A reception was held on Wednesday, March 26, for First National Bank’s Darill Leverett who visited with friends, customers, and associates. Leverett retires from the FNB Board of Directors after 46 years. Looking back on his long-time affiliation with the bank, Leverett said it has been “rewarding.”
After living in Lubbock, Texas, Carlsbad, N.M., and Amarillo, Texas, in 1963, Leverett and his wife found the right place to settle down. “Janelle and I chose Altus,” Leverett said. “We wanted to raise our children in Altus. It was just a smaller community that offered a lot. There’s not too many folks that get to live their adult life, and their children’s adult life, and their grandchildren’s lifetime in one community like my wife and I.”
Leverett began working at FNB in 1968 as a lending officer when it was owned by the McMahan family. The path has allowed him and his wife Janelle to enjoy watching their sons Joe and Brad grow up and be a part of the community, and also see their grandchildren grow up. The bank contributed to the education of his two sons Dr. Joe Leverett, and Judge Brad Leverett, he stated. In 1988, Leverett retired as a Lending Officer but remained on the Board of Directors.
From $13 million in assets in 1968, Leverett watched the bank grow to $290 million today.
“First of all it was having a good Board of Directors,” Leverett attributed. “And second would be the tireless efforts of Hatton McMahan, Jr.” McMahan was at FNB for 60 years, from 1953 until he passed away in 2013. “I’ve been affiliated with that family all these years,” he said.
Leverett’s interest in banking began early on in his life. As a young teenager, he and his friend woke up at 5 a.m. on Sunday mornings to stand at the corner of Broadway and Main outside First National Bank to sell the Daily Oklahoman.
“We’d get right out in the middle of that street and holler, ‘Daily Oklahoman! Sunday morning paper! Ten cents,” Leverett recalled. Together they typically sold 400-500 papers, earning 3-cents per copy sold. By the morning’s end they profited $2 to $3 each.
It was around that time that Leverett had a desire for the banking profession. He remembers seeing two McMahan brothers on those Sunday mornings when they would buy a newspaper to read at the bank. They donned suits with a hat and tie, and wore nice shoes.
“I would think, ‘Boy! Boy! Wouldn’t it be great to be a banker… have a hat, a nice suit, and a tie? And I made it. It happened. So I have fulfilled a dream. And for a boy that lived in a two room shack down by the railroad tracks in Duke, I have had a very rewarding life.”