MANNING - The year was 1932. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo from coast to coast and across the Atlantic. Gas cost 10 cents a gallon, and a loaf of bread was only 7 cents. The Yankees swept the Cubs in the World Series, and Babe Ruth made the "called shot," where he supposedly pointed to the centerfield area before unleashing a towering home run, his last homer in World Series play.
In 1932, the folks in Manning saw its first bank, the Clarendon Cash Depository, open on Brooks Street in what is now the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce office. After receiving a state charter in 1939, the Depository changed its name to Bank of Clarendon. The bank continued to grow, and in 1964 the need to expand saw the bank move to the corner of East Boyce and South Church streets in Manning. In 1981, the bank's new main office on 106 S. Brooks St. in Manning was completed. This location now serves as the bank's operation headquarters. In 1985, Bank of Clarendon added branches in Santee and Summerton. In 2007, the bank added a branch in the Wyboo community. In 2009, the bank expanded into Sumter with the establishment of a loan production office. In 2012, the Sumter location at 678 Bultman Drive expanded into a full-service bank.
Bank of Clarendon has had just six presidents. The bank's first president, Francis Reedy, was a cashier at Clarendon Cash Depository before assuming the role as president of Bank of Clarendon. R.R. "Bob" DuRant took over the bank's presidency in 1957. In 1964, Howard Elkins assumed the reins as president. William O. Buyck served as president from 1996-97. In 1997, A.C. English became president and served until 2006 when James Barry Ham, the current president, began his tenure.
Now, more than eight decades later and with the addition of four branch offices, Bank of Clarendon is sharing its 85th anniversary with customers and the folks in all the communities it serves. All week Bank of Clarendon has served lunch, hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza to folks in its branches in Santee, Sumter and Summerton. Today from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., the bank's Manning branch will be offering grilled hamburgers and hotdogs catered by a BOC grill master.
Since its inception in 1932, Bank of Clarendon has maintained a strong presence in Clarendon County, giving with time and generous donations to various charities and organizations.
"The community is everything to us," said Stacey McInnis, senior vice president. "Since we're a community bank, we completely rely on our community ties."
Giving back is important, he added.
"A number of our employees serve on various boards, giving their time and energy," McInnis said. "And the bank is very generous, giving monetarily to various organizations. We're a part of the community, and we take that very seriously."