Southern Bank celebrates its 80 year anniversary


By Sarrah Peters

News Editor

On February 24, Southern Bank in Gadsden held a ribbon cutting to celebrate a mile mark that many companies never see. Southern Bank has been serving Etowah County for 80 years, and the company hopes to continue to help area residents and businesses.

James B. Little, Sr. originally founded Southern Bank in 1936 as First Federal Savings and Loan. The Savings and Loan provided home loans, while most banks at that time did not. His son, James  Little, Jr. joined the business with his father. Little, Jr. worked as long as he could, said his son Gates Little. 

Gates also joined the family business. 

“I tell everybody that I wasn’t able to get another job, so they put me here,” said Little. “And I think a lot of people believe me.”

In reality, Little learned he enjoyed working in the banking business because he was able to help people.

“You’re helping people with something that is really important to them,” said Little. “It may seem transactional, but you can have a pretty high impact on a someones day or project. Maybe they don’t realize it, but it’s making things move along.” 

Little says that the real story of Southern Bank lies in its customers. 

“We’ve been able to help two or three generations,” said Little.

He hopes the bank can continue to help by creating solutions to problems that consumers and businesses encounter. However, the bank is dedicated to helping customers in every way possible, even referring customers to others that may be able to meet their needs more effectively.

“As a community bank, we’d love it if you did business with us, but we feel like we are also advocates for community banks in general,” said Little.

Southern Bank has locations in Gadsden, Albertville, Centre, Guntersville and Birmingham.

For more information, stop by its main office at 221 S. 6th Street in Gadsden or visit

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