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Mechanics Earns Spotlight Award

The Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce presented the Business Spotlight Award to Mechanics Bank. The award comes as the bank celebrates their 125th year serving the community. Chamber President Linda Maynor and other chamber representatives presented the award Friday afternoon. – Photo by Melody Smith

WATER VALLEY – The Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Mechanics Bank was presented the Business Spotlight Award on November 3. Mechanics Bank has a long history of commitment and involvement in the communities they serve. The bank’s officers and employees volunteer their free time with various charity and civic organizations. Mechanics Bank is dedicated to employee volunteerism, financial support for their communities, and a strong commitment to education. 


2017 marks the 125th anniversary of Mechanics Bank.  In 1892, the days when Water Valley served as a hub for the thriving railroad industry, J. V. Blackmur, founder and first President, established the Mechanics Savings Bank to serve the many rail workers who called the Valley home. 

This focus produced the bank’s original locomotive symbol used for the official seal. The bank began modestly with paid in capital of $8,000, authorized capitalization of $25,000, and a single location on Main Street, Water Valley, where the bank still calls home today.      

Mechanics Bank is the only remaining home-owned community bank serving Water Valley and has remained in continuous operation since 1892.  Even during the Great Depression, when many banks failed, and most surviving banks closed their doors temporarily to calm those in panic, Mechanics remained open to its customers throughout.  

On one occasion in 1931, during those tough economic times, then bank president W. E. Blackmur received a short-term loan for $25,000, from a Memphis-based bank to help meet customer demands.  Legend has it that as Mr. Blackmur and a bank associate were returning from Memphis with the borrowed funds, their vehicle broke down.  Mr. Blackmur sent his partner, suitcase full of cash in hand, to hide in a nearby cow pasture, while he sought help with their transportation.  Fortunately, the pair and the cash ultimately found their way safely home. 

The years saw the railroad industry prosper and wane while the bank expanded to serve the entire community.  During much of this time, the symbol that became most identified with the bank was the legendary “cow checks”, a result of the Blackmur’s dairy farming interests.  Even now, with the tracks removed from the Valley and the dairy long since gone, Mechanics Bank remains focused on honoring the local customers who have partnered in the bank’s success for more than 125 years.  

Today, the Mechanics Wrench Logo represents a community bank with assets totaling over $220 million, five bank locations in Water Valley and Oxford, 70 employees, and a base of customers who are considered family.  

Name-Drawing for $25  Visa Card

In honor of this Business Spotlight award, the Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce is offering a $25.00 Mechanics Bank VISA Card, to be awarded to the person whose name is drawn at NOON on Friday, November 17.    Everyone is encouraged to participate in this drawing, and you have “ten days and two ways” to sign up between November 8th and noon on November 17th.

You may (1) stop by the Mechanics Bank any time during regular business hours to sign up OR you may (2) sign up on the CHAMBER’s FaceBook page.  Go to:  Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, and find the post called “Win a $25 VISA Card.”  Then, type a COMMENT stating how old you were when you opened your first bank account.  (Note:  “LIKES” only will not be included in the drawing.)  

Both types of ballots will be collected and combined, one per person; and the winner will be called OR notified on FaceBook.  The winner’s name and photograph will be published in the following edition of the North Mississippi Herald.

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