The Oklahoma Bankers Hall of Fame inducted its 2019 class – its second ever – today at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City. John V. Anderson, with F&M Bank; the late Clark and Wanda Bass, with First National Bank & Trust Co., in McAlester; Oklahoma State Banking Commissioner Mick Thompson; and the late Morrison Tucker, a longtime prominent Oklahoma City-area banker, made up the 2019 inaugural group.
The ceremony was hosted by the Oklahoma Bankers Association’s immediate past chairman, Sandy Werner, who is also CEO of First National Bank & Trust in Elk City. Also, during the event, Michael Hightower, a prominent Oklahoma banking historian and biographer, talked about the importance of Oklahoma bankers and the banking industry to the state.
OBA President and CEO Roger Beverage introduced each inductee. Their bios are as follows:
John V. Anderson
John V. Anderson has been chairman emeritus and a director at F&M bank in Edmond since 2011, and has served in various capacities with the organization since purchasing it in 1972.
After graduating from Choctaw High School in 1945, he then served in the U.S. Navy for a year. Upon his return, he attended night school at Oklahoma City University and began working at Liberty National Bank & Trust in Oklahoma City as a messenger and bookkeeper.
He worked with Liberty in various roles for the next 26 years, eventually purchasing what was then Farmers & Merchants bank in Crescent.
Besides Liberty National Bank and F&M Bank, he has also served as the organizer, president and CEO of American Heritage Bank in El Reno, and senior vice president and president of United Bank Advisory Services for United Oklahoma Bank in Oklahoma City.
He served on numerous banking, administrative and philanthropic boards during his career, including with the Oklahoma Bankers Association’s board of directors in 1981-82.
Clark and Wanda Bass
Clark Bass is best known as a former chairman of the board of First National Bank & Trust Company of McAlester.
He was born in Caddo in 1912 and graduated from the University of Oklahoma. Following graduation, he opened a consumer finance company in Durant. During World War II, he served in the armed services. At the end of the war, he returned to Durant and purchased a controlling interest in Durant National Bank, where he served as CEO.
In the early 1960s, he helped organize Inwood National Bank in Dallas. In 1966, he moved to McAlester to take on the day-to-day leadership of FNB.
He died in 1999.
Wanda Bass served as chairman of the First National Bank & Trust Company of McAlester following her husband’s death in 1999.
She was born in 1927 in Ewing, Texas, and attended the University of Texas, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and management.
She may be best known for her gifts to Oklahoma City University. Her purchase of 105 Steinway pianos for the school in the early 2000s was the largest single purchase of Steinways at the time it was made.
She died in 2008.
Mick Thompson is a former Poteau banker, was appointed Oklahoma bank commissioner on Sept. 1, 1992, by Gov. David Walters. He was reappointed by Gov. Frank Keating in 1996 and 2000, by Gov. Brad Henry in 2004 and 2008, and by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2012 and 2016.
He came to the position with experience as executive vice president of Central National Bank in Poteau from 1977 to 1990.
He was also a state representative for Poteau from 1976 to 1984, serving as chairman of the House Banking and Finance Committee, majority floor leader from 1983 to 1984 and a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committee. During his tenure as chairman of the Banking and Finance Committee, the Oklahoma legislature enacted the state’s first branch banking and multi-bank holding company laws.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, holds a master’s degree from Northeastern State University and a graduate degree in banking from the University of Colorado.
Morrison Tucker was a longtime Oklahoma City resident, who was a major influence on banking in Oklahoma City and the state.
Born in 1911 in Lincoln, Nebraska, he went on to Dartmouth. He was eventually on the original team of examiners for the newly formed FDIC in 1933 and later became the agency’s assistant chief examiner. He also wrote its first bank examination manual, many aspects of which were still in practice when he died.
After world war ii, he worked with what was left of the Philippine government to reopen that country’s banks.
The family moved to Oklahoma City in 1951 when he took a position as executive vice president of the Liberty National Bank.
His interest in typography led him to create a bank form company in 1968, American Bank Systems.
He was also involved in numerous civic activities over the years, including serving on the board of trustees for mercy hospital and St. Paul’s church, and was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1978.
He died in 1994.
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The Oklahoma Bankers Hall of Fame was created by the Oklahoma Bankers Association in 2018. Nominees for each class were selected by a banker roundtable based on contributions to the Oklahoma banking industry, and the final honorees were voted upon by selected bankers statewide. For more information, contact the Oklahoma Bankers Association at (405) 424-5252.