Biography of Eugene W. Stetson
Eugene W. Stetson, vice president and member of the executive committee of the Guaranty Trust Company of New York, was born in Hawkinsville, Georgia, December 5, 1881, the son of James D. and Eugenia (Pate) Stetson, and was educated at Gordon Military Institute, Barnesville, Georgia, and at Mercer University, Macon, Georgia. On July 1, 1901, immediately after completing his education he began his banking career with the American National Bank of Macon, Georgia, where he remained until 1904. He then became cashier of the Exchange National Bank of Fitzgerald, Georgia, in which capacity he continued until 190$. In that year he organized the Citizens National Bank at Macon, serving first as its cashier and later as president, when he was only twenty-eight years old.
Mr. Stetson remained in Georgia until 1916, and during that time was active in many business and financial affairs throughout Georgia and the South, where his ability as a banker was widely recognized. He served two terms as president of the Macon Chamber of Commerce and was also an organizer of the Georgia State Chamber of Commerce. He also served as arbitrator for the city of Macon when the city took over the water system from a private corporation. Since that time he has made an important place for himself in banking and business circles of New York.
He came to New York in 1916 as vice president of the Guaranty Trust Company, a position he has held since that date. Mr. Stetson is a director and member of the executive committee of many corporations, including the Guaranty Trust Company of New York, Bibb Manufacturing Company, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Inc., CocaCola Company, French American Banking Corporation,’ Illinois Central Railroad Company, Pure Carbonic Company of America, Selected Industries, Inc., Textile Banking Company, Inc., Tobacco Products Corporation of Delaware, United Drug Company, United Stores Corporation, W. A. Harriman Securities Corporation, Southeastern Compress & Warehouse Company, Ward Baking Corporation, One Seventeen East 72nd Street Corporation, Tobacco Products Company of New Jersey, and U. S. Industrial Alcohol Company.
Although he has made his home in New York City and Greens Farms, Connecticut, for many years, Mr. Stetson has maintained an active loyalty to the institutions and traditions of the South, and has many times been accorded tangible recognition of his fidelity to the section and State of his birth. He is a firm believer in the predominant usefulness of the small college as a developer of leadership for the smaller communities of the country, and has kept that idea foremost in his contacts with educational affairs. In 1927 he began the formation of a trust fund for the endowment of a chair of economics at his alma mater, Mercer University, in memory of his father, and three years later he was appointed a member of the University’s Endowment Commission of five men to administer the funds of the institution. He was further honored in 1933, the year of Mercer’s centennial, when the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred on him at the annual commencement exercises by President Spright Dowell.
Mr. Stetson has also been active in the affairs of the New York Southern Society, one of the outstanding sectional organizations in New York City, and in 1934-1935 he served the society as president. He also served as treasurer of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation at the time that organization purchased the birthplace of General Lee at Stratford, Virginia, and earlier was active on the New York committee that sponsored the sale here of commemorative coins to raise funds for the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial. In connection with the many business and other interests he retains in the South, Mr. Stetson has made numerous trips back to his native State.
In 1904 Mr. Stetson married Miss Josephine Shaw of Macon, who passed away in 1912. By this marriage there are two children, Josephine Shaw Stetson and Eugene William Stetson, Jr. Josephine Shaw Stetson, in 1934, married Robert Plant Hatcher, son of Judge and Mrs. Marshall Felton Hatcher, of Macon, Georgia. She was educated at the Brearley School, New York, Rosemary Hall, Greenwich, Conn., and graduated from Bryn Mawr College at Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, in 1928. Eugene W. Stetson, Jr., in 1934 married Grace Stuart Richardson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. Smith Richardson, of Greensboro, North Carolina, and Greens Farms, Connecticut. He was educated at Allen Stevenson School in New York, the Choate School, Wallingford, Connecticut, and Yale University, 1934, where he was tapped for Skull and Bones Society.
In 1915 Mr. Stetson was married again, this time to Miss Iola Lamar Wise, also of Macon. By this marriage there are three children: Basil Wise Stetson, Charles Pate Stetson, and Iola Wise Stetson. Basil Wise Stetson attended St. Bernard’s School, New York, and has just completed a six-year course at St. Paul’s School, Concord, New Hampshire, and will enter the freshman class at Yale this fall (1935). Charles Pate Stetson attended St. Bernard’s School, New York, and at the present time is attending St. Paul’s School, Concord, New Hampshire. Iola Wise Stetson is attending the Brearley School, New York, at the present time.
Their New York home is at 117 East 72nd Street, and their summer residence is at Greens Farms, Connecticut.