KS Bank Celebrates 90th Anniversary 1924 - 2014
It all started with a home, or more specifically, a home loan to a local family who dreamed of home ownership.
The primary objective in organizing Kenly Building and Loan on April 28, 1924 was to provide home loans to individuals in Kenly, NC and in the broader Johnston County area. The offices of the organization operated out of the back of the Bank of Kenly facility from 1924 until 1960, when the Association constructed its first office in downtown Kenly.
In 1961 the company changed its name to Kenly Savings and Loan Association. It was in this same year that the company hired its first Executive Vice President, Mr. Harold McRae. Mr. McRae served as Executive Vice President of the company from 1961 until1990. Under his leadership, the company opened its second office in Selma, North Carolina, in October of 1965. In addition, total assets of the organization grew to approximately $57 million under his tenure.
In 1990, the company elected its first President and CEO, Harold T. Keen, who continues to serve in that role. With expansion at the forefront of its agenda, the company purchased a bank branch in Wilson, North Carolina, in June of 1991, making its first location outside of Johnston County and its third retail branch location. Since that time, the company has opened locations in Clayton, Goldsboro, Garner, Smithfield, Wendell and Four Oaks, North Carolina. A mortgage servicing office is located in Greenville, NC.
In July of 1992, the company changed its name from Kenly Savings and Loan Association to Kenly Savings Bank, SSB. This name change emphasized a new focus from just loans and savings accounts to positioning the institution as a full service retail bank with checking and other traditional deposit products and services.
The year of 1993 proved to be the most pivotal year in the company’s history. Prior to 1993 the company was a state-chartered mutual savings bank; however, in December 1993 the company completed its mutual to stock conversion and became a state-chartered stock savings bank. In this mutual to stock conversion, Kenly Savings Bank became a wholly owned subsidiary of KS Bancorp, Inc. The company continues in this form today.
In order to avoid limiting the bank to one geographic area, the Board of Directors changed the name from Kenly Savings Bank to KS Bank, Inc. in 1999. Another major event in the bank’s history is the relocation of the corporate office from Kenly to Smithfield. The Board of Directors deemed it necessary to increase the bank’s presence in a major market in Johnston County, so the Smithfield corporate office and retail branch opened in November 2003.
Currently employing 86 individuals with $304 million in assets as of September 30, 2013, KS Bank continues to look for ways to provide state-of-the-art financial products and services as well as to be the best corporate citizen to our eastern North Carolina markets. The bank’s employees proudly live, work, play, and volunteer in our ten market areas.
From its beginnings in 1924 until now, the company has rested upon the capable shoulders of its Board of Directors. Past cornerstones of the Board such as Mr. L.C. Wilkerson, Mr. J. Dobbin Bailey, Mr. H Elwin Watson, all from Kenly, and Mr. J. Russell Kirby, from Wilson, Mr. J. Hayden Wiggs, from Selma, and Mr. N. Graham Holt, from Princeton. These men, along with their colleagues, helped lead the company into new territory and are to be commended for their visionary approach to growing the bank into the organization it is today. Their exemplary service to the company reminds current directors and employees to be diligent in their work so that they can leave a legacy as those who have gone before them.
In recognition of the bank’s 90th Anniversary, plans have been made for an April 24th celebration at KS Bank’s headquarters in Smithfield. Chamber members and customers will be invited to help celebrate this milestone in the bank’s history.