109 E. University
Historic Tax Credit Eligible
Located in National Register District
Qualified Opportunity Zone
Independently Listed on the National Register
Local MSSS Grant Eligible
Constructed in 1903, the First National Bank building is the best surviving exemplar of Romanesque Revival architecture in Siloam Springs. From its dawning, this building has continually housed a bank; first Farmer’s Bank, then First National, Bratt-Wasson during the Great Depression, First National again, and now Arvest Bank. The word “Bank” is etched in stone at the eastern entrance and the Benton County Hardware Company (BCHC) acronym is inscribed in the center of the upper façade. Connelly Harrington—a banker, prominent local businessman, president of the first Rotary generation in Siloam, and investor in the BCHC—held offices upstairs and established Farmer’s Bank.
The building was historically divided into two storefronts, as seen in the 1903 photograph. The eastern storefront was Farmer’s Bank and the western storefront was a drug store. By 1919, the entire building was remodeled, and the lower floor functioned solely as a bank.
As with other types of Victorian Era architecture, this Richardsonian Romanesque structure is highly detailed in comparison to its surrounding vernacular. Typical of the Romanesque style, this structure displays characteristics of multi-textured and multicolored masonry (both brick and rusticated stone) and round-topped arches over windows, entrances, or porch supports. Recognizable in the 1903 historic photo, there was once a pyramidal turret on the southeast corner of the roof. This emphasized the structure’s asymmetry and deviates slightly from the Romanesque normative of rounded towers with conical roofs. It is unclear when the turret was removed. The only other known instance of Romanesque architecture in downtown Siloam Springs was the rusticated stone archways at 204 S. Broadway, demolished from fire damage in 1948.
Additionally, the elaborate façade displays brick corbelling on the upper story and a thick horizontal course of stone, acting as a lower story cornice. Apart from the loss of the turret, the only significant changes are the restructuring of the two storefronts’ windows and entrances.
Currently, the structure is operated solely by Arvest Bank. Due to its historical and architectural significance, the First National Bank building is independently listed on the National Register, considered to be of national importance and deemed worthy of preservation. This is a recognition only six other buildings hold in the Siloam Springs Historic Commercial District.
For more information on this building’s history, contact the Siloam Springs Museum at Don@siloamspringsmuseum.com. For information on building improvement consultation, grants and tax credit opportunities, contact Main Street Siloam Springs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farmer’s Bank, c. 1910, Siloam Printing Collection.
Arvest Bank, d. 2020, Main Street Siloam Springs.