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A. G. (Allie) Brummitt was born on October 26, 1866 in Weakley County, Tennessee, and was the son of William Yancey Brummitt and Margaret Allmon Brummitt. He was a 1890 graduate of Bethel College, located in McKenzie, Tennessee, and in 1894 he married the late Eva Dinwiddie. They had three daughters, the late Willie D. Brummitt Tindall, the late Evelyn Brummitt, and Allie Wayne Brummitt Wright of Greers Ferry, Arkansas.  

On February 25, 1901, the organization of the Bank of Gleason became a reality through the efforts of Mr. Brummitt when a charter was issued by the State of Tennessee Banking Department. On March 7, 1901, he was elected to serve as the first President of the Bank of Gleason and received a salary of $200.00 per year. 

On July 8, 1904, Mr. Brummitt offered his resignation as President of the Bank of Gleason and moved his family to Arkansas and later moved to Stuttgart, Arkansas. By 1912 he had established the little town of Brummitt, Arkansas where he owned a store, farm, cotton gin, three sawmills and other interests. Mr. Brummitt died on December 12, 1933 and was buried in McKenzie, Tennessee. Mr. Brummitt always called Gleason home and kept in touch with his many friends and relatives. 


W. B. (Bennett) Bynum was born in 1873 and was the oldest child of William (Dick) Monroe Bynum and Mary Sanders Bynum. At an early age, Mr. Bynum took over the operations of his family’s sawmill business in Gleason after the death of his father. It is believed that as early as 1899 he went to the wilderness of Arkansas in search of white oak trees. 

In 1903, Mr. Bynum married the late Lula Maud Richee. They had five sons, the late W. Lyle Bynum, the late Willard Harold Bynum, the late W. B. Bynum, Jr., the late Woodrow Wilson Bynum, and Joe Lloyd Bynum of California. 

On July 8, 1904, Mr. Bynum was named President of the Bank of Gleason to fill the unexpired term of A. G. Brummitt. Except for a brief period in 1920, he served as President until 1930 when the bank merger took place. In 1928 he moved his family to Dermott, Arkansas where he had established his business. Mr. Bynum began to move his sawmill business to Arkansas in 1904, and the mill was first called the Bynum, Alexander, & Swearingen Company and was later named the W. B. Bynum Cooperage Company. Mr. Bynum worked in his Arkansas mill where he processed barrel staves until his death in 1937. Mr. Bynum’s son, W. Lyle Bynum, took over the business, and at that time the mill was believed to be the largest of its kind in the country. 


J. C. (Jack) Oliver was born in 1870 in the Ore Springs Community, and was the son of Thomas J. Oliver and Virginia Breedlove Oliver. In 1895 he graduated from McTyeire Institute in McKenzie, Tennessee and later attended Bethel College also in McKenzie. In 1900, he married the late Florence Jones. They reared a nephew, the late Harry Spears, and two children of their own, Reba Oliver of Gleason and Charles Warner Oliver of Nashville, Tennessee. He became principal of the private Gleason Masonic Male & Female Institute and in 1903, he was named Principal of Public Schools of Weakley County. 

In 1910, Mr. Oliver was elected to the Bank of Gleason Board of Directors. He served as president of the bank from January 5, 1920 until January 19, 1920. Although Mr. Oliver was President for only a brief period, he served as Acting President and chaired many meetings in the absence of President W. B. Bynum. In 1921, Mr. Oliver was elected as inactive Vice-President of the bank and served in that capacity until 1927. He also served as director until the bank merger in 1930. The Oliver’s lived in Gleason until 1924. From 1924 until 1939, they lived in Nashville where Mr. Oliver was employed as a Railway Postal Clerk until his retirement. In 1933, Mr. Oliver was again named as a director of the bank and served on the board until his death in 1946. 


