John Gibbons Yancey (1884-1951)
Source: History of Virginia, Page 284
The first National Bank of Harrisonburg of which John G. Yancey is Vice President and cashier, is one of the oldest national banks in Virginia, having been organized in 1865. Its original capitalization was $110,000.00. It's first president was A. B. Irick and the first cashier was C. C. Strayer. The second president was J. L. Sibert and the second cashier was L. C. Meyers. L. C. Meyers has had a notable service with the institution as cashier, continuing the duties of that office until 1906 when he was made president. And is still connected with the bank as its executive officer. The third president was Philo Bradley, paternal grandfather of John G Yancey, the present cashier. Mr. Bradley resigned on account of failing eye-sight and was succeeded by Mr. Meyers. The third cashier was C. H. Chandler, who took office after Mr. Meyers was promoted to president, and at the death of Mr. Chandler, John G. Yancey was advanced from teller to cashier.
The First National Bank of Harrisonburg has stood the storm of many years and financial panics. At one time its capital was reduced to $66,000.00. Since February 1918, its capital has been $300,000.00 and it now has a surplus of $150,000.00 and undivided profits at $47,000.00 The bank is one of the strongest in the Shenandowah Valley with total resources of nearly two and one half million dollars. The principle officers at the time are: L. C. Meyers, executive president, George E. Sipe, chairman of the board; W. L. Dechert, president; and John G. Yancey, vice president and cashier. The board of directors include a number of men prominent in the business and professional affairs of Rockingham County.
John Gibbons Yancey, the vice president, was born at Harrisonburg, February 11, 1884. His father, John Gibbons Yancey Sr, was born in 1852 in the Stonewall District of Rockingham County. He finished his education in Emery and Henry College, and on leaving school found employment in a store at Harrisonburg. For a time he was in business as a partner with Charles Fellows, and leaving there he became a manufacturer of plaster and finally was in the grain business with the firm of Yancey and Kent of Harrisonburg. The interests of this firm were subsequently extended to include wood, coal, and wholesale groceries. On the retirement of Mr. Kent, he was succeeded by J. M. Snell and the business was continued under the name Yancey, Snell & Company. The senior partner finally retired and acquired a third interest in the Harrisonburg Milling Co., The last years of his life were given to that business, and he was still active at the time of his death on April 30, 1913.
John Gibbons Yancey, Sr gave his time and energies to business and was never in politics. However, he was widely known all over Western, Va. for his prominence in masonry and was a noted authority of this ancient craft. He took all the degrees conferrable in the U. S. He also laid much stress upon religious work, and for forty years was an official in the Methodist Church at Harrisonburg.
His wife was Miss Fannie Bennett Bradley, a daughter of Philo Bradley, the banker. She was born in Harrisonburg and was reared and educated there and is still living. Her children are; Sue, wife of E. R. Lineweaver of Harrisonburg; John Gibbons Jr; Philo B, connected with Canadian Explosives, Limited of Montreal, Canada; and Edward ?, who is with the DuPont Power Company and a resident of Woodbury, New Jersey.
John G. Yancey Jr., while a boy at Harrisonburg attended private schools, later public schools, and at the age of sixteen transferred apprenticeship as a clerk in the insurance office of J. R. Lupton. Though he remained there only six months, it was a valuable time and experience there, and gave him much equipment for the duties that followed. Mr. Yancey began his work for the First National Bank of Harrisonburg as a runner, and for a time he swept out the banking quarters, fired the furnace, carried the mail, and gradually familiarized himself with the more technical repressibilities until there was scarcely any department of banking which he has not gained an intimate acquaintance. In April 1917 he was promoted to cashier as the successor of C. H. Chandler, and since January 13, 1920, has also been Vice President.
While he regards banking his chief business and profession, Mr. Yancey has not neglected the interests of the community. For eight years he was a member of the Harrisonburg City Council. During his membership in the council a large concrete 5,000,000 gallon reservoir was installed as additional equipment for the water works, and the old electric plant on the river was dismantled and replaced with a modern turbine system of generators. However, perhaps his chief contribution to the efficiency of the city government was his active contribution to the efficiency of the city government was his active participation and financial experience in securing the establishment and maintenance of a proper sinking fund against the banded indebtedness of the city. Mr. Yancey is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club, and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He teaches the oldest Bible class at Harrisonburg, having succeeded his father as teacher. His grandfather Bradley also taught the class at one time.
In November 1912, at Harrisonburg, Mr. Yancey married Miss Lucile Rosenberger, daughter of A. R. and Eva K. (Long) Rosenberger, of Charleston, West Va. Mrs. Yancey was born at New Market, Va, where her father was a banker at the time. She is the only child of her parents and was educated in Randolph-Macon College. Mr. and Mrs. Yancey have a daughter, Dorothy.