THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS
By Mrs. Wauda Coffey and Mrs. Jessie H. Anderson
THE CASEY COUNTY NEWS
Fred J. Burkhard, Editor
January 13, 20, 27, February 3, 10, 1955
January 13, 1955
Soft winds rustle the pages of Casey
County’s Book of Time. Backward they turn from Section One Nine Five Five to
One Nine O Four. The winds whisper through the oaks, beeches and sugar trees
of Kentucky hills. The hills make a setting for the little towns of Middleburg
and Yosemite, sister-towns, like two precious stones, separated only by Green
River, winding peacefully under old, old elms with roots encircling big boulders
on the banks. On the quiet waters of the stream white ducks seem always to be
floating in a group, having a party. Overhead in the elms the blackbirds
Middleburg sits on a hill with all the serenity of a languorous southern belle, smiling contentedly at the reflection of herself in the pools.
Central life of the hill is the center of education, the red brick building that, not so many years ago, was Janie Wash Institute. Center of learning it was then not only for Casey, but for a territory that stretched on into other counties. A yellowing record of names of Janie Wash students includes names of men whose descendants aided them in making the life of this community. We look down at the rollbook and mention, as they meet our eye, some of the names:
Isariah Wesley, known as a youth for his pranks and fun, later became a doctor and joined with his father, Dr. J.T. Wesley, in helping to prolong the lives of our citizenry; Tom Miller, who in the year, 1954, we find still aiding his son, Preston Miller, in giving the necessary care when doctors have bowed in defeat – there’s a young Tommy Miller, too, and so the chain goes.
Here are the names of Clay Godbey, and Jeff Godbey, from the Ephraim Godbey family by the river, whose father was to figure prominently in the early days of the bank. Cousins they were of their schoolmate, Isariah Wesley. On the records we see the name of Fountain F. Hatter, who went from the W.G. Hatter brood of nine, and kept his algebra book and literary reader for his two daughters, Wauda and Jessie, to have in their first memories of handling and loving books.
In Nineteen Hundred and Four Janie Wash had long ceased to be. Professor Davis had come to be the educational leader, preparing the scene for J. Sherman Lawhorn, first educational leader we remember there. He did much for the ones who were eager to drink in learning when the twentieth century was still young.
All this is a bit of the background of these twin towns -- Yosemite and Middleburg – and the surrounding country, in the year Nineteen Hundred and Four when the ones who were making more money than they had been doing felt the need of a home bank. Too much money accumulating to keep in sugar-bowl or chest, and time too precious to spend traveling to and from the nearest banking towns.
True, it was not as bad as when William
Green Hatter was in early manhood, far back in the eighteen hundreds, and
sometimes hauled goods from Louisville, taking rolls of greenbacks for the
merchants who preferred to send the money direct with the bill of goods to be
hauled back from the Louisville wholesalers.
Long trips with wagon and horses, overnight stops on this long road, with the historic old Gault House the lodging-place while in Louisville. Only once did anything happen to the precious roll of bills entrusted to his care. An acquaintance had asked to make the trip to Louisville with him and suggested they go by the home of this acquaintance’s brother-in-law to spend the night, which they did. The next morning, instead of its being dawn when W.G. Hatter awakened, the sun was high and shining bright, flooding the room.
He felt under his pillow for the precious roll, at the same time knowing with that cold premonition that it would be gone, as indeed it was. Confident he had been drugged, he dressed and went downstairs to find any one who might be there. His fellow traveler was gone, the brother-in-law was gone; no mention was made of their whereabouts, or of any message, or of breakfast. Thankful that his life was spared, our grandfather, William Green Hatter, went on his way.
In Nineteen Hundred and Four the merchants said, why not a bank? There were farmers, too, who listened with a receptive ear. Howe McAninch, Ephraim Godbey, William S. McClure, were some of the farmers. The town’s people, too, listened with pleasure and looked on with pride when bricks began to be laid. The bank was started.
Let us look more closely at the two towns as they were then. Approaching from Yosemite and the river, where the ducks sail and the blackbirds sing in the elms, we go up the hill, past the home of Doctor Haney, whose kindness was known in homes not only in the valley, but in hills, hollows and ridges, when pain and anxiety were there and money was not.
