Vance Jackson Alexander (Memphis, TN)

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Vance J. Alexander (date unknown)

Vance Jackson Alexander (July 24, 1884 – February 15, 1967)


  • Name: Vance Jackson Alexander
  • Birth: July 24, 1884 Tennessee
  • Death: February 15, 1967 Memphis, TN.
  • Spouse: Hazel Ethel (Brock) Alexander (1885-1970) (Married in 1909)

Vance Jackson Alexander was born July 24, 1884 in the small Marion County, Tennessee town of Jasper.  He attended local schools there and also began his banking career there at his father's bank named the Marion County Trust and Banking Company.  This was 1904, and he earned all of $25 a month.  Vance graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1906, and in 1907 he helped organize another small bank, named the South Pittsburg Savings Bank, also in Marion county.  Within two years, in early 1909, he returned home to Jasper. On April 15, 1909, Vance married Hazel Ethel Brock in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In early 1910 he came to Nashville to help organize the Cumberland Valley National Bank, which received charter 9659 in February of 1910.  Initially, he was employed as assistant cashier, but on October 12, 1910, he was elected as cashier.  Vance stayed cashier of Cumberland Valley until it was absorbed in merger by the American National Bank of Nashville, charter 3032, in January 1921.  Following the merger, he was elected Vice-President and Cashier of American National.  On May 12, 1920, he was elected President of the Tennessee Bankers Association, and during 1925, Vance was Chairman of the Stone Mountain Committee of Davidson County, who's responsibility it was to sell Nashville's quota of Stone Mountain commemorative half dollars. In June of 1925, he relinquished his duties as cashier of American National to Frank M. Farris, and remained Vice-President of the bank.  In May, 1932, he was elected as Executive Vice-President of American National Bank. 

Due to the collapse of the Nashville bond house known as Caldwell and Company in late 1930, Fourth & First National Bank of Nashville, charter 150 at the time, needed a merger to prevent the bank from defaulting due to money owed it by Caldwell and Company.  American National absorbed Fourth & First on November 12, 1930.  Part of the assets of Fourth and First at the time of the merger was a controlling share in the Union Planters National Bank and Trust Company of Memphis, Tennessee, charter 13349.  Union Planters was not a solid bank at the time, and its president, Gilmer Winston, suffered a heart attack early in 1933.  Paul M. Davis, president of American National, decided to send his right hand man, Vance Alexander, to Memphis to aid in the management of the bank until Gilmer Winston was back on his feet.

Vance Alexander soon showed his value as he expertly managed the Union Planters bank.  Gilmer Winston was soon elected Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Vance Alexander was elected President of the Union Planters National Bank on April 8, 1933.  He stayed president of Union Planters until 1952, when he also was elected Chairman of the Board.  Vance had a lifetime of service to Vanderbilt University.  He served on the athletic committee when he was younger, and as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1944 until his death.  Vance died February 15, 1967, in Memphis, and is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Bank Officer Summary

During his banking career, V. J. Alexander was involved with the following bank(s):

  • Cumberland Valley NB, Nashville, TN (Charter 9659): Cashier 1910-1921
  • Union Planters NB & TC, Memphis, TN (Charter 13349): President 1933-1952

Series 1902 Plain Back $20 bank note with engraved signatures of V.J. Alexander, Cashier and P.D. Houston, President. Courtesy Heritage Auctions,
Series 1929 Type 2 $20 bank note with printed signatures of E. A. Wrieden, Cashier and V.J. Alexander, President. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions,