The Webb City Bank, during the 1916-1917 extreme remodeling. Note the ladies walking past and the sign on the lamp post that reads Webb City Bank. We do not often find photographs of construction or remodels.

From the 3rd floor
of the Webb City Public Library

Old News

Former main bank, now surplus, has been a longstanding Webb City fixture

Webb City Area Genealogical Society

May 1, 2024

The city hall was originally on the site.

Webb City Bank’s building in the 1890s.

This was the temporary bank during reconstruction in 1917.

This was the bank as it appeared after the 1917 remodel up until the 1978 remodel.

We thought it might be appropriate to cover the history of the Webb City Bank building at 100 N. Main St. since Mid-Missouri Bank is in the process of closing it. Now that Mid-Missouri Bank’s new full-service bank at 1421 S. Madison St. is open, the former main downtown bank is surplus. The drive-thru branch across the street, at 101 S. Main St., remains open.

The northwest corner of Main Street and Broadway was originally the site of the first city hall, along with the Metcalfe Drug Store.

Webb City Bank was established in 1882 by E.T. Webb, the son of Webb City’s founder, John C. Webb. It was incorporated in 1890, and a new building was constructed on the city hall site at 100 N. Allen (Main) Street. The 68-foot wide building was split in two, with the bank occupying the south 34 feet.

The style of this building would be classified as Romanesque Revival or Italianate since it has features reflecting both of these popular designs. The building carried this exterior facade for 27 years until the bank portion (south half) of the building underwent its first remodeling in 1917. 

It was decided to rebuild the exterior in a neoclassical style with steel and concrete instead of brick and limestone, while the north half remained as it was.  This bank’s new building style served the it well for many years, with minor updates made in 1941. 

The building was again remodeled in 1978 after the acquisition of the north half of the building, doubling the size of the bank. This new addition would house offices, a loan department and a board room.

Also at this time, Jack Dawson painted a mural of Webb City, which was hung above the cashier counter.

There was some polite controversy when the facade was covered by large pieces of sheet metal as downtowns across the nation tried to compete against malls. This period was known as urban renewal and has mostly been undone.

A concerned citizen submitted the following comment to The Joplin Globe, “It was with great disgust and grief that I stopped beneath the scaffolding before the door of Webb City Bank this past week.  The two men working were attaching ugly sheets of brown metal to what was once a charming, marble-crafted storefront.”

The brown sheet metal exterior would remain in place for the next 25 years, but much to the delight of many local residents the building was remodeled in 2003, once again taking on stately stonework. The interior of the bank was also remodeled at this time, preserving the old vault, patented in 1878, and adding glass window offices, metal embossed ceiling tiles and a teller’s counter fronted with marble that had been salvaged from the bank’s previous interior. 

In 2023, Mid-Missouri Bank decided to close its branch at 100 N. Main St. and construct a new facility at its 1421 S. Madison St. site, replacing the branch bank building that was built in the 1980s.

The drive-in bank at 101 N. Main St. remains open, maintaining the presence of a downtown banking institution that has been in place for the last 142 years.

The 1986 photo shows the brown sheet metal. Can you guess who was the concerned citizen that wrote to The Joplin Globe in 1978? – Don Howard photo

At the time of the 2003 renovation, the bank was already owned by a group that formed Mid-Missouri Bank, but the name Webb City Bank was still in use and was added to the south side of the building in large gold letters. In 2006, the name was officially changed to Mid-Missouri Bank and the exterior signs were changed. 

Webb City Area Genealogical Society

WCAGS members staff the Genealogy Room on the third floor of the Webb City Public Library. Current hours are noon to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month in the Genealogy Room.

Everything you want to know about Jasper County Missouri Schools is available at a site compiled by Webb City Area Genealogical Society member Kathy Sidenstricker.