History of Virginia - William Walter Pressley

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January 21, 2014

After about two years of work we have completed a major upgrade to New River Notes. On January 21, 2014 we switched in the last of the updated files and final page revisions.

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William Walter Pressley

WILLIAM WALTER PRESSLEY during the greater part of his active business career has been identified with the Dickenson County Bank at Clintwood, one of the largest and roost prosperous banking institutions in Southwestern Virginia. This bank was established in 1900 as the Clintwood Bank, and in 1905 it was reorganized and the name changed to the Dickenson County Bank. Mr. Pressley entered the service soon after the reorganization. The capital stock is $100,000, surplus and profits, $50,000, and deposits aggregate $1,200,000. The executive officers of this prosperous institution are: John W. Flannagan, Jr., president; Dr. E. L. Philips, vice president; W. D. Tyler, vice president; W. W. Pressley, cashier; and J. P. Fuller, assistant cashier.

Mr. Pressley is a native son of Dickenson County, and is himself well known in the community and has been an important factor in the prosperity of the bank. He was born at Birchleaf, December 13, 1879. His grandfather, Ephraim Pressley, is a native Virginian, coming from the eastern part of the state and settling on a farm in Dickenson County, where he spent the rest of his life. The Pressleys are descended from a notable family of England, but one branch of it hits been in Virginia since Colonial days. Ephraim Pressley married a Miss Colley. Their son, Joshua D. Pressley, was born in Dickenson County, and spent his life in this section. He owned a large farm and was one of the leading stock men for many years. He died at Clintwood in 1888. In polities he was a democrat. His wife, Eliza Jane Counts, was born in Dickenson County, and after her second marriage moved out to Montana and died at Emigrant in that state March 23, 1918. Her children by her first husband were: Eunice, wife of Clement V. Rasnick, a dairy farmer living at Sheridan, Oregon; Henry Caudle, who is in the Government service at Yellowstone Park and lives at Emigrant, Montana; Mrs. Clementine Figgins, wife of a farmer at Emigrant; William Walter; Margaret Isabelle, wife of Dr. J. Taze Wampler, a graduate in medicine and a farmer at Pray, Montana; Joshua C., a farmer at Pray, Montana. The second husband of Mrs. Joshua Pressley was James, M. Colley. He was born in Dickenson County, is county treasurer and for many years was engaged in farming there, but since 1900 has lived on his ranch at Pray, Montana. By his marriage to Mrs. Pressley ho is the father of one son, Richard Counts Colley, a. rancher living at Perma, Montana.

William Walter Pressley was about nine years old when his father died. He was reared in the country, wars educated in the public schools, and in 1901 graduated from the Wilbur R. Smith Business College, a branch of the University of Kentucky at Lexington. For a year and a half he was a stenographer with the Million Lumber Company of Charleston, West Virginia, and for three years was stenographer and identified with the real estate department of the Clinchfield Coal Corporation in Dickenson County. After that business experience he entered the Dickenson County Bank as cashier in 1906, and for seventeen years has faithfully performed his duties in that capacity.

Mr. Pressley owns a fine home in Clintwood, also farm lands in the county, and is one of the prosperous and influential citizens of his home locality. He is a democrat, is trustee of the church property of the Clintwood Missionary Baptist Church, and is affiliated with Clintwood Lodge No. 66, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Craig Chapter No. 30, Royal Arch Masons; Cyrene Commandery No. 21, Knights Templar, at Norton, Virginia; Kazim Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Roanoke, and Roanoke Consistory No. 4 of the Scottish Rite. He gave much of his time as a banker and .also as a private citizen to promoting the success of the various drives in Clintwood and Dickerson County during the World war.

Mr. Pressley married at Clintwood, September 9, 1907, Miss Julia Colley, daughter of Bart B. and Nannie E. (Neel) Colley, residents of Fremont, Virginia. Her father is a carpenter and builder. The four children born to Mr. and Mrs. Pressley are: Charles Burns, born August 1 5, 1909; Harry Lee, born January 15, 1911; William Walter, Jr., born February 1, 1919; and Julien Henry, born November 1, 1922.