Doctor Haney did not believe in the body having too much medicine. Once we heard him smilingly recall times when harmless sugar-pills could soothe tense nerves and relieve imaginative minds, while his reassuring presence aided in rapid recovery. We have heard many tell of his kindness, and we like to imagine that when he went on to that Land where there are no more calls for help, the blessings of the poor served as a misty, shining cloud to bear his soul through space into the presence of the King who would say, “I was sick and ye visited Me though I had no money.”
On down the street we go, past the brick school building, where “Where Will You Spend Eternity?” was carved so large and in such beautiful lettering on the wood by the winding stairway that the question lingered in the minds of the boys and girls who read as they ran, long after they were gone afar. We go on down the street and pass the home of Doctor J.T. Wesley on the corner – his office is now a part of the Ashby home.
Some will still remember Doctor J.T. Wesley going by country homes in a buggy, his horse taking time as time should be taken in a golden age of long ago, in easy steady patience in keeping with the atmosphere of that era, the old Southern gentleman leaning far out of his buggy, so that the buggy-top would not obstruct his vision when he met somebody or when he was passing a house and always bowing courteously and speaking to anyone he could see about a home or by the roadside. He was loved by grownups and children alike.
We go on around the corner and past the site that so soon was to be the site of the bank and of the young banker’s new home. When the bank was first established a banker was brought from Lancaster, a Mr. David Thomas, who stayed little more than a year, and is only remembered by the older ones to whom we have talked as being pleasant and very youthful in appearance.
After his short stay Richard B. Young, a young banker, came as cashier from the Liberty bank to build the bank’s strength, solidity and security, and to build his life into it and into the community. After being with the bank for a couple of years or more, he married; but before he did, he had his new home built on a lot he bought near the bank, the house built and furnished, and he and Miss Lynn Hansford, the girl he had chosen, were married in the house, and there they lived the years of their married life until Richard B. Young had served his community for almost half a century, and his body was taken to rest in the cemetery high on the hill that overlooks the two towns.
(Continued Next Week)
January 20, 1955
There were stores down the hill and
around the corner from the bank. We have heard some with whom we have talked
speak of Keeney’s and Pruitt’s but the first that we remember was that of Bill
and Jennie Wheat, at the John Newell site that has now been torn away. They
sold out and went to the Southwest to finish their lives. Willie Wesley went
to the Southwest, also, after being postmaster and merchant at Middleburg.
Oscar Elliott, along with other sons and two daughters of David Elliott, came
from the nearby country on the river and established their homes in Middleburg,
and Elliott’s Store became the leading one of the town. Now Oscar Elliott has
been elected president of the Farmers Deposit Bank to succeed Lincoln Wells who
had succeeded Jason Coffey in the year 1936. Immediately preceding Jason
Coffey’s term of presidency was that of his father James K. Coffey, whose term
closed at his death in January 1923. Before that time William S. McClure,
farmer of the Mount Olive community, was president of the bank.
President when the bank was beginning was Ephraim Godbey, farmer father of ten, who lived in the large house by the river. It is the house that Irvin Short now owns.
Ephraim Godbey had come from the Bethelridge country steeped in Methodism, and he and his family made up a sizeable part of the Middleburg Methodist Church. They were good citizens of a high type, upright, honest, frugal. They sold corn from their river-bottoms. Once when our father bought a load of corn he lacked one penny of having enough in his pocketbook to pay for it. Ephraim Godbey took the money he had and told him he could hand him the penny that was lacking at some other time. Honest as the day was long he was; and upon such honesty and frugality was the Farmer’s Deposit Bank of Middleburg erected.
Ephraim Godbey was ready to save a life even as he was to save a penny. Once when Fountain F. Hatter and his older sister were crossing the river by the Godbey home, riding horseback across the dangerous ford, the boy was riding in front, leading the way across the stream. He looked back in time to see the horse his sister was riding stumble on the uncertain river-bed, the long riding-skirt his sister was wearing became entangled, she was sucked down by the swirling water and the long black riding-skirt and the waves became a trap to take her life. But Ephraim Godbey was near the river-bank and without hesitation went into the water, freed her from the skirt, and led her back to safety.
