Our Story

The First Horizon story is about enduring relationships with customers, employees and communities. Without them, no company could survive and thrive for 155 years.

Our story began in 1864, when Ohio businessman Frank S. Davis arrived in Memphis to open the city’s first national bank. A year earlier, Congress had created a federal system allowing banks to be chartered in Union-controlled cities within Confederate states. Memphis was such a city, and 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:

1864

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


1865

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


1878

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.


1908

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


1941

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


1964

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


1977

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


1991

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.


2004

First Horizon National Corporation became our parent company name.


2014

First Tennessee celebrated 150 years of serving the community.


2017

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


2019

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.

“We’re here because of our resilient culture and the exceptional people who are the real heart of our story – generations of employees serving generations of customers,” Jordan said. “Whatever changes and challenges we’ve encountered over the last 155 years, our people have remained dedicated to providing our customers with the best service. We still get excited about the possibilities of each new day, and the chance to help our customers and communities, one opportunity at a time.”
- Our chairman and CEO Bryan Jordan
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