In 1834, a branch of the Second State Bank of Indiana - the earliest ancestor of First Financial Bank - opened to serve the people who had settled in Vigo County and the Wabash River Valley. Today, First Financial Bank is the oldest national bank in Indiana and the sixth oldest in the United States, still holding the 47th charter granted in the United States
Anticipating passage of a state law that would allow multi-bank holding companies, the bank applied for approval from the Federal Reserve Board to establish such an entity. It received that approval in February 1983, and First Financial Corporation became the holding company for what was then Terre Haute First National Bank. In August 1984, First Financial Corporation became the first multi-bank holding company in the state of Indiana. The Corporation is the only publicly traded company headquartered in Vigo County and has been ranked among the top 100 most efficient bank holding companies in the United States.
Through growth and mergers, First Financial has become a strong group of community banks. In 2003, unification of affiliate banks as First Financial Bank began. The Morris Plan of Terre Haute and Forrest Sherer Insurance, members of First Financial Corporation, were not included in the unification. The Corporation provides the largest financial services delivery system in the greater Wabash Valley, with 54 banking centers in east-central Illinois and west-central Indiana, multiple insurance offices and more than 100 FirstPlus ATMs. More than one thousand people work together to support, manage and staff First Financial facilities in Indiana and Illinois.
Ownership of First Financial and its holding company, First Financial Corporation, has remained in Terre Haute, making First Financial Bank the oldest continually operated business serving the area.