The Godbey family helped shape characters. One of the daughters, Miss Della Godbey, teacher, was a power for good in the district we knew best, our home school Pine Grove. She taught there three succeeding years, then missed a year, then at the pleading of parents came back for a fourth year. Many who had her for a teacher will join with us in saying that her help in their lives was not to be measured.
Much of the time Miss Della, as we all called her, walked the two miles from her home to the school. When she did not, she rode horseback and put up her horse in the Calder’s barn near the school. Her hair was black and straight and neat, her dark grey-blue yes twinkled kindly behind spectacles; her voice was pleasant, low, well modulated, encouraging; her heart was large enough to take in the entire district and inspire old and young alike to better things. Her dresses ere of neat calico print, a red one and a blue, she alternated. Each day of the month of August we wore an August lily-bud from the ones that grew by their house foundation. They still grow there and their white, fragrant blooms are remindful of her each year as we pass by and see them bloom as they did in our childhood. The fragrance and purity of the August lily we associate with her life. August lilies open and bloom for a day, so short are their lives, and yet how long those August lilies have bloomed and remained fragrant in our memories!
Parents came to see Miss Della with their problems, which were made up in large part of how to get their children educated. She told us when the district school term came to an end to start into the Middleburg school as pay-students. J. Sherman Lawhorn had expanded his school, employed more teachers, had a large dormitory built, where children, young men and young women came to continue their education when country schools, and the town-schools in this and adjoining counties closed.
The children in our Pine Grove district who longed for advanced education would not have to board at the dormitory, Miss Della told us; we could walk, she said. Had she not set us an example? And walk we did. Three it was for us. Sometimes we were taken, but much of the time the family was busy with the crops, making a living. Sometimes the Godbey family had us to come in and warm on cold mornings when the frost was frozen on our scarves and our fingers were numb. They had us to visit them one Saturday. They brought out the family Bible from a trunk for us to see. It was wrapped in velvet, we think, and so old that the lettering was different, they called to our attention. They showed us pictures that one of their daughters had painted, and books that one of the sons had written. All of this to inspire us, as well as to entertain, for Miss Della had faith in the future possibilities of her pupils.
It was last year, perhaps, when we went to her funeral. Her body was brought from Missouri, where she lived for several years, to the Middleburg Methodist Church, accompanied by her nephew Ewart Godbey of South Carolina, and a few other relatives. They were surprised at so many being at the funeral, for they had made no announcements ahead in the country around her old home. They did not think of her having so many friends left, they said. We heard one of the women of the church murmur to another that Miss Della had kept up, all through the years of her absence, sending some amount each year to her former church for the missionary offering or something worthy. They would miss her, they said. And one of her former pupils four miles away said if she had only known of the funeral she would have walked the four miles and back in order to pay her a last tribute. A book could be written about her; we class her among the great.
The large Godbey family was among the early stockholders of the Farmers Deposit Bank of Middleburg. They had faith in the bank, in the community’s growth, and in people. Their home was between the two towns and both towns loved them.
Over in Yosemite in those early days of the bank, the stores were growing fast. There were those of J.K. Coffey, his son Jason Coffey – both these men to be future presidents of the bank; the store of Mrs. Belle Lawhorn, and that of E.E. Kelsay and Son. All these merchants were liked and left many memories of their personalities. Belle Lawhorn, widow and proprietor of the dry-goods store on the corner where a new garage is now had one quality that impressed us above all others, and that was serenity. People commented on it – whether a customer bought or not when he looked at her goods she stayed serene. Women could come in and study her calico prints, bolts of them, or her glass and pottery-ware, to their heart’s content and if they looked and went away without buying, and possibly came back another day, she stayed as serene as a May morning. E.E. Kelsay had integrity as the keynote of his character, integrity and kindly courtesy. Even the ones who traded with him when they were only children remember him now for his kindness and courtesy. Of the stores in Yosemite in those days of the bank’s beginning fifty years ago, only Coffey’s Store remains as an ever-growing business.
Jason Coffey was a Christian man, honest as could be about all things pertaining to his store, whether little or big. It was at that store where quality was expected to be found always. He handled the best materials, and a large line of farm machinery, fencing, paints, shoes for men, women and children – a large line of general merchandise. He worked freely for the bank, too, never hesitating to give it his best judgment and attention, and without any remuneration for this work. People over a wide area came to talk with him when they wanted to borrow money from the bank. They came to Coffey’s Store to talk to him bout their needs for loans. He knew the people, knew their farms, knew their worth, and the integrity of the ones desiring money to be lent to them.
