelle more than 150 years ago, in the late 1850s, when Hinckley and Whitman of Chicago and Belvidere established the first bank in the town of Lane (now Rochelle). It was in a small wooden building on the corner where the Bain building was later located. This bank lasted only about a year.
In the early 1860s, another bank was opened, the W. E. Lewis & Co., later purchased by I. M. Mallory in about 1871. Mallory continued with this bank, and late in 1871 he organized another bank, the Rochelle National Bank and then merged the two. In 1881 Wilbur Stocking opened the second bank, the Stocking Trust and Savings Bank, later known as the Rochelle Trust and Savings. And in 1899 the third bank, the People’s Loan and Trust Company, was organized, and continued until 1932. These three banks were liquidated between 1931 and 1933 during the Great Depression.
Modern banking began in Rochelle with the organization of the National Bank of Rochelle on July 16, 1934. The first location of this new bank was 320 Lincoln Highway and the bank opened with a total of 7 employees and officers. Two years later, in 1936, the bank moved to the corner of Lincoln Highway and Cherry Avenue (referred to as the “Old Corner Brick”), formerly occupied by the People’s Loan & Trust Company.
In 1957 a new 13,200 square foot building was constructed at the bank’s downtown location, 510 Lincoln Highway, with 14 offices, a board room, and a parking lot. Remodeling in 1975 and 1985 increased the square footage to 16,800, and provided 19 offices, 2 conference rooms, a board room, a community room, and drive-up lanes. Architectural highlights included natural light provided by unshaded, curved windows; porthole windows; and three skylights. A new walk-up window and ATM machine were constructed inside the climate-controlled vestibule. The antique Peco-McIntoc clock in the parking lot, purchased in 1952, was completely restored in 1984.
The National Bank of Rochelle changed its name in January 1976 to First National Bank and Trust Company of Rochelle. In 1988 services were expanded to include financial planning and investment alternatives to the traditional bank investments. On April 3, 1994, a new “satellite” facility was opened at the Rochelle Commons shopping center on Highway 38 East.
On May 14, 1998, a second location was opened at First Financial Plaza in the Rochelle Commons shopping center, the renovated Spurgeon’s Department Store. Four other businesses also located to the Plaza – New York Bagel & Coffee Exchange, Accents Gifts, Xpressions Hair Salon, and Karl Barnes, CPA – and Query Insurance also moved part of their operations to First Financial Plaza.
Within a year, the bank expanded the Plaza by purchasing the entire western portion of the shopping center. In 2000 First National Bank and Trust Company of Rochelle moved its main office to First Financial Plaza, still maintaining a branch location downtown.
In May 2001 First National Bank and Trust Company of Rochelle acquired the former AMCORE Bank branches in Ashton and Rochelle. With these additions, the bank now had four locations in the area: in Rochelle, First Financial Plaza located at 340 May Mart Drive; the Downtown facility at 510 Lincoln Highway; and the 251 South facility at 1010 South 7th Street. The Ashton facility is at 803 Main Street in Ashton. Drive-ups were located at the Satellite/Plaza, Downtown on Lincoln Highway, 251 South on South 7th Street, and at Ashton.
In October, 2004, First National Bank purchased two branches from Blackhawk State Bank. The first branch, located at the corner of Cherry Ave & Lincoln Hwy (ironically, one of the very early locations for the National Bank), was immediately relocated and consolidated with the FNB downtown office at 510 Lincoln Hwy. The second branch from BSB was located at 307 Franklin Street in Oregon, IL.
The former AMCORE branch located at Hwy. 251 South was relocated and consolidated with the main office located at First Financial Plaza in December, 2005.
In 2009, the bank consolidated its downtown branch at 510 Lincoln Hwy with the main office in First Financial Plaza. The bank branching structure now consists of the main office and drive-up satellite at 340 May Mart Drive in Rochelle Commons (First Financial Plaza), the Ashton facility and the Oregon facility. Each location includes drive-up ATMs.