In 1872, Denton Stark opened the Stark Bank and convinced William McIlroy to invest $7,800 in the bank. Stark, a former Union officer, became overextended through bungled management and financial speculation, and he left town in a hurry.
McIlroy took over control of the bank, changed the name and built it into the city's financial mainstay. It was family owned until 1986, when it was sold to Jim Walton's Arvest Bank Group. The bank's name was officially changed to Arvest Bank in 2001.