Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

100 years ago: The opening of the Gradyville State Bank

Introduction: This 100 years ago chronicles the beginning of the Gradyville State Bank. But deeper down is perhaps, introspectively, the ultimate testament to the basic humility of Adair Countians and their unwillingness to brag, to use hyperbole, to speak too highly of their accomplishments, get the Big Head, or otherwise use unseemly Madison Avenue techniques to raise themselves above others, even if such methods might draw hundreds more Canadian tour busses to our shores. It is as clear as the complexion on our collective unblemished face. Else, why is there such an obvious lack of weathered, 100 year old signs at the entrances to the Adair County proclaiming, "Visit Dirigo, Adair County, KY, home of Kentucky's best telephone system for a community of it's size." But counties with a lesser self-effacing nature would have bragged about that epic achievement, revealed by "Jim" along with milestones in the communications unequalled in the history of mankind, when the wires of telephony were strung from Dirigo to Bliss and finally to the capital of Adair County, Columbia. Nor is there any bragging today, about the model network of Oliver Chilled Turning Plow dealerships in the shire, surely the agricultural equivalent of the first Holstein cow to arrive in Adair County, and possibly the prime impetus elevating Adair County to its lofty status among the rich agricultural lands of the world. Thanks, Lord, for our unequalled humility, when we would be so justified in putting on airs. CM

By "Jim"

In the February 1, 1911 News, the Gradyville correspondent, Mr. W.M. Wilmore, noted that "The work is about all completed on the Bank building at this place" and that the doors would open for business on February 1st. An ad on the same page of the News read thus:

To The Public
On Wednesday, the 1st day of February, 1911, Gradyville State Bank will open for business. All necessary equipments have been arranged and we trust the people within reach of this institution will be prompt in giving the business necessary for its successful operation. Mr. W.L. Winters, an experienced banker, a man of integrity and fine business standing, will be in charge as Cashier. Every courtesy within limits of good business will be extended.Yours truly, J.A. Diddle, J.R. Tutt, U.N. Whitlock, W.M. Wilmore, W.S. Pickett, W.B. Bradshaw, C.O. Moss, G.E. Nell, J.H. Nell, J.H. Pendleton, Directors.

The bank voluntarily liquidated in 1940 after serving the Gradyville section of Adair County for nearly 30 years. Historian Mike Watson noted that upon the bank's liquidation, all depositors were paid in full.

(And speaking of Gradyville, banks, and progress, almost exactly a decade later, the Gradyville correspondent in a 1921 letter boasted that "Mr. D.O. Eubank has not only proved himself a wonder as a banker but also as an inventor. He has made a rat trap in which he caught 30 rats in less than 30 minutes after the trap was set. He will soon have this wonderful trap on the market." If only it had been a mousetrap.......)

It seemed that telephony was all the rage in late January and early February, 1911. Mr. Joseph Allen Turner reported in the Big Elm (Russell County) newsletter that "Mr. Almerine Collins, Estes Hayes, Odus Antle, L.V. Turner and Sid Collins were here last Monday, locating the telephone route from this place to Denmark."

Meanwhile, news from Glens Fork informed readers that "There is a move on hand to build a new telephone line between this place and Montpelier this winter. If this line is built it will be the fourth line completed to this place, within a year."

Not to outdone, the Dirigo correspondent, Mr. Campbell, reported a telephone line had been completed from there to Bliss and that he understood it would be extended on to Columbia. Mr. Campbell went on to add that "I do not believe there in another small town in Kentucky that has better telephone connection than Dirigo."

Meanwhile, back nearer the Square, a terse front page article stated that "The Columbia Telephone Company finished placing its cables last Wednesday, and they operate to perfection. Horace Hamilton was in charge of the work."

In another sort of progress, the Buchanan Lyon Company of Campbellsville (there was a wholesale branch in Columbia for a number of years), had a full-page ad for the tim-tested Wm. P. Oliver brand horse-drawn Chilled Turning Plow, which still led the way in farming equimpent. This marvelous implement was guaranteed to hold its shape, and even if a bolt or two worked loose, "interlocking devices prevent [the] Landslide and Point from getting out of line. No dirt can get between Point, Landslide and Frog." Dealers for the Oliver Chilled Turning Plow in Adair County were C.R. Hutcherson (Hutchison), Columbia; W.H. "Pomp" Wilson, Cane Valley; Wheat & Williams, Montpelier; G.W. Dillon, Breeding; W.L. Brockman, Glens Fork; A.W. Rubarts, Euncie; J.P. Miller & Sons, Crocus; Mercer & Hindman, Milltown; J.P. & H.F. Coffey, Pellyton; and A. Hovious, Knifley. Aforegoing compilation humbly submitted by, just "Jim"

Maybe also of interest. Click to DIRIGO, KY: An Adair County village has mysterious, almost mythical aura about the community which endeavors to persevere, even today, under the able leadership of town owner, Harold "Cherokee" Allinson

This story was posted on 2011-01-30 06:42:02
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by Linda Waggener and Pen Waggener, PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia Magazine. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.