A. V. Criss, Jr. and L. Gay Criss Fund for Williamstown High School

Early in the 20th Century, a group of community minded individuals realized the town of Williamstown, West Virginia, was in need of a local bank. On October 1, 1919, these men met and incorporated a new bank. This bank would be known as the Farmers and Mechanics National Bank of Williamstown.

The newly organized bank opened for business in December of 1919. The first Board of Directors consisted of F.L. Fenton, J.J. Lorentz, E.E. Lane, George Pugh, M. Richter, Frank Lane, D. Reynolds, O.D. King, and B.F. Riggs. The bank’s first officers were F.L. Fenton, President; E.E. Lane, Vice President; and J.J. Lorentz, Cashier.

In the year of 1960, controlling interest in the Bank was purchased by A.V. Criss and Douglas Adams. After operating together for several years, the interest of Douglas Adams was purchased by A.V. Criss, Jr.  Mr. Criss, Jr. passed away in 1983 and his wife, L. Gay Criss, assumed the position of controlling shareholder of the Bank, until her death in May 2008.  The Criss family remains heavily involved in the Bank.

To honor the Criss family, Williamstown Bank established this scholarship fund with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation in 2008.  This fund provides scholarship support to graduating seniors from Williamstown High School who have an interest in pursuing a career in finance, accounting, banking, business or a related field.



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