A look back: Ruston’s Cargill Building

The Cargill Building in the 100 block of North Trenton Street was built about 1905 to house John L. Cargill’s general merchandise store. For a time, it was home to the Lincoln Parish Bank. Ruston’s second bank opened on January 4, 1901, but struggled against the larger Ruston State Bank located across the street. 

A 1910 Shreveport newspaper article noted Lincoln Parish Bank had increased its deposits 33 1/3% in a year, but it always lagged behind Ruston State in assets. In 1916, it had to close for a time when the accounts of a cashier were found to be $46,000 short. Investors rescued the institution and in 1920 it converted from a state-chartered bank to a national bank, the First National Bank of Ruston. In 1958, First National boasted $8,177,505.80 in assets.

First National later moved to a facility at 300 N. Trenton. In 1986, First National of Ruston was bought out by Regions Bank. The later First National Bank in Ruston was a branch of the First National Bank of Arcadia, now called Louisiana National Bank.

The Cargill store, a landmark business in downtown Ruston, closed in 1934 after the death of John Cargill. A variety of businesses and offices have occupied the building since.