Jason Coffey was a believer in God and the Bible, and sought strength each day in prayer and The Word. He was a member of Green River Christian Church, and believed in supporting the church, not only in a financial way, but by his presence each Sunday at all services. All needy persons who had disaster strike them and came to him for help were helped; none went away empty-handed.
It is always enlightening to see what interests a successful man has outside his work. Richard B. Young, “the man who made the Farmers Deposit Bank of Middleburg”, had his church for his main interest and active work outside his bank and home. Green River was, also, his church home and there he served for many years as Sunday School Superintendent, teacher and church officer. When the Sunday-school rooms were needed, he planned the addition to the church building, gave largely to meet the necessary expense, and gave his time to direct the work while the building was in progress. So long was he at the head of the educational work of the church that the children of the community grew up knowing him there and thinking of him as the leader. It was told that one of the little boys in town, in talking with some of his friends, looked toward the church and said, “I know who owns that church up there on the hill; it belongs to Dick Young!”
(Continued Next Week)
January 27, 1955
As Time’s pages turn back, we are
startled by the colorful scenes of transportation. Down the quiet streets and
along the peaceful graveled turnpikes, go creeping, plodding horse-pulled carts,
wagons and buggies, and sometimes fringe-trimmed surreys. The wagons rattle
along in the deep dust or mud. In the early days of the bank, Clell McAninch
arrived at the post office in Middleburg, and a few minutes later the one in
Yosemite, on his daily run, carrying the mail from McKinney to Dunnville, in his
two-or-three seated conveyance pulled by horses. There was room for mail sacks,
passengers who might come in on the train at McKinney, and room for their
Woe be to the traveler in winter who came in from afar! After leaving the train, one never knew whether he would be mud-bound, or water-bound, and fail to get to his destination, or whether in some way he would get through.
Once when we had been away in school and returned in winter, the mail-carrier got stuck in a deep mud-hole, with his load, somewhere between McKinney and Middleburg. His passengers, besides ourselves, were two or three men who got out in the mud to try to lighten the load and help push. Still we were stuck. These men passengers and their driver walked around dispiritedly, seeking some light as to what to do next, and then one of the men offered his suggestion, “Perhaps if the young ladies get out and help . . .”, and his voice trailed away as we looked in horror first at our soft gray kid shoes, and then at the oozing, bottomless appearing, sticky mud, with no place to get out, except to sink right into it.
If waters were high there was nothing to do in those bridgeless days except stay marooned on the safe side of the bank until the waters ran down. Sometimes funerals were delayed for days because of the streams being out of their banks.
In summer the transportation picture is light and brighter. For instance, in the courting days of the young banker Richard B. Young, we see him and his chosen one, dashing gaily along the public roads of that day, in his new rubber-tired buggy, black with extremely high yellow wheels, the cut of it so that its wheels would not rub against the trunk in turning. A sporty model! In shiny harness, pulling this last word in buggy fashion, we see a high-stepping bay filly. As they pass by, the three – fleet-footed filly, vivacious blonde girl and the equally blonde young banker – make a picture of light-hearted youth in those early years of the Nineteen Hundreds.
But progress must come and before the first years of their marriage was ended, they yielded to temptation to buy one of the new automobiles.
“We need it so badly, Lindy”, pleaded prudent young husband to prudent young wife, who was asked to share the burden of decision as to whether or not it would be wise to take on this new expense. They both voted yes, and one of the first automobiles of the two towns was ordered from Sears, Roebuck and Company. It came knocked down, crated like a buggy, and Elzie Gadberry, who was the bank’s bookkeeper at the time, helped the proud owner uncrate it and put it together. It was guided by a rod that went across the lap of the driver, it had one seat and funny wheels, and it cost them almost four hundred dollars! The next day after they had it put together they made their first trip in it – the banker and his wife – to see their relatives at Hustonville, the Hoskins, Mr. Young’s aunt and uncle. All along the road from Middleburg to Hustonville, horses shied and capered in excitement by the roadside, some going down on their knees at first sight of this strange, speeding vehicle!
