Our Story

The First Horizon story is about enduring relationships with clients, associates and communities. Without them, no company could survive and thrive for nearly 160 years.

Our story began in 1864, when Ohio businessman Frank S. Davis arrived in Memphis to open the city’s first national bank. Davis saw a genuine need for banking and credit to finance rebuilding and new commercial growth. Davis’ foresight led him to found First National Bank of Memphis, which has evolved into the First Horizon Bank we know today.

A brief timeline:


Davis submitted a national charter to establish First National Bank of Memphis.


First National moved to a home of its own at 14 Madison Avenue in Downtown Memphis.


As thousands of Memphians died in the yellow fever epidemic and many more fled the city, bookkeeper Charles Q. Harris kept the bank open, serving customers and distributing relief funds from across the country.


As Memphis experienced rapid growth, the old bank building was razed and a new one was constructed.


First National built its first suburban branch at 1338 Union, now the heart of Midtown Memphis.


On its 100th anniversary, First National moved into a new 25-story corporate headquarters at 165 Madison, where we remain today.


First National changed its name to First Tennessee to reflect the bank’s expansion beyond Memphis.


Firstpower culture was created to retain the very best employees by providing them with excellent work-life balance and making them feel empowered. Four values – accountability, adaptability, integrity and relationships – are the pillars that today define Firstpower.


First Horizon National Corporation became our parent company name.


First Tennessee celebrated 150 years of serving the community.


First Tennessee completed the largest merger in our history, with Capital Bank, making us the fourth largest regional bank in the Southeast.


Memphis’ bicentennial year, we announced our entire company would operate under the unified First Horizon brand name, marking a new era in our rich history. Concurrently, First Tennessee filed an application to convert from a national bank into a Tennessee state-chartered bank to better align with the bank’s strategic priorities, streamline oversight processes and provide better customer service under the bank’s new First Horizon brand.

First Horizon has served customers through civil war, two world wars, yellow fever epidemics, financial panics, the Great Depression and the Great Recession. Our customers and our companies have endured adversity, seized opportunity, and embraced change. We’re proud of our legacy, and we're focused on building for the future.

We’ve been recognized as an innovative user of technology, having introduced customers to innovations such as branch banking, drive-through banking, ATMs, remote deposit capture, and the Visa payroll card, and was among the first banks in the nation to offer mobile deposit. Our approximately 5,500 employees provide the highest quality service in banking, insurance, fixed-income investments, mortgage, credit and financial planning, and we claim some of the most loyal and satisfied customers in our industry.


Need more info?