Magnolia History

Our History

While our history shows how things have changed over time, the things that haven’t changed are the foundation and principles upon which our institution is built – soundness, quality, leadership, and our commitment to always putting our customers first.
Founded in Eastman, Georgia
On October 14, 1909, a group of local businessmen and professionals determined that a banking institution was needed in Eastman; therefore, the First National Bank of Eastman was opened and was located at the corner of Third and Railroad Avenues.
Exterior branch sketch
State Charter
After many years of success, the First National Bank of Eastman applied for a charter in the state of Georgia. On December 28, 1918, the bank became a state-chartered institution and changed its name to the Bank of Eastman.

bank charter picture
Great Depression
When the market crashed in 1929, all banks were severely affected with many closing their doors for good. The Bank of Eastman stood up during this trying time and was the only bank in Dodge County to survive the years of the Great Depression.
very old safe
New Building
As the market grew in Eastman, Dodge County, and the surrounding areas, the decision was made to build a new bank building and move from the Third Avenue location. After securing the real estate, the building was constructed near what is now the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Oak Street, the main thoroughfare that runs through the heart of Eastman, Georgia.

Breaking Ground - Bank of Eastman

old lobby photo

As the construction began on the bank, they happen to come across a few pet bulldogs’ graves on the property.  This property once belonged to Mr. Coleman, a local physician, whose home was previously located on this property.  Mr. Coleman was the owner of Mr. Angel a, brindle and white colored, English Bulldog.  In 1944 Mr. Coleman notice that the University of Georgia was missing a mascot, so he corrected this by taking Mr. Angel to each of the games to stand on the sidelines together.  Mr. Coleman continued to do this for the next few years.  To the bank’s surprise one of those graves belonged to Mr. Angel.  To bring recognition and to honor Mr. Angel, a memorial was created that sits near the grave site in 2008.

Mr. Angel
Expansion into Gray, Georgia
Having a desire to expand its market reach outside of just Eastman and the surrounding area, the Bank of Eastman opened its first branch on December 23, 1997 – almost 80 years from the time it became state-charted – under the trade name of Magnolia State Bank at 271 West Clinton Street in Gray, Georgia.
bank wide shot
Expansion into Milledgeville, Georgia
Seeing the success that the branch in Gray was experiencing, the decision was made to open a second Magnolia State Bank branch in the growing market of Milledgeville, Georgia. Upon completion of a market study, the Bank of Eastman acquired the assets of First Liberty Bank’s Hatcher Square branch, and opened the first Milledgeville branch of Magnolia State Bank at 2451 North Columbia Street.
Photo of branch 3 outside.
Further Expansion in Milledgeville
As the Milledgeville market continued to grow at a rapid rate, the decision was made to open a third Magnolia State Bank branch in the historic downtown district of Milledgeville at 100 East Greene Street. This opened up the bank to the local businesses in the area, as well as the college communities that were booming.
Name Change
In order to unify and strengthen its brand, management made the decision on September 10, 2020 to officially change the name of the Bank of Eastman to Magnolia State Bank, allowing all of its branches to operate under a single name.