R. Ward Harrison, Editor

December 23, 1949

A member of one of Charlton County’s leading pioneer families, William Mizell, Jr. was born in 1889 at Kings Ferry, just across the St. Marys River in Nassau County, Fla. where he grew up to young manhood. At that time and for many years thereafter, his father, the late William Mizell, Sr. in association with his brother, the late Jackson Mizell, operated at Kings Ferry one of the largest sawmill and lumber enterprises of that period when the original pine forests were being manufactured into lumber, a large portion of the lumber being exported to the French island of Martinique in the West Indies.

In his youth, Mr. Mizell worked in various capacities with his father in the sawmill enterprise and attended the one-room, one-teacher public schools common at the time, where he obtained his elementary education. In 1905 he entered Florida State College in Tallahassee, this institution being abolished at the end of his first year there. The following year he transferred to Emory at Oxford where he was a student from 1906 – 1907. Then in 1908-09 he attended Georgia-Alabama Business College at Macon, Ga. where he completed his business education.

Returning to Kings Ferry he was again associated with his father in the sawmill operation until the end of 1912. Early in 1913 Mr. Mizell went to Miami where for several years he was connected with the Miami First National Bank. In this position he obtained his preliminary training in the banking business and acquired much business experience in the big city banking methods that has contributed to his success in the banking field. Terminating his banking connection he served as secretary-treasurer for a hardware concern in Miami for some time.

Upon moving to Folkston Mr. William Mizell, Sr. retired from active business but being one of the largest stockholders in the Citizens Bank of Folkston, he was elected president of that institution.

Returning to Georgia in 1918, William Mizell, Jr. joined his father in directing his large real estate and other business interests in this area, making his home in this city. Soon after he became actively connected with the Citizens Bank of Folkston, taking over the duties of Cashier in 1922, to which position he had been elected. In the years since that time the bank’s record has been one of unbroken, forward progress with each succeeding financial statement showing a substantial increase over the previous one, until it is now regarded as one of the strongest banking institutions of its class in the state. It is a record of which not only Mr. Mizell, but the community and county should be proud and which reflects the highest credit upon the integrity, ability and public service of its responsible management.

The bank was incorporated December 19, 1911, thirty-eight years ago this week with a capital stock of $15,000 at $60.00 per share. Mr. Mizell became president of the institution in 1927 upon the retirement of his father who died in 1930 after a long and useful life as an honored citizen. In 1927 when Mr. Mizell assumed the duties of president, the bank’s total resources stood at $330,000. Early this year its capital stock was increased from $15,000 to $50,000 and its surplus funds from $15,000 to $50,000. The above is a remarkable achievement when it is considered that the original $15,000 has been returned to its stockholders in dividends and the new stock was issued in the form of a stock dividend. For each of the original shares, the stockholders of record received two shares, being an increase of 250 shares per par value for $60.00 to 500 shares of par value of $100.00.

The Citizens Bank has also established a thriving branch bank at Nahunta since Mr. Mizell began his service as president.

In 1921 the report showed no investment in government bonds. Today it shows over one million dollars. In 1921 it operated in a rented building, today it owns its own building, operates a branch at Nahunta and owns other valuable property. There are few communities the size of Folkston that can boast of a $100,000 bank with unimpaired reserves of over $85,000, in addition to membership in the Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation. When it is considered that all of this is an outgrowth of an original investment of $15,000, it speaks in the very strongest terms of the safe and careful management devoted to its everyday business dealings as well as the reliable enterprise and forward progress in customer care and service.

In 1916 Mr. Mizell was married to Miss Nana Mae Richter of Madison, Ga. who was at that time a teacher in the Miami, Fla. schools. They have one daughter, Sarah Kathryn who is now Mrs. John C. Benson of Dallas, Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Mizell are both members of the Folkston Methodist Church and have contributed much to the various phases of church work. They own and occupy one of the city’s most hospitable and attractive homes with beautiful surrounding grounds. Since 1918 they have been public spirited residents of Folkston, always ready to lend a helping hand in any worthy undertaking or cause and are widely regarded as among the city’s most friendly and congenial couples and valuable citizens.

see also:

My Fifteen Years At Citizens Bank

Charlton  County Archives