Progress moves fast. The next year after buying this automobile from Sears Roebuck, it was replaced by a Ford touring-car, with two seats, bought by Mr. Young from Jim Riggins, one of his Middleburg neighbors who had ordered it, and then felt dismayed at his purchase, and was glad to pass it and its expense on to a new owner.
Through the seasons, through the years,
Richard B. Young went on, daily looking after the bank’s safety and growth. He
made it what it is, it has often been said. On winter mornings before day light
he took his armful of pine shavings, or whatever was handy to start the fire in
the stove, opened the bank and made it cheerful for any one who might come early
to do business before going to their day’s work. When the mail came in, he went
to the post office down the street to get the bank’s mail. In the early days
the bank’s mail might be only three or four letters, sometimes none. As the
bank grew steadily and rapidly, the mail grew to an armful.
Young men came and went to help him with the bookkeeping and general work pertaining to the bank. There was Stanley McIntosh, there was Elzie Gadberry who went on to Lancaster to a bank. There was Marshall McWhorter whom, no doubt, Mr. Young helped make the decision to go away and study electrical engineering. He rejoiced with his former young helper when this decision resulted in Marshall McWhorter’s having headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, at a salary of, it was rumored, seven or eight hundred dollars a month. Miss Betty Royalty, teacher in the Middleburg school, served for a little while, long enough for Mr. Young to present her with ten dollars as a Christmas gift, and Miss Betty said nothing like that had ever happened to her before! One at a time he taught banking to his brother Lucien’s children as they grew of an age to come into his beloved bank, even as he would have brought his own sons and daughters into the work if he had any. They came and went, Ray and George W., Eleanor, Mary Douglas, Anna and Virginia, and made friends over the country as they served at the window, and learned their lessons of accuracy and skill, loyalty and responsibility, as they worked in keeping the bank’s records straight.
Homer Short, citizen of Middleburg since his birth, is one who life has been linked with the bank intermittently since he received his first training in banking by working with Mr. Young. Now he is on the Board of Directors and has bought the property adjoining the bank that was the home of the Young’s throughout their married life.
Elmer Allen, of Liberty, is another of Casey’s citizens who has known the Middleburg bank as his business home for an extended time. The bank had Elmer Allen to assist R.B. Young from the autumn of 1940 to late 1945. When a man has put the working hours of his life, for that length of time, into an institution it becomes endeared to him and he came near to the hearts of the Youngs.
Lincoln Wells, who served the bank as president from the summer of 1936, after the death of Jason Coffey, to late November 1953, date of his death, caused the bank to have the benefit of his judgment as to the worth of property in making loans. A large landowner himself, Lincoln Wells knew Casey County from studying it practically a lifetime. His children seem to have the ability to hold on to property even as he did. His eldest son Jack is owner of the flourishing farm known as The Twilight Cove, on the Liberty road. His only daughter, Lillie Powell (Mrs. Smith T.) is Mistress of a Lincoln County farm. His widow lives on at the Wells homestead and their youngest son Josh has taken over much of the Wells farm-lands, though at the head of a school in another county where he resides. His grandson Harold Wells has farmlands, too, and his energy bears a marked resemblance to that of his grandfather. Another grandson Bobby Wells has just heired a piece of the old McAninch river-land that Lincoln Wells had owned for a long time.
Largest stockholders at the present time are James and Maxine (Coffey) Elliott, son-in-law and daughter of former bank president Jason Coffey. They have expanded their business, and built well, on the well-laid foundation and prosperous mercantile business known as Coffey’s Store for a long period of time, now in the third generation. Their interests include a farm, also, and other holdings.
Maurine (Coffey) Elliott, the other daughter of Jason Coffey, continues to hold stock in the bank, a part of the block that was owned formerly by her father. She takes care of the Yosemite post office as her father did before her. Her husband George Elliott is with the State Highway Department, a Resident Engineer. While they own farms in Lincoln County, they have their home here, in Yosemite, and are a part of the community life. Mr. Elliott is now superintendent of the Green River Sunday school and their daughter Susan Dell is beginning to serve as pianist and the younger daughter Ann has entered the children’s choir.
