Magazine article Independent Banker

Living History

Magazine article Independent Banker

Living History

Article excerpt

New Mexico banker Holm Bursum helps preserve his hometown's past

As a third-generation New Mexican and second-generation community banker, Holm O. Bursum III believes that preserving the past is the pathway to the future-in more ways than one. Bursum, president of First State Bank in Socorro, N.M., takes great pride in his hometown, and in the hometown spirit displayed by his bank's employees. His own family roots go back to Territorial New Mexico, when in 1879 his grandfather came to the area during the boom years of mining.

"A lot of families have been here for several generations, so they have a real sense of history and of their roots," he says. Bursum's history is unusual among community bankers in New Mexico

His father, Holm O. Bursum Jr., was a charter member of First State Bank's board of directors. Within a year of the bank's opening, Bursum became its president and was mayor of Socorro for 20 years. On his own and through the bank, he supported many town projects and was especially helpful to the town's young people.

Today, the younger Bursum builds on his family's personal and business history. During this 50th anniversary year of First State Bank, he works to maintain and preserve the rich history of the town and area, while looking ahead to the challenges of the new millennium.


One important link to the past that winds its way through Socorro as it follows a path from Chihuahua, Mexico, to Santa Fe, N.M., is a trade route known as El Camino Real, or the Royal Highway. It is the oldest trade route in North America, having brought Spaniards north into the new world as early as the 1400s.

Bursum and his wife, Earle, work with the Museum of New Mexico to raise greater recognition of the route's historical importance. The Museum of New Mexico is overseeing an $8.5 million El Camino Real history museum, interpretive center and state monument to be located about 30 miles south of Socorro. …

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