opened by the Land Run of April 22, 1889, building and loan
associations began forming in communities to finance construction of
The first, Guthrie Building and Loan Association, was formed in
1890, followed by similar institutions in Norman and Durant. The
Oklahoma City Building and Loan Association, now called Continental
Federal Savings and Loan Association, was created in 1898 from the
Owen & Welsh Co, said William O. Alexander, chairman of the board of
the thrift. That association is the oldest surviving savings and
loan in the state, he said.
Local Building and Loan Association, which later became Local
Federal Savings and Loan Association, was formed 10 years later.
The associations were initially called building and loans
because until the turn of the century, most borrowers received loans
to build their own homes, said Leo Smith, a founder of Capitol Hill
Building and Loan Association in 1926.
By the 1910s, the loans were made to people buying homes built
by contractors, but the term "savings and loan" didn't arrive until
the '20s and was not widely used until federal legislation in the
When first formed, the building and loans had no supervision,
save failure, according to W.M. Malone, secretary of the Vinita
Building and Loan Association, in a speech given to the Oklahoma
League of Building and Loan Associations in May 1922.
Though legislation governing the conduct of building and loan
associations was passed within a year after statehood, the first
state building and loan auditor was not appointed until 1910, Malone
said. The auditor's powers were limited to reviewing three in-state
associations and seven out-of-state associations lending in Oklahoma
until state legislation in 1913. That law brought all associations
in the state under the supervision of the Oklahoma Banking Department
and allowed sale of three types of association stock: installment,
fullpaid and prepaid, Malone said.
Sale of the latter two types of stock injected capital into the
building and loans, allowing a burst of lending, Malone said. The
building and loans in Oklahoma in 1913 had assets of $2 million, he
Four years after the meeting that Malone spoke at, Capitol Hill
Building and Loan Association was formed.
A dozen Capitol Hill neighborhood businessmen met in January
1926 and canvassed the area to find others interested in
capitalizing a new building and loan, Smith said. By late January,
they figured they had $5,000 pledged to form the thrift, and
received a charter on March 15, 1926.
The thrift opened for business April 1, 1926, with Smith serving
as its secretary. The association made loans for seven homes with
the $5,000 pledged, Smith said.
When the Great Depression gripped the nation in the 1930s,
Congress passed legislation to insure accounts in federally-chartered
building and loans, called savings and loans in the legislation.
Oklahoma changed the name of the state regulatory board from the
Building and Loan Board to the Savings and Loan Board to correspond
to the federal name, Smith said.
The state-chartered savings and loans had the option of paying
for insurance, but the federally-chartered savings and loans had to
pay for insurance, Smith said.
When the legislation passed, the Oklahoma City Building and Loan
Association became the Oklahoma City Federal Savings and Loan