Wauda Coffey, widow of Jason Coffey, continues to hold her shares of the bank stock left her by her husband.
(Continued Next Week)
February 3, 1955
Twice the bank has known the shock of
bank robbers. The first time they came while it was still night, obtained only
a small amount, one hundred dollars or so, and went their frightened way. There
were rumors of a young man or two buying a farm and agreeing to pay for it on a
date near the break-in. The farm was not bought and paid for by the young man
The second robbery was in daylight, on a peaceful morning when the town was having for its excitement the Baptist Convention. Baptists from over the county, and other counties, were surging over the church lawn which adjoined the banker’s home. Mrs. Lynn Young, the banker’s energetic wife, was busy with her morning household duties, looking out her windows from time to time at the visitors on the church lawn. All at once she heard staccato sounds in quick succession like so many firecrackers.
“The Baptist must be having something new in their annual convention,” she thought. “What could they be celebrating with firecrackers?”
Lady Lynn stepped out on the porch to see more clearly what the celebration was, and just then she saw a faithful old Baptist who never missed a conference of his church wave his cane round and round over his head, while he shouted, “Bank Robbery! Bank Robbery!” She ran across her lawn, into the back door of the bank, heard her husband breathe “Oh, Lindy, it’s a bank robbery!” “The telephone,” she thought, turned and reported, “Bank Robbers!” to Jack Wells, who had answered her quick call. He gathered his neighbors to blockade the road, but as it happened they went in the opposite direction, towards Mount Olive.
Bill Young, nephew of the banker, was the young bookkeeper at that time. It was long before George W. Young made his record across the seas as a fighter who flew the skies over enemy soil, dropping bombs, but he showed he could be a fighter then when his uncle Richard’s bank was in danger. When the robbers had him help them open the vault, he used the split second they gave him to get the bank’s revolver in the vault and engage in a quick shooting fray with them. This shooting was the “firecracker celebration” noises that Mrs. Lynn Young had heard.
They fled in their automobile with Bill Young close behind them in a car of his own, the two men shooting at him, and he shooting at them, as they sped along the country roads. Bill kept in hot pursuit until he reached the crossroads at Mount Olive, when they got away from him, one with a bullet in the arm. They were caught, convicted and sent to prison later. They got away with more than in the bank’s first robbery, but some of the money was recovered. The place where they had hidden the remainder of the money was never revealed. During the excitement Bill’s fiancée Mildred Settles, daughter of the Baptist minister in the parsonage near the bank, was weeping and calling for a gun and an automobile that she might join the shooting parade along the highway, and help her hero Bill.
But the days contained usually no greater
tension than for R.B. Young, counselor in financial matters to untold numbers,
to decide the amount of money that could be loaned to farmers, business men and
would-be business men. This he could do wisely because he was familiar with the
country and the people. He knew the value of property through all the hills and
valleys, the ridges and river-lands, the hollows and creekbottoms. He knew the
families who were willing to work hard and live frugal lives. He had the bank’s
interest and safety at heart, and was interested in the people. Often after one
of his business friends had reached a peak of prosperity, they laughed together
over the memories of their conversation when the decision was being made as to
whether or not the young business man should expand and take risks for a larger
business. The young man had a small building at the time, on the creek bank,
where he sold men’s derby hats at five cents each, and shoes that were not mates
at a few cents a pair, and similar bargains.
“You’re getting a start and doing well, son; don’t take the risk, let well enough alone,” the cautious banker and friend pleaded.
“I am going to start a bigger store in a town where I believe there is opportunity to grow,” the young man set his jaw as he said it.
When they laughed together over the memory of these momentous decision conferences, the young man’s business had grown until the inventory figures were said to be around one hundred thousand dollars.
Figures Then and Now
Let us look at the statement of the First
Stockholders Meeting of the Farmers Deposit Bank held at Middleburg on December
17, 1904. It bears the name of the first cashier, D.A. Thomas. Capital Stock
is listed as $7,500.00 Undivided Profits are $325.39. Individual Deposits are
$20,088.84. We look on down at other figures: Loans and Discounts, $14,022.20;
Over-drafts, $232.57; Banking House and Lot, $2,600.00; Furniture and Fixtures,
$1,610.20; Due from other Banks, $7,349.14; Cash, $1,659.69; Other items carried
as cash, $133.91; Current Expenses Last Quarter, $306.52.
