Anna Mebus Martin

2011 Cowgirl Inductee - Texas

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(1843-1925)

Anna Martin was the first female bank founder and president in the United States. An immigrant from Germany at 15, and widowed at 36, Martin owned a town store, and opened the first bank in Mason County, TX while operating a 60,000 acre cattle ranch. In the initial two years of the store’s operation, she was the first provider of barbed wire in the region, which changed the face of the cattle industry, and built a customer base encompassing over a dozen nearby towns. Purchases could be made on credit and nearly anything was accepted as payment. Martin began to receive a commission by selling livestock for ranchers and they entrusted her with their earnings. After gaining the confidence of the community and understanding the fundamentals of banking through her work experience, Martin and her sons founded Commercial Bank in Mason, Texas in 1901. Martin’s business foresight and acumen makes her an entrepreneurial legend, paralleled only by her notable ranching efforts.