Biography of William E. Futch
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

WILLIAM ELI FUTCH. Among Cleveland's financial and business institutions none have brought more fame to that city than the first bank in America organized and founded by labor, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Co-Operative National Bank, which was established November 1, 1920, by members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and while its management is in the hands of men of expert and successful banking experience, several of the executive officers have long been officially identified with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. While the bank has been in existence less than three years, its resources total over $23,000,000.

One of the vice presidents of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Co-Operative National Bank is William Eli Futch, who for many years has been an official of the Brotherhood and is an old time railroad man.

Mr. Futch was born on a farm in Bryant County, Georgia, March 12, 1860, in a locality isolated from all towns and railroad centers. His parents were William and Amy Adalaide (Spiers) Futch. His maternal grandmother was Mary O'Quinn, whose ancestors came from Ireland. His greatgrandfather, Onesymus Futch, was, according to the family tradition, a native of Holland. His grandfather was Eli Futch, an extensive planter and slave holder before the war. Eli Futch married Mary Wright, a direct descendant of the first Colonial governor of Georgia.

William Futch, father of the Cleveland banker, was reared on his father's plantation, and served throughout the period of the Civil war in the Confederate army. After the war he abandoned farming and became a merchant at Brunswick, Georgia, where he continued in business until his death in 1872 during a yellow fever epidemic. He was a very devout Baptist and a member of the Masonic Order. His family consisted of three sons and three daughters, William E. being second in age, and five of them still living.

William Eli Futch spent his boyhood at Brunswick, Georgia. He was twelve years of age when his father died, and that event put an end to his further schooling except what education has come to him in liberal quantities through practical experience with men and affairs. His father left his business in such condition that it paid nothing to the family after all obligations were satisfied. William E. Futch, therefore, had to become the practical head of a family of seven, and from that time forward his career was one of hard labor and he unselfishly devoted his time and earnings to the benefit of the family for some years. On reaching his majority he qualified as a locomotive engineer, and he had charge of a locomotive on the Plant System of Railways in Georgia for a period of fourteen years.

Mr. Futch was elected president of the Locomotive Engineers Mutual Life & Accident Insurance Association, an adjunct of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, when he was thirty-six years of age, and for over a quarter of a century has been officially identified with some of the great fraternal, beneficiary and cooperative enterprises fostered and supported by the organization of the locomotive engineers. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Brotherhood of .Locomotive Engineers, and in addition to his post in the bank at Cleveland, is a member of the Board of Governors of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Pension Association and is vice president and director of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Building Association.

Mr. Futch is secretary of the National Fraternal Congress of America. In Masonry he is affiliated with all the degrees and orders except the supreme honorary thirty-third degree. He is a member of the Masonic Club and the City Club of Cleveland.

Mr. Futch is married, and he and his wife became the parents of seven children, five of whom are living. His oldest daughter, Ethyl Adalaide, is a practicing attorney, having been admitted to the bar in Ohio, and is the wife of Ian M. Ross, also an attorney. Mr. Futch's second daughter is married. His first two Sons died in early childhood. His third son is a graduate in medicine and surgery from the University of Michigan. His third daughter, a widow with one son, is an employe of the Cleveland Trust Company. His youngest child and son is a student in the Staunton Military Academy at Staunton, Virginia. Mr. Futch's aged mother, now eighty-six, is also one of his family circle.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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