TSB was founded in 1946 by the late Dr. J. E. Walker, and his son, the late A. Maceo Walker. They dreamed of a bank, which would constructively change community conditions. Led by the late Jesse H. Turner, the bank developed innovative financial and community service.
TSB pioneered signature loans, real estate loans and church loans to African Americans – without a special endorsement. Perhaps the most far-reaching impact was that of home ownership. Prior to Tri-State’s existence it was difficult for African Americans to make loans on their homes or toward the purchase of homes. In its first ten years, in excess of $10 million of first mortgage loans on homes were made. This $10 million figure represented home ownership for over 2,000 black families.
TSB played an important role in the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s. Local sit-ins were planned in the bank’s boardroom, and bank officials kept the vault open one night to provide bail money for protesters. Also, when the Lorraine Motel, site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, was faced with foreclosure in 1982, Tri-State Bank provided $60,000 in loans to help save the facility. The motel became the National Civil Rights Museum. The Bank has provided loans to other community organizations and historically black colleges from Tennessee to Texas.
With initial assets of only $240,000, the bank’s assets have increased to the $103 million. From one small building and five employees, the bank has two locations and 25+ employees. TSB has used its resources to change conditions within its communities by enabling, enriching, and enhancing the dreams of its customers. Just as in years past, today, TSB stands poised to meet the dynamic lending requirements of an evolving society. Whether through our mobile and online banking products or via our vast network of ATMs, we stand proudly on the shoulders of our founders as we solve 21st century community conditions with 21st century banking solutions.