Mechanics and Farmers Bank – Durham Branch, Durham
M&F Bank, a state-chartered commercial bank, was organized in 1907 under the authority of a charter issued by the Legislature of the State of North Carolina. The original incorporators were a group of nine prominent businessmen, headed by R. B. Fitzgerald. The other incorporators included: J. A. Dodson, J. R. Hawkins, John Merrick, Aaron M. Moore, W.G. Pearson, James E. Shepard, G. W. Stephens, and Stanford L. Warren.
Many people today lack appreciation of the origin of the Bank’s name. The founders and original customers represented various trades, crafts and professions in which the African American community had achieved success and prominence, so “Mechanics” likely was derived from the legal term “mechanics lien” that grouped such occupations together. Additionally, most of North Carolina‘s wealth at the turn of the 20 th century was based on the ownership of real property, especially farmland, hence the term “Farmers.” That means the name “Mechanics and Farmers” denotes that this Bank is an institution dedicated to serving all facets of the community.