From a special section of the Waldron News newspaper of 23 April 1981, consisting of interviews of Scott County citizens 80 Years of age and over. The interviews were done as part of a celebration of the Bank of Waldron's 80th anniversary.


J. Kelly May, the Bank of Waldron's First Executive Vice President, went to work for the bank in February, 1924, at twenty five years of age, and worked as Teller and Bookkeeper for some eleven years before leaving for government employment. In this age of special officers and employees for each phase of banking, his job descripton for that period sounds a bit strange: "All cuties in a Country Bank from Janitor to Acting President. A more specific description of work: Bookkeeper - Posted statements and/or ledger sheets; Posted general balance ledger and not ledger; Served as Teller during Banking hours; Appraised all Chattel and Real Estate Mortgages and Assisted the President in making loans." In reminiscence, Kelly could tell many interesting stories from this early period. One in particular concerned the payroll at Forester. Certainly, one would hesitate to take such large sums of cash that distance today. However, in those days it was routine for him. Many people have heard him tell of being awakened at three o'clock one morning with a strong urge to go to Forester, at that hour, instead of the regular time, which he did. Later, he learned that robbers were waiting for him at the usual time and he had perhaps avoided being killed. Also, there were many interesting visits with customers such as Tommy Lorenzo's father. Huston McRae should be able to recall many more that the two of them experienced together. After losing his father, Frank J. May, the bank's second president, while in the University of Arkansas, Kelly maintained a special interest and relationship with the Bank of Waldron through the years. As a long time stockholder, he served as a member of the Board of Directors (1936-1943); (1949-1952) and (1956-1961). Finally, realizing a dream of several years, he returned to Waldron, Scott County, and the Bank of Waldron, in January, 1956, where he served as Vice President and Director until being named Executive Vice President, September 19, 1960. He then served in this capacity until his death in June, 1961. Having a genuine love for people, Kelly felt at home with those from all walks of life. His last five years were especially enjoyable with the privilege of renewing old friendships and making new ones in a place he always loved. He was always ready to give of his time and effort for the betterment of the community.

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