Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 2, May, 1995 Page: 106
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
Mr. Jochetz, who was a shareholder, was always invited to the annual meeting to vote
the proxies that were sent in. At that time a national bank officer or director could not
vote the proxies for other shareholders. This is not the case today. We had some coffee
and I left the meeting. They must have voted me in, because the next day when I stopped
by to tell them I would accept the position, they swore me in and I signed the director's
oath of office.
After becoming a director I started stopping at the bank more often to chat with
the officers. When Mr. Lenhart became chairman of the board and Mr. George Crane
became president, the bank needed a vice-president. No employee of the bank at that
time was deemed qualified, so they asked me if I would consent to be vice-president in
name only, with no duties or responsibilities or pay. Just an inactive VP. I agreed, and
then began to stop by even more often just to learn how the bank operated.
After several years the bank's president resigned, and at a board meeting in Feb-
ruary of 1963, the other directors asked me if I would be the bank's president. I thought
they were kidding me at first, but then each one assured me the offer was serious and
pledged his full support and cooperation.
Again I asked for the opportunity to sleep on it. I actually wanted to ask my wife
for her opinion. My wife, Rosanne, was totally in favor of anything that would release
me from field work on a tractor and from hauling heavy bales of hay and sacks of feed
around. She thought being a bank president sounded wonderful.
On February 14, 1963, I took over as president and chief executive officer of the
First National Bank. My agreement with the board was that I would try it for six weeks.
If I was unhappy or they were not satisfied, we would get someone else. A colleague
at our correspondent bank in Houston assured me that I did not need to know a lot about
banking; I just needed to use common horse sense. Fortunately for me I had graduated
with honors from University of Texas in 1937 with a degree in business administration.
Many of my courses were bank oriented: business law, statistics, marketing, govern-
ment, economics, foreign exchange, money and banking, property insurance, advertis-
ing, physics, psychology, and others. The Houston bank also said they would have a man
at my side within two hours if I ever needed outside help.
Trading my blue jeans and boots for a business suit and necktie was something
that many of my friends thought I would not do for more than six weeks. The six weeks
became six months, and then. six years, and then ten more years until I retired as
president in July 1979, when I turned to bank over to Bill Harrison, Jr., to run. I now
am chairman of the board.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 2, May, 1995, periodical, May 1995; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151394/m1/38/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.