Dr. R. W. Bandy was born in Weakley County, Tennessee on August 12, 1861, and was the son of Dr. J. W. Bandy and Louisa Jane (Lou) Dunlap Bandy. In 1882, Dr. Bandy graduated from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and in 1894 he married the late Lou Ellen Whitworth. They had two children, the late Joe Bandy and the late Wynona Bandy Jeter. 

In 1901, Dr. Bandy was one of the founding fathers of the Bank of Gleason, having signed the original charter. On March 7, 1907, Dr. Bandy discontinued  his medical practice to accept the position of Cashier and Chief Operating Officer of the Bank of Gleason due to the resignation of Guy Alexander who had been Cashier since 1901. Dr. Bandy was paid $125 per month for his services and was instructed to hire any help at this own expense. During his tenure as Cashier, Dr. Bandy experienced many changes in banking while serving his community in many capacities. In 1930, he was instrumental in merging the Farmers & Citizens Bank with the Bank of Gleason and was elected the first Active President of the Bank of Gleason on January 6, 1931. On January 5, 1933, Dr. Bandy retired as Active President of the bank but continued to serve as President and Director until his death in 1936. 


Carl Parks, born in 1879, was the son of Fields Parks and Mattie Ward Parks of Gleason, Tennessee. In 1904, he married the late Flora Bobbitt and they had one son, Harold J. Parks of Gleason. 

Mr. Parks had several farming interests which included mules, horses, hogs, and cows, as well a being a central buyer and shipper of sweet potatoes. He was first associated with the Farmers & Citizens Bank, where he served as President and Director of the Bank. In 1930, when the two banks merged, Mr. Parks was elected to serve as an inactive Vice-President of the Bank of Gleason. He served in this capacity until January of 1937 when he was elected President by the Board of Directors to fill the vacancy left by the death of Dr. R. W. Bandy. Mr. Parks was serving as President during the formal opening of the new bank building in 1963 and continued to serve in that same capacity until 1965 when he was named Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr. Parks served as Chairman until his death in 1967.

                       ROBERT (BOB) OWEN                  


Robert “Bob” Owen was born February 19, 1927 in Henry County, Tennessee.  His parents were Robert Orlando Owen and Katie Highfill Owen.  Mr. Owen had an older sister, Mary Elizabeth Owen Travillian, and a younger brother, Oscar Ray Owen. He married Dareen Shaw in 1946 and had three sons, Robert, Alan and Eric, all residents of Gleason.  Dareen passed away in 1989, and on August 1, 1999, Mr. Owen married Peggy Kemp Wimberley.


Mr. Owen’s father was a successful farmer, but died suddenly when he was only twelve.  With his death, many responsibilities fell on Bob’s shoulders but he was able to finish high school and graduate in 1944. During that same year, Mr. Owen started his banking career at the Bank of Gleason as a teller.  He quickly rose through the ranks and was elected an officer of the Bank of Gleason in 1947, elected to the Board of Directors in 1954 and was chosen as president and CEO to fill the vacancy left by the death of Mr. Carl Parks in 1965.  In 1993, he was appointed as chairman of the board.  He also served as President of the Tennessee Bankers Association in 1992 and 1993.




The history of the Gleason community provided in Oakwood-Gleason: A Look Back provides an account of Gleason's history up through the time the book was originally published. As some 20 years have now passed since its publication, Gleason Online is providing a "History Update" feature, for each section of the book, for those wishing to add important historical information relevant to the Gleason community. Contributions can be submitted via E-mail attachment by clicking on the "Website Visitor Comments" graphic, provided above.

In addition to his long career with the Bank of Gleason, Mr. Owen served as mayor of Gleason from 1957 to 1959, received the outstanding citizenship award in 1959 and was honored by local townspeople with a “Bob Owen Day” in 1982.    Bob Owen’s name was synonymous with the Bank of Gleason and Gleason, Tennessee.  He died on August 26, 1999. Source: Adapted from a tribute to Mr. Bob Owen provided by Beverly Travillian Spain. For more information about Mr. Owen click here.




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