George Strother

Male, #36181, (say 1736 - )
Father*Jeremiah Strother (c 1712 - 14 Jul 1775)
Mother*Catharina Kennerly (s 1714 - )
Birth*say 1736 George was born say 1736. 
Marriage* He married Mary Margaret (?)
Death* He died at Edgefield District, South Carolina
Birth of Son16 Feb 1766 His son William Augustus Strother was born on 16 Feb 1766 at Craven Co., South Carolina


Mary Margaret (?) (say 1738 - )
Last Edited25 Feb 2007

Mary Margaret (?)

Female, #36182, (say 1738 - )
Married Name Her married name was Strother. 
Marriage* She married George Strother
Birth*say 1738 Mary was born say 1738. 
Birth of Son16 Feb 1766 Her son William Augustus Strother was born on 16 Feb 1766 at Craven Co., South Carolina


George Strother (say 1736 - )
Last Edited25 Feb 2007

Jeremiah Strother

Male, #36183, (circa 1712 - 14 Jul 1775)
Birth*circa 1712 Jeremiah was born circa 1712. 
Marriage* He married Catharina Kennerly
Birth of Sonsay 1736 His son George Strother was born say 1736. 
Death*14 Jul 1775 He died at Anson Co., North Carolina, on 14 Jul 1775. 


Catharina Kennerly (say 1714 - )
Last Edited25 Feb 2007

Catharina Kennerly

Female, #36184, (say 1714 - )
Father*Samuel Kennerly (s 1684 - )
Mother*Ellen (?) (s 1686 - )
Married Name Her married name was Strother. 
Marriage* She married Jeremiah Strother
Birth*say 1714 Catharina was born say 1714. 
Birth of Sonsay 1736 Her son George Strother was born say 1736. 


Jeremiah Strother (circa 1712 - 14 Jul 1775)
Last Edited25 Feb 2007

Samuel Kennerly

Male, #36185, (say 1684 - )
Birth*say 1684 Samuel was born say 1684. 
Marriage* He married Ellen (?)


Ellen (?) (say 1686 - )
Last Edited25 Feb 2007

Ellen (?)

Female, #36186, (say 1686 - )
Married Name Her married name was Kennerly. 
Marriage* She married Samuel Kennerly
Birth*say 1686 Ellen was born say 1686. 


Samuel Kennerly (say 1684 - )
Last Edited25 Feb 2007

Mary Lou Driggers

Female, #36190


John William Culpepper III
Last Edited5 Oct 2007

John William Culpepper IV1

Male, #36191
Father*John William Culpepper III
Mother*Mary Lou Driggers
ChartsJames Culpepper of Nash Co., NC : Descendant Chart
Last Edited5 Oct 2007


  1. E-mail written 1999 to Lew Griffin from John William Culpepper III.

Henry Harris1

Male, #36193, (4 Jun 1781 - 9 May 1849)
Birth*4 Jun 1781 Henry was born at North Carolina on 4 Jun 1781. 
Probate19 Apr 1833 They was an appraiser of Nathan Culpepper of Warren Co., GA's estate at Warren Co., Georgia, on 19 Apr 1833.2 
Death*9 May 1849 He died at Talbot Co., Georgia, on 9 May 1849 at age 67. 


Last Edited20 Aug 1999


  1. William H. Davidson, A Rockaway in Talbot, Travels in an Old Georgia County, West Point, GA: Hester Print, 1983.
    page 194.
  2. Daniel Nathan Crumpton, compiler, Cemeteries and Genealogy: Waren County, Georgia and immediate vicinity, 1792-1987, Vol. I, Roswell, Georgia: WH Wolfe Associates, 1987, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. 975.8625 V3c v. 2.
    Page 281, which cites Warren Co. Inventory & Sales (1830-1837), page 195.

