The Oklahoma Bankers Hall of Fame inducted its 2019 class—its second ever—on December 5 at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City. This year’s inductees include John V. Anderson, F&M Bank; the late Clark and Wanda Bass, First National Bank & Trust Co.; Mick Thompson, Oklahoma State banking commissioner; and the late Morrison Tucker, a longtime Oklahoma City. The ceremony was hosted by Sandy Werner, immediate past chair of the Oklahoma Bankers Association (OBA). During the ceremony, Michael Hightower, a prominent Oklahoma banking historian and biographer, talked about the importance of Oklahoma bankers and the banking industry to the state. Roger Beverage, OBA president and CEO, introduced each inductee.
John V. Anderson has served as chairman emeritus and a director at F&M Bank in Edmond since 2011, and previously served in various capacities with the organization since purchasing it in 1972.
After serving in the U.S. Navy for a year, Anderson attended night school at Oklahoma City University and began working at Liberty National Bank & Trust as a messenger and bookkeeper. He served in various roles at the bank for the next 26 years, eventually purchasing what was then Farmers & Merchants Bank in Crescent.
Besides Liberty National Bank and F&M Bank, he has also served as organizer, president and CEO of American Heritage Bank in El Reno, and senior vice president and president of United Bank Advisory Services for United Oklahoma Bank in Oklahoma City.
Anderson served on numerous banking, administrative and philanthropic boards during his career, including on the Oklahoma Bankers Association’s board of directors (1981–82).
Clark Bass was former chair of First National Bank & Trust Co. of McAlester. Upon graduating from the University of Oklahoma, he opened a consumer finance company in Durant, but soon was serving in the armed forces during World War II. After the war, Bass returned to Durant and purchased a controlling interest in Durant National Bank, where he served as CEO. In the early 1960s, he helped organize Inwood National Bank in Dallas. In 1966, he moved to McAlester to take on the day-to-day leadership of First National Bank & Trust. He passed away in 1999.
Wanda Bass served as chair of First National Bank & Trust Co. of McAlester following her husband’s death. She may be best known for her gifts to Oklahoma City University. Her purchase of 105 Steinway pianos for the school in the early 2000s was the largest single purchase of Steinway pianos at the time. She died in 2008.
Mick Thompson, formerly with Central National Bank in Poteau, was appointed Oklahoma bank commissioner in 1992 by Governor David Walters. He was subsequently reappointed by Oklahoma Governors Frank Keating, Brad Henry and Mary Fallin, and continues to serve the state in that capacity. He was also a state representative for Poteau from 1976 to 1984, serving as chairman of the House banking and finance committee, majority floor leader (1983–84) and a member of the appropriations and budget committee. During Thompson’s tenure as chairman of the banking and finance committee, the Oklahoma legislature enacted the state’s first branch banking and multi-bank holding company laws.
Thompson earned a bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, holds a master’s degree from Northeastern State University and a graduate degree in banking from the University of Colorado.
Morrison Tucker was a major influence on banking in Oklahoma. Having graduated from Dartmouth College, he went on to serve on the inaugural team of examiners for the newly formed Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in 1933 and later became the agency’s assistant chief examiner. He also wrote the FDIC’s first bank examination manual, many aspects of which were still in practice when he died in 1994.
After World War II, Tucker worked with what was left of the government in The Philippines to reopen that country’s banks. Morrison and his family moved to Oklahoma City in 1951 when he took a position as executive vice president of Liberty National Bank. His interest in typography led him to create a bank form company, American Bank Systems, in 1968.
Tucker was involved in numerous civic activities over the years, including serving on the board of trustees for Mercy Hospital and St. Paul’s Church. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1978.
The Oklahoma Bankers Hall of Fame was created by the Oklahoma Bankers Association in 2018. Nominees for each class were selected by a banker roundtable based on contributions to the state’s banking industry. The final honorees were voted upon by selected bankers statewide.
Published in Bankers Digest January 13, 2020