Bank of Eureka Springs Museum

The Bank of Eureka Springs Museum, located inside the downtown branch of Cornerstone Bank at 70 South Main Street in Eureka Springs (Carroll County), preserves the furnishings and interior of a historic bank building.

Eureka Springs was founded in 1879, and two of its first banks were Bank of Eureka Springs (unrelated to the later institution by that same name), chartered about 1881, and the Citizens Bank, founded in 1887. The later Bank of Eureka Springs was founded in 1912. U.S. Congressman from Arkansas Claude Fuller bought the controlling interest in Bank of Eureka Springs in 1930 from the heirs of William Gilbert Kappen. He hired Dick Simpson, a young man from Huntsville (Madison County), to serve as its vice president. By 1931, Bank of Eureka Springs was the only local bank.

In January 1956, Fuller asked his grandson, John Fuller Cross, if he would serve on the Bank of Eureka Springs Board of Directors. Fuller provided the money with 500 shares with a par value of $100 a share, which was the minimum necessary to serve on any bank board in Arkansas at that time. Cross wanted to build a new bank building to match the Victorian architecture of the broader community; he finally overcame the resistance of his grandfather and built the new building in 1966, moving the bank into it on November 25, 1967.

Upon Fuller’s death on January 8, 1968, Cross assumed the position as chairman, CEO, and president of the bank, which now had the first free parking, the first drive-up window, and the first community room of any bank in the county. When the Eureka Springs Centennial Commission formed in 1978 to prepare for the 1979 celebration, Cross was appointed co-chairman, and the commission set about restoration efforts for the town. In conjunction with the centennial effort, the bank board voted to enlarge and remodel the bank once again, selecting Wayne Johnson, a local builder, as general contractor. At this time, it was decided to create a truly historic bank using local architects and old Eureka Springs bank interior and exterior pictures as guidelines. The stone used was from the same quarry that provided stone for many of the buildings in Eureka Springs, many of the furnishings were original, and the bank’s vault door from the original 75 Spring Street location was incorporated into the construction as the door for the bookkeeping vault.

In 2008, Bank of Eureka Springs changed its name to Cornerstone Bank. In December 2010, the historic downtown branch opened the Bank of Eureka Springs Historical Museum, which is free to the public. Among the museum’s exhibits are a pot-bellied stove, the original safe, candlestick telephones, the original vault door from its first location, and brass teller cages.

For additional information:
Braymer, Donna, “Museum Saves Cornerstone Bank’s History and More.” Harrison Daily Times, July 14, 2018.

Cornerstone Bank: Historic Downtown Eureka Springs, AR. (accessed April 13, 2023).

“A Look at Where People Work.” Wall Street Journal, January 9, 2001, p. B1.

Martin, Becca. “In the Middle of History.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 17, 2022, p. 8.

John Fuller Cross
Eureka Springs, Arkansas


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