B.M. "Bernie" Beck celebrated 57 years in community
banking in 2003.
In September 1946, just back from WWII, he was recruited by
Roy J. Smith, a long-time Central Texas Banker, under a
two-year GI training program at First National Bank in
Killeen. Mr. Beck fit right in to a teller job since he had
helped his dad run a general store and other small
businesses in Youngsport, TX.
As First National grew, he shortly became cashier and
secretary to the Board, and he prepared all the reports by 7
a.m. for Mr. Smith. For many years, he met the trains with
the Fort Hood payrolls at 2 a.m., counted the cash and
turned it over to the Army. Mr. Beck has a long history of
being an advocate at the national and state levels for our
armed forces and for Fort Hood.
In 1955, Mr. Smith, Mr. Beck and others acquired
controlling interest in Union State Bank in Florence. In
1966, Mr. Beck headed the operation of Fort Hood National on
the military base. By 1972, he bought controlling interest
in Union State Bank, with assets of $2 million. During the
late 1980's, Mr. Beck helped reorganize several Texas banks
and put them back on their feet. Then, he added four other
branches to Union State Bank between 1990 and 1997. That
accounts for the nine banks he has been affiliated with
throughout his career.
Union State Bank has six branches and is going strong.
Union State Bank has received a "Blue Ribbon" award for
financial strength in the top 10 percent of banks in the
nation. Mr. Beck received a 50 year bankers award
from Texas Bankers Foundation.