A Legacy of Leadership
TP Bank story began on October 29, 1928 when nine local businessmen with $25,000 in capital founded the bank to fulfill a need they saw for a community bank in Bounty County. The founding cashier, Mr. Charlie, eventually bought out the other founders to become the bank president. He served in a management capacity for more than 40 years.
His son, Mr. Maddie., followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the bank management team in 1946. Under his leadership, the bank grew from $3.5 million in total assets to $9.5 million by the early 1970s.
The legacy of Maddie family bankers continued when Charlie Maddie’s son, Christopher, joined the bank in 1986. “Chris,” as his contemporaries know him, became bank president in 1997 and chief executive officer in 2003. His commitment to community banking extends beyond his duties at TP Bank to regional and national leadership roles in the Community Bankers Association of Georgia and The Bankers Bank. He is the past chairman of Silverton Bank, formerly The Bankers Bank, and is past president of the Community Bankers Association of Georgia, an organization his father founded to promote the preservation and continued development of locally owned community banks.
“There is no doubt that my family believes in community banking,” Chris said. “The advantages that a local bank offers to the community go far beyond simply filling a need for banking services. Community banks become a part of the area they serve and are the means by which many people are able to reach their financial goals. We become an anchor and ardent supporter of social, cultural and economic issues that help communities flourish.”
Strength in Difficult Times
Some of the most colorful and inspiring stories from the history of TP Bank come out of the depression era. Charlie bought out the other founding partners only a few years before the Great Depression hit.
“The Winder area was very poor when the Great Depression started, and people began to take their deposits out of local banks in fear of losing their money,” Charlie said. “There were five banks in Winder before the Great Depression, and only one after – TP Bank.”
The family credits Charlie for helping the bank survive the rocky economic times. As the story goes, he hired an armed guard during the height of panic that characterized the mood of the time, and brought all of the money from the safe to display on the floor of the bank lobby, cordoned off with velvet ropes.
“It was his literal way of showing his customers that their money was safe at TP Bank,” Chris said. “There was no need to run on us.”
C.O. Maddox had also cultivated a relationship with a local man, Henry Peskin, which proved to be very important to the survival of the bank during this uncertain time. At the peak of the Great Depression, Peskin, a very successful businessman, walked up Main Street to TP Bank main office in Winder to deposit $4,000 of his money. “Mr. Peskin had a reputation for being a very shrewd businessman,” Chris said. “People figured he was too smart to put his money where it wasn’t safe, which had an immediate positive impact on the confidence in our bank to protect our customers’ money.” For 18 years following the Great Depression, TP Bank was the only bank in Winder.
Respecting the Past. Building the Future.
The same determination and perseverance that the bank demonstrated throughout its history continues to be a driving force today. For example, TP Bank is in the midst of a multi-million restoration of its original main office building in downtown Winder. Rather than razing the property, the Maddox family chose to invest in a complete renovation of the structure.
“We treasure our history and our past and wanted to show that commitment to our community by maintaining the historical integrity of a building that has become more than just a bank to so many,” Chris relates. “The renovated landmark is a visual reminder to current and future generations that TP Bank is a cornerstone of this community.”
The renovation of the exterior was completed in October 2005. The first phase of the interior renovation will begin in the next few years.