Skip to Main Content
El Paso Community College
Library Research Guides

Historical Markers Project: First National Bank Building

Survey of thirty-three historic sites in the El Paso area, with research materials, interviews, and summary materials.

First National Bank Building El Paso, Texas

Research Packet and Narrative by: Adriana Davidson and Dr. George D. Torok

Honors Project - Spring 2002 - National Endowment for the Humanities Historical Markers Project


State National Bank

First National Bank Building, 1892 at the corner of San Antonio and  South El Paso. Photo by Parker. Image provided by the El Paso County Historical Society Collections


Marker Text:   First National Bank

The First National Bank Building was constructed in 1882-83 as part of the real estate boom that took place after the arrival of the railroad. Joshua and Jefferson Reynolds, active in New Mexico banking, financed its construction and were the bank’s first presidents. It was originally a two-storey structure in the Italianate style but in the mid-1880s a pitched roof,  which served as the walls of a third floor,  was added. This transformed it into the Second Empire style. The interior had elaborate woodwork and glass partitions that separated the many offices and professional spaces. By 1900, a main entrance was installed near the center of the East San Antonio side of the building.


Over the years the First National Bank Building has housed many businesses and services, including the Wells-Fargo and Company’s Express, the Texas & Pacific Railroad,  and the El Paso Herald newspaper. The building’s most famous tenant was gunfighter John Wesley Hardin who had his law office here on the second floor, on the El Paso Street side,  in the 1890s. When the First National Bank merged with the American National Bank in 1914, it vacated the building. As one of El Paso’s most prosperous banks it thrived for more than fifty years but closed its doors in 1933 during the Great Depression.  Since that time the building has undergone several renovations and continues to serve as retail and  professional office space.




Hovious, Jo Ann Platt. Social Change in Western Towns: El Paso, Texas, 1881-1889. El Paso, TX: Mangan,  1972.

Leach, Joseph. Sun Country Banker: The Life and Times of Samuel Doak Young. El Paso, TX: Mangan Books, 1989.

Mangan, Frank. El Paso in Pictures. El Paso, TX: The Press, 1971.

Metz, Leon. City at the Pass: Illustrated History of El Paso. Woodland, CA: Windsor Publications, 1980.

------. El Paso: Guided Through Time. El Paso, TX: Mangan Books, 1999.

------. John Wesley Hardin: Dark Angel of Texas. El Paso, TX: Mangan Books, 1996.

Sonnichsen, C.L. Pass of the North: Four Centuries on the Rio Grande. 2 vols. El Paso, TX: University of Texas at El Paso, 1980.

Timmons, W.H. El Paso: A Borderlands History. El Paso, TX: University of Texas at El Paso, 1990.


(El Paso, TX) Herald, April 25, 1906, March 2, 1909, May 12, 1923.

Unpublished Sources:

n.a. “First National Bank (Star Jewelry).” Unpublished Historic American Buildings Survey Report TX-3308, 1980.

EPCC Web site || EPCC Libraries Web Site || EPCC Library Catalog
Report a problem