Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

November 27, 2013

First National buys land for Morehead branch

By Keith Kappes - Publisher

Nov. 27, 2013 — It’s official.

The First National Bank of Grayson is going to make Morehead its eighth business location.

Bank President Willis H. Kelley confirmed Tuesday that First National has purchased a five-acre tract of land on Viking Drive off Flemingsburg Road, north of I-64.

“We’re pleased to have federal approval to proceed and now we’re excited about planning and building this new branch,” Kelley said. “Expansion through branch banking has been good business for us and we expect a very positive experience in the Morehead area.”

The property was owned by Hallwood Development, LLC, a group headed by Morehead realtor Larry Breeze.

As a nationally-chartered bank, First National could not expand without the approval of the Comptroller of the Currency in the U. S. Treasury Department.

Kelley said the bank has a “green light” to put the new branch into operation within the next 18 months.

“We’ll finish our planning this winter and start construction in the spring and, hopefully, will be in operation there before the end of 2014,” he added.

Kelley said the new facility would cost approximately $1.5 million, include about 8,000 square feet of floor space and provide jobs for 12 to 15 persons at the beginning.

“We believe there is the potential to double our staff within a few years as our business grows,” he said.

First National already has nearly 1,000 customers in Rowan County.

Kelley said when the branch bank application was submitted in September that the Morehead facility would be First National’s most expensive construction project in its 111 years of existence.

The bank currently has two locations in Grayson and single branches in Rush, Willard, Olive Hill, West Liberty and Sandy Hook.

First National currently has more than $211 million in assets.

The bank’s last expansion was to West Liberty in 2002. That building was damaged in the 2012 tornado but was repaired and reopened.

E. E. McGuire family members are majority stockholders of the bank. Kelley has served as president for 10 years.

First National will become the sixth fullservice banking institution in Morehead, joining Whitaker Bank, Kentucky Bank, The Citizens Bank, US Bank and Morehead Community Federal Credit Union.

Kelley said a groundbreaking ceremony would be conducted in late spring.

“We believe the Morehead market will respond very favorably to our old fashioned approach to banking where the customer comes first,” he stated.

Keith Kappes can be reached at or by telephone at 800-247- 6142.