Notice to Our Valued Customers: Unauthorized Access to Target Payment Card Data


Please be assured that First Southern Bank is closely monitoring accounts for any fraudulent activity associated with the recently reported merchant data compromise at Target.  Please note that First Southern Bank systems were neither involved nor compromised. 

The unauthorized access may impact customers who made credit or debit card purchases in Target stores located in the US from November 27, 2013 to December  15, 2013.  We recommend that you closely review the information provided in this notice for steps you may take to protect yourself against potential misuse of your credit and debit information.  You should remain vigilant for incidents of fraud and identity theft by regularly reviewing your account statements and monitoring free credit reports.  If you discover any suspicious or unusual activity on your accounts or suspect fraud, be sure to report it immediately to your financial institution.  In addition, you may contact the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) or your local law enforcement to report incidents of identity theft  or to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft.  To learn more, you can go to the FTC’s Web site, at, or call the FTC at (877)IDTHEFT (438-4338) or write to Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.

You may also periodically obtain credit reports from each nationwide credit reporting agency.  If you discover information on your credit report arising from   fraudulent transactions, you should request the credit reporting agency delete the information from your credit report file.  In addition, under federal law, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies.  You may obtain a free copy of your credit report by going to or by calling (877) 322-8228.  You may contact the nationwide credit reporting agencies at:

Equifax (800) 525-6285  P O Box 740241 Atlanta GA 30374-0241

Experian (888) 397-3742 P O Box 9532 Allen TX 75013

TransUnion (800) 680-7289 Fraud Victim Assistance P O Box 6790 Fullerton CA 92834-6790

Be assured that First Southern Bank places top priority on protecting the security of our customers.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at 618-549-3621 if you have any questions or concerns.




Top Community Banks Join Forces for Strategic Merger

Southern Illinois      December 11, 2013

Midwest Community Bancshares, Inc., the holding company for The Bank of Marion and First Southern Bancshares, Inc., the holding company for First Southern Bank jointly announce today the signing of an agreement for a strategic merger to create one of the top community banking franchises in southern Illinois.

“The combination of our banks will result in one of the largest mergers between two community banks in southern Illinois with combined assets of over $600 million and 13 locations, with key market shares in Williamson, Jackson and Saline counties”, stated Ray Altmix, President and CEO of The Bank of Marion.

“We both strongly believe in the community banking model of high level customer service while providing the most current and efficient products and services for our customers”, said John Dosier, President and CEO of First Southern Bank.  “We look at southern Illinois as one region and feel that our vision of a larger network of southern Illinois owned, locally managed banks will enhance our opportunities to better serve our customers and our communities.”

“The merger will combine the best of both companies.  The proposed Board of Directors will include all current directors of both holding companies, with Dutch Doelitzsch serving as Chairman of the Board of the new company and bank boards, Ray Altmix as the Chief Executive Officer, and John Dosier as President.  We have great officers and employees at each bank and plan to retain everyone.  We will operate as First Southern Bank, a name that fits our new growth strategy and southern Illinois focus”, added Dutch Doelitzsch.

The merger is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. Further information will become available upon completion of the proposed transaction.

For more information on this merger contact:

The Bank of Marion, Ray Altmix             618-997-4341

First Southern Bank, John Dosier           618-549-3621

Why First Southern Bank?

You have many choices for your banking needs and First Southern Bank realizes that we must earn the right to be your bank of choice. We take great pride in our customer service and combining that with the fact that we are a locally owned and managed Southern Illinois bank allows us to feel comfortable in asking to be your bank. We can offer you the latest financial products with quick responses to your financial requests. First Southern Bank is also committed to our communities in which we live. We have strong personal as well as business ties to the communities we serve. Our management group represents over a century of combined, trusted financial experience in Southern Illinois and we look forward to earning the right to be your bank.

For Shareholder inquiries please contact Kristina Scott, SVP and CFO at or Nanette Strange, AVP at or either party can be reached at 618-549-3621.

Mission Statement

The mission of First Southern Bancshares, Inc. is to represent community banking at its best, by delivering customer service that meet the financial needs of our customers, while affording benefit to our local shareholders, employees and our community.

History of First Southern Bank

On July 10, 2002, First Southern Bancshares, Inc. consummated the acquisition of Shawnee Bancshares. This was the culmination of an initial capital stock offering of approximately $6 million raised by 70 Southern Illinois investors.

 The idea of a locally owned and operated community bank began when four Southern Illinois bankers, John Dosier, Steve Schauwecker, Patty Shay and Kevin Klaine combined with six local business people to form the executive officer and director group of First Southern Bank. The group’s initial concept, and still in place today, is founded on providing traditional financial products of a community bank combined with the most current product technology available complimented with friendly “first name” personal customer service.

Since our inception in 2002 the bank started as one of the smallest banks in Jackson County and is now the largest bank based on local deposits in the county. Our growth would not have been possible without the support of our customers, shareholders and our dedicated employees.

In 2012, First Southern Bank lost Patty Shay, one of our founding partners and Senior Vice President. Her contribution to the origination and success of First Southern Bank, as well as her friendship was beyond compare. She will truly be missed but never forgotten.