TOP PHOTO: Mildred Bullard Asbury began her career at Peoples Bank of the South as a teenager in 1957.
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – In the summer of 2017, WLAF caught up with Mildred Bullard Asbury the day before she began her 61st year at Peoples Bank of the South. Not a lot has changed these past five years although she did have a knee replaced back in June. “I got back as soon as I could. It was about a three-four-week process,” said Asbury.
“Who’s that girl over there in that yellow dress?” asked the late Dr. Lee J. Seargeant asked. Mildred Asbury recalls the beloved physician asking that on her very first day of working at Peoples Bank of the South. That was in June of 1957. CLICK HERE to hear the entire interview from the 2017 visit.
What began as a summer job after her freshman year at LMU turned into an unforgettable career. Asbury said ,“I liked it so well, I didn’t want to go back to school.” And she didn’t.
Born at Speedwell and raised on a farm, the 1956 Powell Valley High School graduate has worked in three different Peoples Bank buildings. Asbury started in the original building, then the green building that was built in 1960, and now in the newest Peoples Bank main offices building in downtown La Follette. That also includes working for three different bank presidents.
When asked if there is a retirement finish line, she said, “No. I’m not going to sit at home and (laughing) look out the window and watch the cars go by.”
There were no electric adding machines when Mildred started. “We had to key the number in and pull the lever,” said Asbury.
One Christmas, she and Joyce Lawson were decorating the bank’s Christmas tree. One afternoon after work, Bullard says, ”Joyce just wanted to throw the icicles on the tree, and I wanted to barely hang them and let them hang down. We got into it over decorating that Christmas tree. Mildred Reynolds told us to go home, eat supper, and come back. We were over our mad spell when we did that.”
Her late husband, Hutch, told some of his fellow state workers one day when he saw Mildred walking across the street, “There goes the woman I’m going to marry.” At the time, she didn’t even know him. They eventually began dating and were married in 1963.
“Had I known what Hutch said about me being the woman he was going to marry, I would have had some fun with him over that,” she said.
From all indications, the girl in the yellow dress is off to a good start to her 66th year at Peoples Bank of the South. (09/22/2022-6AM)