First Standard Bank (Louisville, KY)
First Standard Bank in Louisville, KY, was one of the first African American-owned banks in Kentucky. Wilson Lovett was president; W. W. Spradling was vice president and chairman of the board; and Dr. L. R. Johnson and Bishop B. C. Clement were vice presidents. Richard L. Jones, from Alabama, was a member of the group that helped organize the bank and he served as the cashier. Jones left the bank in 1922 for a position with the Chicago Defender newspaper, and in 1954, he was named director of the U.S. Foreign Operations Mission to Liberia. J. R. Ray became the second cashier at the bank. Wilson Lovett resigned as president in 1929 for a position with Supreme Life Insurance Company, and J. R. Ray was named president of First Standard Bank. The bank was first located on 7th Street, and would later be located at the corner of 6th and Walnut Streets. The First Standard Bank and American Mutual Bank merged in January of 1931 to become Mutual Standard Bank, but tough economic times, the Depression, forced the back to close in May of 1931. The next African American bank in Kentucky would be the Continental National Bank that opened in Louisville, KY, in 1974. For more see "Brigadier General to Liberia," The Topeka Plaindealer, 09/03/1954, pp.1 & 2; and J. Blain Hudson, "First Standard Bank" in The Encyclopedia of Louisville edited by J. E. Kleber.