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  • The beginning ...

  • Frank S. Davis sat in his hotel room listening to the sounds outside. He heard the clatter of horse-drawn wagons, the tramp of marching feet, and the shouts of military commands. The time was March 1864 and the city was Memphis.

    Davis, understanding these hard times, sensed a real need for an expansion of banking and credit facilities. When the National Banking Act of 1863 was passed, Davis recognized the many advantages offered by a system of national banks chartered and supervised by the Federal government. It was because of this insight that Davis founded the city's first national bank, which grew into today's First Horizon National Corp., the parent company of First Tennessee Bank and FTN Financial.

    The bank's charter was received on March 25, 1864. To Davis, that date marked the fulfillment of an earnest ambition; to Memphians, it was the beginning of a new era in banking.

    The 150th anniversary of the company was celebrated in 2014, spotlighting the legacy of serving customers that began when Abraham Lincoln was president.

    "First Tennessee has served customers through civil war and world war, a yellow fever epidemic, the Great Depression and the Great Recession," said Bryan Jordan, chairman and CEO of First Horizon. "We're proud of that legacy, and we're focused on the future. We're building for our next 150 years."

    First Tennessee is the market share leader in Tennessee. FTN Financial is a capital markets leader in fixed income sales, trading, and strategies, with average trading volumes in excess of $5 billion per day. 

    "Our First Tennessee team is carrying on a tradition that has been important to Tennessee and to generations of customers," Jordan said. "With our 150th anniversary celebration, we are renewing our promise to be the best at serving our customers, one opportunity at a time."

    First Horizon National Corp. is now one of the 40 largest banking companies in the U.S. in asset size and market capitalization.

    Our family of companies has 4,300 employees who provide the highest quality service in banking, insurance, fixed-income investments, mortgage, credit and financial planning. First Horizon, First Tennessee and FTN Financial also claim some of the most loyal and satisfied customers in the industry. First Horizon has been recognized as one of the nation's best employers by American Banker and Working Mother magazines and as a top tech innovator by InformationWeek magazine.

    If you’d like more information on our history, contact our corporate communications team.