The officers and directors at that time are shown as E.J. Godbey, President. C.L. Pruitt, Vice President. D.A. Thomas, Cashier. Directors: H.H. McAninch, J.K. Coffey, Silas Wesley, Dr. J.T. Wesley, W.H. McClure, J.F. Gadberry. W.T. Earles, C.L. Pruitt, and Lincoln Wells.
Let us listen to the roll call of the first stockholders:
C.D. Thomas, New Castle, 10 shares; E.J. Godbey, Middleburg, 6 shares; Della Godbey, Middleburg, 3 shares; George W. Drye, Middleburg, 1 share; J.N. Haney, Middleburg, 2 shares; C.L. Pruitt, Middleburg, 2 shares; J.P. Wells, Yosemite, 1 share; J.T. Wesley, Middleburg, 3 shares; J.S. McWhorter, Middleburg, 2 shares; W.S. McClure, Mount Olive, 10 shares; Silas Wesley, Bethelridge, 5 shares; C. Bastin, Yosemite, 5 shares; L. Carman, Yosemite, 6 shares; W. Carman, Yosemite, 1 share; W.M. Patterson, Douglas, 2 shares; Alf T. Falconberry, Douglas, 2 shares; Sol Ashley, Joyce, 4 shares; H. Clay Wesley, Bethelridge, 2 shares; D.S. Floyd, Mount Olive, 2 shares; E.E. Kelsay, Yosemite, 2 shares; Malvina McWhorter, Middleburg, 1 share; J.E. Fogle, Middleburg, 1 share, Mary Fogle, Middleburg, 2 shares, H.H. McAninch, Middleburg, 15 shares; J.C. Coulter, Middleburg, 5 shares; J.S. Adams, Middleburg, 2 shares; W.E. Lucas, Middleburg, 2 shares; J.S. Taylor, Middleburg, 2 shares; H.E. McKinley, Middleburg, 2 shares: W.T. Coulter, Middleburg, 2 shares; W.P. Keeney, Middleburg, 1 share; J.K. Coffey, Yosemite, 7 shares; F.B. Lucas, Middleburg, 2 shares, James Gibbony, Liberty, 5 shares; J.C. Lay, Middleburg, 2 shares; Berry French, Gilpin, 1 share.
In the bank’s statement under date of December 31, 1953, we note that the bank’s Resources total $1,090.083.55.
Present Officers are Oscar Elliott, President; Homer Short, Vice President; Otis L. Carman, Cashier; Effie Pike, Assistant Cashier; Glenn Sweet, Bookkeeper.
The Directors are Oscar Elliott, James Elliott, W.D. Carman and Homer Short.
Again we rustle the pages of this
fifty-year Book of Time for the Farmer’s Bank, which has become so much a part
of Casey County. Here and there on the pages we see clear pictures of men going
about their daily living, making their reputations for good or not so good,
their characters being shaped to live on and on, and these characters and
reputations being interwoven into the bank’s character and reputation
indirectly, so as to make it what it is as it goes on, serving new lives and
being strengthened by new personalities, its reputation in the hands of new men.
Softly we turn the pages. At whatever picture we chance to pause, we see action. Among those first stockholders, here is J.C. Lay, busily engaged in shaping the schools of Casey County over a long period. D.S. Floyd, physician – a wide countryside around Mount Olive speak of him still with affection. Here’s a picture of him, horseback, chatting at somebody’s gate with a man who has often put the lives of his loved ones into this doctor’s hands.
And here is another picture of a doctor entering the bank. A young man with coal-black hair and eyes, olive skin, white teeth, penetrating glance, interested in people and just arriving into the community to serve it, as we look at this picture almost half a century back in time. The young physician C.B. Creech comes out of the bank, with the young banker R.B. Young along with him, and together they go across the street. The banker introduces the young doctor, here to begin his lifework, to the elderly doctor J.T. Wesley, whose lifework in the community, comparatively speaking is almost done. Together, later, they go out and find a horse, so that the young doctor may begin making the rounds in his ministry of healing ailing humanity.
(Concluded Next Week)
To Part Two >