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Celebrating 120 years of building financial futures in our community

The First National Bank of Dryden was founded in 1902 when J.B. Wilson, the then Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Tompkins County, met with local business leaders and farmers about starting a bank in Dryden. Each interested party pledged to purchase stock at $100 a share and raised a total of $25,000 to successfully organize the new, national bank. There were 58 original stockholders.

            That same year, Teddy Roosevelt was President of the United States and the automobile was relatively new. The most common way to get back and forth to the bank was on horseback, walking or by horse and buggy. Having a bank close by in the village of Dryden was very desirable.

1902; The Beginning

  In October of that same year, the stockholders met and elected seven directors for the bank and drafted the by-laws for approval and adoption. Hours were set for 9am-4pm with the doors closed for one hour at noon. Subsequent meetings progressed with the election of C.D. Williams as the Chairman of the board, M.E. Tripp as the bank’s first President, and F.H. Cuykendall as the original Cashier.  Board member George Cole was tasked with 50% of the capital for a new building and had two weeks to do it. A safe, furniture, fixtures, books, stationery and a sign were purchased and by the end of October, pledges were confirmed and the Articles of Association were executed. Preparations continued through the following month and by November 20, the Board of Directors authorized the bank to open its doors on Monday, December 1, 1902.

Original Board of Directors

  • Martin E. Tripp
  • Lorenzo Lewis
  • J.J. Montgomery
  • C.D. Williams
  • George Cole
  • Webb Corbin
  • J.D. Ross

Original Officers

  • Martin E. Tripp, President
  • F.H. Cuykendall, Cashier
Printed Currency, 20 Dollar Bill

First National Bank of Dryden Currency

The First National Bank of Dryden began printing their own currency before the doors opened in December of 1902.  The bills would include the signatures of the President and the Cashier at the time of printing.  The 20 dollar bill shown above was signed by the Cashier, Webb Corbin and the President, Seward J. Lupton.

October 21, 1914

Vintage Bank Picture

Inside picture of the original bank in Dryden, NY

October 28, 1922

At a meeting of the Board of Directors, a motion was made, and was unanimously passed that: “We submit and bid to furnish rooms in a new building to be erected by us for the time of 10 years at an annual rental of $720.  Said rooms to be made to comply with the specifications required by the Post Office Department.  Heat, light, and water to be furnished by us.”  

15 West Main Street

Inside 15 West Main Street, Dryden

September 6, 1930

On September 6, 1930, the Board of Directors voted to accept a print for a new bank building to be built at 15 West Main Street under the guidance of J.D. Ross.  The Board also authorized the purchase of the vault door (the same one used today) from Silver Creek Bank.  In 1932, the bank transitioned to the new building on 15 West Main Street.

August 23, 1935

Deposits of the bank became insured by the FDIC.

November 1, 1943

The morning after Halloween in 1943, a goat appeared in front of the bank on 15 West Main Street in Dryden.


October, 1961

The 1960’s was a unique timeframe for auto manufacturing.  The period brought class and alacrity while challenging size and strength.  The consumer demand was changing and the bank wanted to provide the right services for an evolving industry.   In October, 1961, the First National Bank of Dryden decided to release a business card size ad; to promote the auto loan products the bank had to offer and to show it was ready to keep up with the future of cars. 

Car Ad from 1961
October 1961 Advertisement
Outside of the bank 1964

1964; A New Modern Facility

 In 1964, the First National Bank of Dryden built a new location at 7 West Main Street in Dryden.

1964 Drive-Thru
1964 Bank Lobby

7 West Main Street Drive-Thru and Lobby

Along with manufacturing, the 1960’s brought a growing demand for modernization in the banking industry.  The surrounding communities were developing, and the bank Directors knew they had to meet the needs of a progressive community.

In wasn’t until 1964, when the First National Bank of Dryden built a contemporary facility to accommodate the needs of the surrounding areas.  The new building included a drive-thru, that was located in the back of the building, that is still in use today. 


Assets reached: $26,000,000.00

Advertisement from 1985

1985 Advertising

At the First National Bank of Dryden the customer is more than a number.  In the year 1985, advertisers thought of an idea to incorporate a special carpet rolled out for every customer that enters the bank.  When you entered the bank, everyone knew who you were. Today, we strive to keep that same methodology alive. Customers are greeted with a smile and are given the personal attention they deserve.  

"At our local Independent're not just a number...or just another deposit. You know us. We know you. You're an important part of the community and our future. At our local Independent Bank we understand the needs of the people in our community and work together to build a stronger future."
April 1985
Insert from the Cortland Standard


The bank opened a second location at 120 North Street in Dryden.  The time and temperature sign was added in June of 1987.  The picture shown represents the North Street Office as it stands today.

North Street Office
Cortland Office Build Near Completion


The Board of Directors decided to expand the bank’s reach to the Cortland County area.  W.L. Kline, Inc. was the contractor who built the new building on Route 13 in Cortlandville.

853 State Route 13

Winter Construction

The new office construction was no easy task.  The weather conditions were extremely challenging, making each stage a unique operation.  Nevertheless, the construction still moved forward and was completed by the time the doors opened in June of 2003.

Cortland Office Basement Construction
Cortland Office Wall Build
Back of the Cortland Office Build
Cortland Office Build Front View


Once again responding to requests from the community, the bank opened a fourth office on the 1st floor at 12 S. Main Street in Homer.  The bank officially opened the doors on January 23rd, 2017.

Homer Office Picture

Presidents of the First National Bank of Dryden

  • Martin E. Tripp 1902
  • George Cole 1904
  • J.J. Montgomery 1917
  • Seward J. Lupton 1919
  • J.D. Ross 1926
  • R.C. Tarbell, Sr. 1936
  • C.D. Griswold 1943
  • F.H. Stafford 1949
  • Ronald C. Denniston 1986
  • Clinton S. Brooks 2020

Cashiers of the First National Bank of Dryden

  • F.H. Cuykendall 1902
  • Webb Corbin 1910
  • Dorr S. Fellows 1926
  • Mary Hatfield 1933
  • Garth A. Jackson 1964
  • Ronald C. Denniston 1969
  • Robert B. Porteus 1986
  • Sandra L. Prugh 1987
  • Michael W. Shattuck 2013

Present Day

Over the span of 120 years, the bank’s commitment to excellence in customer service has withstood the test of time. Built on a solid foundation of personalized assistance and locally owned operations, the First National Bank of Dryden continues to look forward to the future of their customers and their community. 

The current Board of Directors can be found in the Directors & Officers link.

Directors & Officers
120 Gold Logo