During the past century, Monticello has grown from a frontier community huddled around a town square to a small city of more than 10,000 people. This century has witnessed two world wars, a major depression and a agricultural revolution. For Monticello and Drew County, the major theme of this century of change was the transition from a rural, small farm economy to a modern industrial and service economy. Through it all Union Bank and its predecessors have been part of Monticello and Southeast Arkansas, enjoying the good times and weathering the bad. As the dominant bank in the area, Union Bank shaped and was shaped by the social and economic environment.
By the year 1900, local investors felt that business was sufficient to justify a second banking venture. On November 19, 1900, Citizens Bank of Monticello was incorporated. Citizen's Bank existed from 1900 to 1915.
In October 1907, Monticello's banks were caught in a national financial crisis when their correspondent banks could no longer supply money. Since both banks faced the same situation, Citizen Bank invited Monticello Bank officers to a joint meeting. Monticello Bank had already decided to limit withdrawals to 5 percent of depositor's balances. Citizen's Bank went along with this plan, and the two banks issued a joint statement to the public, explaining that large city banks "have refused to pay check in cash or ship money to their creditor banks in the county." The directors of both banks guaranteed the full payment of the balances due their depositors.
In 1911, Citizens Bank discussed the need to increase capital stock. In 1913, Monticello Bank's stockholders discussed the need for a more commodious and modern "banking house". The banks resolved their needs in a merger of the two institutions.
Monticello Bank initiated the merger. A merger with the second largest bank secured its position as the town's dominant bank. The two banks agreed formally on April 15, 1915 to merge effective September 15, 1915, as Union Bank and Trust Co. The use of the term "union" reflected the bank's beginning in a merger of two banks.
Today, more than 90 years after the merger, Union Bank and Trust Co. continues to grow and expand its wide range of products and services. Union Bank still remains to this day the dominant bank in Monticello as well as Southeast Arkansas.