Bank marked 75 years in 1961

Published 9:45 am Friday, September 23, 2011

by Clyde Parker

EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking Back features past articles from The Tidewater News with commentary by local history buff Clyde Parker. The series commemorates the 50th anniversary of Franklin becoming an independent city.

September 21, 1961


Since Sept. 10, 1886, when Vaughan and Company Bankers opened with capital of $1,000, the Franklin institution has grown under the leadership of the same family until assets today are nearly $11 million and still growing.

Organized by C.C. Vaughan, carried forward by C.C. Vaughan Jr. and C.C. Vaughan III, and led today by C.A. Cutchins III, a great-grandson of the founder, bank officials and employees recently celebrated their 75th anniversary.

A private business until it became a corporation in 1929, the number of stockholders has grown rapidly. Today, 140 people own shares of stock. The bank has come a long way since D.W. Norfleet made the first deposit of $380.01 on Sept. 10, 1886.

Destiny played a role in the formation of the bank. Had a bank in Portsmouth not folded in 1886, and had the four-year-old Bank of Franklin not gone under with it, the Vaughan and Co. Bank founders may have played a different role in life.

C.C. Vaughan was a merchant and operated a cotton gin when the Bank of Franklin went under. As a member of the board of directors of the defunct institution, he started a new bank. His son, C.C. Vaughan Jr. agreed to leave college, where he was studying medicine, and come home to be the bank’s cashier.

C.C. Vaughan, one of the first councilmen when Franklin was incorporated as a town in 1876, became chairman of the County Board of Supervisors and played an active role in civic and business affairs. C.C. Vaughan Jr. stayed on with the bank, became a state senator, a major general in the U.S. Army and was often referred to as the “father of Virginia’s public road system”.

C.C. Vaughan III became assistant cashier in 1916. Until C.C. Vaughan’s death in 1924, father, son and grandson were active in the same banking institution. When C.C. Vaughan Jr. died in 1929, C.C. Vaughan III became president.

The bank was incorporated as a state bank. W. T. Pace was elected first vice president and P.R. Camp was elected second vice president. R.B. Turner and Miss A.J. Eley were elected assistant cashiers.

Directors elected were C.C. Vaughan III, Sol W. Rawls, George H. Parker, Burton J. Ray, R.B. Turner, R.I. Beale, P.R. Camp, R.C. Campbell, C.A. Cutchins Jr., and W.T. Pace.

In 1959, the bank moved from 102 N. Main St. to a new building at 306 N. Main St.

On May 27, 1960, C.C. Vaughan III passed, and C.A. Cutchins III, who began working at the bank in 1947, was elected president. Cutchins was a son of one of the three daughters of C.C. Vaughan Jr.

In 1963, Vaughan and Co. Bankers, Franklin; Bank of Capron, Capron; and Meherrin Bank, Boykins; merged and became known as Tidewater Bank and Trust Co. with headquarters in Franklin. Cutchins was elected chairman of the board. In 1965, Tidewater Bank and Trust Co. became a part of Virginia National Bank, headquartered in Norfolk, with Cutchins as chairman of the board. In later years there were other mergers. Virginia National Bank and Richmond’s First and Merchants Bank combined and formed Sovran Bank. Cutchins was elected chairman.

Subsequent acquisitions and mergers formed Sovran Bank, N. A., and Sovran Financial Corp of which Cutchins served as chairman and chief executive officer. He retired in the late 1980s. He died in 2002. In later years, following other acquisitions, the bank was renamed Nations Bank which, still later, merged with Bank of America.

Retired bank vice president Charlie Settle, who now lives in Capron with his wife, Mary Lee, recalls the bank’s evolvement all the way from Vaughan and Co. to the present day Bank of America.


The Southampton County Board of Supervisors is awaiting a list of names for their legal counsel in the negotiations with the Town of Franklin in Franklin’s effort to become an independent city. The League of Virginia counties is working on the list.

Will Story of Capron, vice-chairman of the Southampton County Board of Supervisors, is acting as chairman for the negotiations since Chairman John M. Camp recently disqualified himself because he is a resident of Franklin. Story is vice president of the League of Virginia counties.

Story will appoint a three-man committee from the board to work with a similar committee from the Franklin Town Council. Franklin Mayor Dr. Darden Jones will name a committee in the next few days.

CLYDE PARKER is the retired human resource manager from the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of Southampton Historical Society. He can be reached at 757-647-8212 or