Road Trip Oklahoma: The German National Bank

Friday, June 24th 2011, 7:10 pm
By: News 9

Darren Brown, News 9

WEATHERFORD, Oklahoma -- It looks like nothing else in Weatherford. Actually, it looked like nothing else in Weatherford way back when it was built. The German National Bank has its roots in the large German population that settled here at the turn of the 20th century.

George Wilkinson owns it these days. He bought it back in 1980 when he and his wife needed more space for their clothing store. It had been a couple more banks since then.

"So we said, 'Well, do you wish to sell it?' and they said, 'Make us an offer.'"

To his surprise the bank accepted his offer, and Wilkinson literally "bought the bank." He hired someone to repaint the outside, and gave them instructions.

"I asked him to look in behind the slate that was up there which was black, covered the sign."

The sign had been covered and changed to Liberty National Bank following World War One, when having a German bank here in America was not quite suitable.

These days the old bank holds clothes and supplies in its vault. Wilkinson has come across some souvenirs though.

"I have a copy of a $20 bill that was issued back during the time."

And there's this check from the actual bank.

George is retiring soon, and plans on selling his bank building. He just hopes the next owner has the same love of history.

"I even talked about putting that in the sale agreement--that the front will not change."