Our Founders

 Richard B. Parrish


1876 – Date of Death Unknown


Source: History of West Virginia and WV Biography

Published 1923



Richard B. Parrish is known as a banker all over the great coal and industrial district of Southern West Virginia. He has been an official in several prosperous banking institutions in this part of the state, and is now president of the Bluefield National Bank, an institution with upwards of a million dollars in resources.


Mr. Parrish was born at Malden, Kanawha County , West Virginia , August 15, 1876, son of John W. and Lena (Putney) Parrish. His parents were natives of West Virginia and his great-grandfather on his mother's side was a member of the House of Burgesses in old Virginia, while a great uncle was a patriot soldier in the Revolution. John W. Parrish spent the greater part of his life as a merchant and took a keen interest in public affairs. For many years he was on the local school board and he was also a member of the State Legislature at the time of the Goff contest, one of the notable events in legislative annals in West Virginia . While he was in the Legislature his son Richard served as page in the House.


Richard B. Parrish began his education in the common schools of Malden . In 1889 his parents removed to Huntington, where he continued through grammar school and high school, leaving high school to go to work as clerk for the Ensign Manufacturing Company, now American Car and Foundry Company. He was with that concern two years, and since then his experience has been almost entirely in banking. His early training for banking was acquired in the First National Bank of Huntington, which he entered as bookkeeper and collection clerk, and was teller when he left in 1906. In that year Mr. Parrish became assistant cashier of the Mingo County Bank of Williamson, now the National Bank of Commerce. He left this in 1907 to become cashier of the newly organized First National Bank of Northfork, West Virginia.  Mr. Parrish while living at Northfork served one term as mayor, and he was also secretary of the Masonic Lodge there. In 1911 he returned to Williamson with the Mingo County Bank, and when it was reorganized in 1912 as the National Bank of Commerce he remained with it at the post of cashier.


Mr. Parrish was one of the organizers in 1916 of the Bluefield National Bank, which opened its doors for busi­ness in March, 1917.  Mr. Parrish was the first cashier, and was made president in January, 1921, to succeed Mr. William Leckic, deceased.  Mr. Parrish in 1918 organized and became the first president of the First National Bank of Matoaka, and is still a director. While at Williamson he was secretary of Group 6 of the West Virginia State Bankers Association.


In 1909, at Peterstown, Monroe County, West Virginia, Mr. Parrish married Miss May Callaway, daughter of Lewis and Wilda (Hunter) Callaway. Her father for many years was county clerk of Monroe County . Mr. and Mrs. Parrish have one daughter, Alethea Hunter Parrish. They are members of the [First] Presbyterian Church, Mr. Parrish being an elder. He is a Royal Arch and Knight Templar Mason and Shriner, a director in the Chamber of Commerce, a member of the National Advisory Board of the Old Colony Club, and he organized the Rotary Club at Bluefield and was its first president, holding that office two and a half years. He is a member of the Bluefield Country Club and the New Mercer County Country Club, one of his recreations being the game of golf.

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