Welcome to the First National Bank of Fort Smith
Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank
P.O. Box 469
Van Buren, Arkansas 72957

Tel: 479-474-1201 (call center)


Tel: 479-474-1201 (call center)

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Mon-Thurs
8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Fri
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Sat

866-546-8273 (After Hours)

This option is available thru your Online Banking Service.


Organized in May of 1886, Citizens Bank is the oldest incorporated bank in Crawford County and one of the oldest in the State of Arkansas.  An 1898 Frisco Railroad publication entitled Head Light Flasher said: "Since the organization of this bank in May 1886 to meet the demands of the business interest of Van Buren for adequate banking capital, the success of Citizens Bank has been most phenomenal . . ."

Founded by B. J. Brown, an attorney, the first bank was located in a frame building in the center of what is now the south side of the 700 block of Main Street.  Later, the bank was moved to a building on the north side of Main Street in the 600 block. The Citizens Bank building was erected in 1905 at the corner of 7th and Main.

When David T. Bryan left the Bank of Mulberry in 1910 to return to Van Buren, he founded the fourth bank in the City of Van Buren at that time, the Van Buren Trust Company. Four years later in 1914, Citizens merged with the Van Buren Trust Company and became Citizens Bank & Trust Company doing business at 7th and Main with John B. Brown as President and David T. Bryan as Cashier.

In 1919, Mr. Brown sold all of his stock to Mr. Bryan, who was elected President, a position he held for 36 years.  Mr. Bryan retired in January of 1955 after selling all of his stock to a group comprised of Basil Moody, Raymond Allen and Bill Echols. In 1956, Citizens Bank & Trust Company had total assets of $2,379,000.

In March of 1966, during the tenure of this ownership, a new main banking facility was completed in downtown Van Buren at 7th and Webster.  In 1966, the bank had total assets of $5,745,000.

In 1969, Mr. Moody sold his majority stock ownership interest to Doyle Hopkins.  Under this ownership, Dane Riggs served as President, and in 1971 Mountainburg got its first bank as Citizens opened a branch facility. Additionally, a new main bank facility was completed in 1975 in Cloverleaf Plaza at 3110 Alma Highway.  In 1976, Citizens Bank & Trust Company had total assets of $18,000,000.

In 1979, Jack Alexander bought controlling interest in Citizens Bank & Trust Company from various stockholders. Robert Hammerschmidt served as President. The Bank continued to grow and prosper with total assets in 1986 reaching $70,143,000.

In 1988, William W. Thomas was named President of Citizens Bank. In November of that same year, Vista Bancorporation, a one bank holding company, completed the acquisition of Citizens Bank from Mr. Alexander.  In announcing the acquisition, Jim Williamson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vista Bancorporation, said, "We are thrilled to be associated with Citizens Bank, its people, and the communities we serve.  We come from a community bank environment and understand what a positive impact a well-run community bank can have on its market place.  We are committed tooffering a new level of service to our customers and to the markets we serve."  Mr. Williamson became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank.

The year 1989 proved to be a dynamic and exciting one for Citizens Bank & Trust Company.  Highlights included extensive remodeling of the main bank facility, as well as renovation of all other branch locations.  A loan production office was successfully opened in Conway, Arkansas.  The bank enjoyed unprecedented growth and profitability with 1989 total assets exceeding $77,000,000.

The year 1990 was climaxed by Citizens' acquisition of the former First America Federal Savings Bank branches in both Alma and Van Buren with a purchase and assumption of some $33,000,000 in deposits and approximately $10,000,000 in loans.  Total assets ended the year 1990 at $122,664,000.

The years 1991 through 1993 saw continued growth and profitability in addition to the completion of a comprehensive program of renovating our branch delivery system and the establishment of a Fort Smith mortgage loan production operation.

The Board of Directors of Vista Bancorporation, the one bank holding company of Citizens Bank & Trust Company, in 1994 announced their agreement to merge with First Bank Corporation of Fort Smith, a bank holding company whose members include First National Bank of Fort Smith and National Bank of Sallisaw in Sallisaw, Oklahoma.  In making the announcement, Jim Williamson, Chairman of Vista Bancorporation, said, "We are proud to become officially associated with an organization whose reputation is without peer in the financial services industry . . . here or anywhere else. First National Bank is the undisputed leader in their market."  Total assets were $137,000,000.

The year of 2003 also proved to be an historic time for Citizens Bank.  In June, the bank opened its new branch in Alma on Highway 71 North.  This was followed in July with Mr. Williamson’s announcement that he would step down as CEO at the end of the year, but would remain as the Chairman of the Board.  He further announced that Mr. Thomas would also step down as President at the year end, but stay on as Vice Chairman of the Board.  Mr. Williamson announced that his replacement as President and CEO would be D. Keith Hefner.  The bank also reached a milestone in assets with total Assets at year end of $254,368,000.

Since January 2004, Citizens Bank has expanded its mortgage lending presence in Fort Smith and added an additional mortgage production office in Rogers, Arkansas. Citizens Investment Services was established to provide full service investment as well as advisory services for nontraditional deposit products. As technology continues to improve, Citizens has brought technological conveniences to its customers in the form of online banking, automated bill pay, cash management and remote deposit capture.  Combining a state of the art financial delivery system with the most extensive branch banking network in Crawford County enabled the bank to enjoy significant growth over the past seven years and end 2010 with assets of $369,400,000.

As the bank prepares for the future, it is dedicated and committed to the values of its past.  The bank’s commitment is to treat its customers fairly, practice its profession with integrity, and be a leading corporate citizen.  This has enabled the bank’s success for the past 125 years.  This is the pledge to which the ownership, Board of Directors and staff have committed.  Citizens Bank looks forward to continuing to serve the financial needs of the people of Crawford County and the River Valley. 

Citizens Bank & Trust Company     All Rights Reserved. Equal Housing Lender