The Ashton Bank , which was originally started by Mr. S. F. Mills and Mr. N. A. Petrie, was organized as a private bank in September 1869. The purpose of the bank was to carry on trade in the grain business. The bank was located in a little one story frame building. Mr. Mills served the Ashton Bank as its first President and Mr. Petrie as its Cashier. In 1876 a bank building was erected. This building was burnt in the great Ashton fire on March 28, 1889. A new building was built on the same site. The year 1912 brought a new Ashton Bank building at a cost of $20,000. This building was one story with "The Ashton Bank" engraved on the top part of the front of the building. The two dates, 1869 and 1912, are also engraved to reflect the year of organization and the year the building was built.
Our current building was built in 1 964. With this new building came a drive up, a basement with a two story vault, added parking and additional space for the new bookkeeping equipment. In 1984 the bank was granted permission by the State Banking Department to establish a facility in Rochelle. This facility , which was built to accommodate our Rochelle customers, was opened in November 1985.
In 1903 a public Charter was obtained and The Ashton Bank has been operating under the Charter of a State Bank since that time. In 1969 The Ashton Bank was given Trust Powers, therefore changing the name from The Ashton Bank to The Ashton Bank and Trust Company. This enabled the bank to keep up with the community and provide additional service for the constituents.
The Ashton Bank remained open through the depression and was one of the first banking institutions in this area to reopen following the bank moratorium. In 1953, John B Thompson and John P Ledlie purchased a substantial portion of the stock in The Ashton Bank. They came to Ashton from Iowa. Mr Thompson was appointed President in 1953 with Mr Ledlie serving as Vice President. In 1954, Mr Ledlie took over as President.
In the years since then, the bank changed hands several times. Upon the death of then-president David Ledlie, John Ledlie’s son, the bank was sold to the First State Bank of Princeton and subsequently sold to AMCORE Bank. In May 2001, the former Ashton Bank AMCORE branches were sold to The First National Bank & Trust Company of Rochelle. The Rochelle branch was later combined with FNB’s other Rochelle branch.
On July 7, 2017, FNB, including the Ashton branch, became a part of Central Bank Illinois. With its more than 100-year history in Ashton, the branch continues to operate with the same small-town values it was established under all those years ago.