A Presidential Portrait: Remembering J.G. Will

In honor of our 150th anniversary in 2017 we are taking a look back at bank history and the people who have helped to shape our bank into the successful, secure institution that it is today. Read on to learn about one of our former presidents!

Group with J.G at Board Table sixties era

J.G. Will is pictured above at far left during a 1957 Vinton County National Bank Board of Directors meeting. From left are John G. Will,  Joseph W. Saltz, Robert B. Will, Sr., Robert B. (Bob) Will, Jr., Mary Will Pilcher, Margaret Sprague and Alice R. Will.

John G. Will was a banker with the family business for over fifty years. Better known as J.G., he was born in McArthur in 1913 to John Lawrence and Alice Reid Will. A 1930 graduate of McArthur High School, he attended The Ohio State University and in World War II served in the Army for three years. Part of that time he spent overseas in the China-Burma-India Theater.

J.G. started with the bank on a part-time basis in 1930 and as a full time employee in September 1935. He became Assistant Cashier in April 1938 and Vice President and Cashier in May 1951. In 1965, J.G. was elected President of the bank, a position which he would retire from in 1978. During his tenure, J.G. oversaw a number of major events including the bank’s centennial celebration in 1967.

These were years of healthy expansion as he oversaw the opening the bank’s first branch in Wilkesville in 1974 and the construction of a facility called The Depot. This four-lane drive-thru with a railroad theme made quick banking accessible to bank customers. J.G. was included in the newspaper’s coverage of The Depot dedication and open house. Many local residents likely still have dollar bills he signed that day and passed out to guests at the open house.

He stepped down from the role of President in 1978 and continued his career as Chairman of the bank board for several years longer. He also went on to chair Community Bancshares, Inc.

He was known as a fair man, an introvert who was a private man. He brought much thought and consideration to every conversation and was loved by all who worked with and knew him. Many speak fondly of his sense of humor and ability to put problems into perspective.

J.G. was a member of the Ohio Bankers Association and a member of McArthur Episcopal Church. He was a lifelong resident of Vinton County. J.G. and his wife Francoise Thibault Will had one daughter, Christyne, who continued in her father’s banking footsteps. Christyne Will Calvin served the bank for 34 years until her own retirement in 2015.

J.G. died in April 1987 at the age of 73.

Learn more about our 150th year here and about Bank Presidents Daniel Will , Aaron Will ,  John L. Will and Robert B. Will. Find details on our 150th Anniversary Bash in McArthur here.

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