The First 25 Years (1946-1971)
On July 1, 1946, eight men employed by Texas and Pacific Railway Company met to organize Fort Worth T&P Federal Credit Union and to “make more available to people of small means credit for provident purposes.” The group pledged a total of $40, or $5 each, as their par value shares to form the new financial cooperative that would ultimately serve employees of Texas and Pacific Railroad, Merchants Cold Storage Company, Pacific Motor Transport Company, and the Fort Worth Belt Railroad. On July 9, 1946, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation approved the organization certificate of Fort Worth T&P Federal Credit Union with federal charter number 5337.
The first meeting of the board of directors was held at 9:30pm on July 17, 1946. Four of the eight men who met to organize the credit union were elected to seats on the first board of directors and one was elected to the first credit committee. At the first board of directors meeting, they voted to purchase a blanket bond of $1,000 to cover the volunteers of the credit union. They also decided to cap deposits at $1,000 per person or $2,000 for two or more members of the same family living under one roof. That evening 32 people were accepted into membership and credit union operations got underway the next morning. Two loans were written on July 18,1946, both unsecured notes for $100 each. In the first month of business the credit union added 42 additional members, took in share balances of $5,261.50 and extended loans in the amount of $1,575.00. The credit union quickly became popular once it established its first office at 70 Jennings Avenue in Fort Worth. In March of 1947 unsecured loan limits were doubled to $200 and at the end of its first year Fort Worth T&P Federal Credit Union had 473 members, share balances of $32,279.24, and loan balances of $26,732.47.
The credit union remained in the Jennings Avenue office until it moved to the iconic Fort Worth T&P building in August 1951. The railroad offered the credit union a rent-free office space, but it was unfinished. The office was sectioned off in an open area on the seventh floor, was approximately 20’x20’, and sported a teller window with metal bars, much like what is seen in western movies of old. Members came together as a group to finish the space in hopes it would help the credit union grow even more. And grow the credit union did. At the end of 1971, just 25 years after the credit union’s charter being approved, Fort Worth T&P Federal Credit Union had $3.2M in assets and 2,552 members.
The Growing Years (1972—2011)
The railroad abandoned the iconic Fort Worth T&P terminal in 1967 after passenger train service ended at the station. However, the credit union continued to occupy the building until their move to the corner of Montgomery and Lovell streets, now site to a Shell station and adjacent to the Railhead Smokehouse. On September 2, 1972, Fort Worth T&P Federal Credit Union dedicated their newly constructed office building. There were over 750 members onsite to witness the event firsthand. The facility came with a $100K price tag and boasted 3,150 square feet of space. Membership had grown from 32 at the first meeting of the board of directors to 2,250 by the time the new building on Montgomery Street was completed. Shares had also grown from the $40 the eight chartering members had pledged to over $3M.
The credit union continued to grow in members and assets over the next two decades. In 1972 the charter was expanded to allow family members to join the credit union. An additional bylaw was added in 1975 to permit blood relatives living in the same household to become members of the credit union as well. A member survey in 1986 indicated members were thrilled with the credit union and the service they provided. In that same year, Morsco Federal Credit Union was merged into Fort Worth T&P Federal Credit Union and helped expand its membership which included new select employee groups, Morrison Supply Company, and Triangle Supply Company. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s the credit union found great success adding new select employee groups to their field of membership including Brown Excavating Company, Double Seal Ring Company, Haltom’s Jewelers, Hinderliter Heat Treating, Marketing Management Incorporated, Andarko Petroleum, Roman Utility Company, Marco Company, TTI Inc., Wynn’s Climate Systems, and Houston General Insurance Company.
On May 10, 1991, Fort Worth T&P Credit Union offices were moved to a newly constructed building located at 4613 Wellesley Avenue in Fort Worth, where the credit union’s branch and offices remain today.
Overall, the credit union’s field of membership was massively expanded when Fort Worth T&P Federal Credit Union received the right to serve the underserved community in June 2003. This expanded the field of membership to include anyone who lived, worked, worshipped, attended school, or businesses located inside of Loop 820. In September of the same year the credit union officially changed their name from Fort Worth T&P Federal Credit Union to Texas People Federal Credit Union.