Fletcher Floyd Isbell1

Male, #36194, (29 Mar 1906 - 23 Jan 1996)
Father*Benjamin Eddins Isbell (23 Feb 1870 - 21 Oct 1948)
Mother*Stella Maude Floyd (14 Mar 1878 - 6 Aug 1951)
Note* Source:
Published by J. Grant Stevenson, 230 West 1230 North, Provo, Utah 84601, 1973
Call Number: CS71.F65x. 
Birth*29 Mar 1906 Fletcher was born at Idabel, Choctaw Nation, Oklahoma, on 29 Mar 1906.2 
Marriage*7 Oct 1936 He married Margaret Culpepper on 7 Oct 1936 at age 30. 
Death of Father21 Oct 1948 His father Benjamin Eddins Isbell died on 21 Oct 1948. 
Death of Mother6 Aug 1951 His mother Stella Maude Floyd died on 6 Aug 1951 at nursing home in, Dunn Loring, Fairfax Co., Virginia
Death*23 Jan 1996 He died at Arlington, Arlington Co., Virginia, on 23 Jan 1996 at age 89.2 
Biography* Fletcher was born in Indian Territory because his parents lived there for a year while his father was serving as attorney for a lumber company. Within a few months they returned to their adjacent home county of Sevier, in Southwest Arkansas, and he grew to young manhood at DeQueen. He graduated from the DeQueen public schools in 1923 and the University of Arkansas in 1927, with a year of graduate work in history and economics following at the latter institution.
Early in life he had determined to be a newspaperman, and after stints on the papers at DeQueen, Mena, Fort Smith and Texarkana, he went in 1929 to Washington, D.C., where he served the Washington Post until 1936 in various desk capacities, including head of the copydesk, foreign and telegraph editor, and makeup editor. In 1935 he went to the Washington Evening Star, where he worked except for wartime in various desk assignments including that of assistant news editor until retirement in 1970. He has written free-lance articles and fiction for various publications, including Nation's Business.
A concurrent career was as an officer in the Army Intelligence Reserve, which he entered in 1939. His World War II service was as an intelligence officer at the New Orleans Port of Embarkation, with some duty in Puerto Rico and Panama. He ended at New Orleans as Chief of the Intelligence Division. In 1951, at the outbreak of the Korean War, he returned to active duty for two years as Chief of the Publications Section. Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, in the Pentagon. He retired in his rank of lieutenant colonel in 1962. Res: 1711 North Highland Street, Arlington, Va.



Margaret Culpepper (7 Jul 1909 - )
Marriage*7 Oct 1936 He married Margaret Culpepper on 7 Oct 1936 at age 30. 
Last Edited11 Mar 2002


  1. E-mail written 2002 from Meribeth Kessick, e-mail address.
  2. U.S. Social Security Administration, compiler, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Online database at

Mary Culpepper1

Female, #36203, (circa 1766 - before 1856)
Father*Erasmus Culpepper of Nash Co., NC (c 1742 - c 1782)
Mother*Chloe Whitehead (c 1748 - b May 1818)
Birth*circa 1766 Mary was born at Edgecombe Co., North Carolina, circa 1766. 
Marriage*Feb 1786 She married Sion Daniel at Nash Co., North Carolina, in Feb 1786. 
Married NameFeb 1786  As of Feb 1786, her married name was Daniel. 
Will12 Feb 1788 John, Henry, Nathan, Mary, Abiah, Martha, Nathan, Rahab, Elizabeth and Martha named as heir(s) in the will of Elizabeth (?) at Nash Co., North Carolina, on 12 Feb 1788.2 
Will31 May 1816 In Chloe Whitehead's will on 31 May 1816 at Nash Co., North Carolina, Matthew, Mary, Nathan, Erasmus and John named as heir(s). 
Death*before 1856 She died at Nash Co., North Carolina, before 1856. 
Biography* Court minutes 04/1784 - Mary was orphan of Erasmus, chose mother Chloe as guardian.
Mary's Revolutionary War pension application (R2653) states that her husband, Sion, served in the NC Line. She (then a widow) applied for a pension on 3 Jan 1848 in Nash County, NC. She was aged 82. She stated that Sion lived in Wake County, NC, at the time of his enlistment, where his father Peter Daniel had sent him to go to school. His father Peter lived in Halifax County, NC, at the start of the Revolutionary War. She stated that she and Sion were married in February 1786 in Nash County. And that their children were Benjamin (born 3 Dec 1786), Elizabeth (born 28 Nov 1788), Winnefred (born 28 Mar 1793). Other children were mentioned but not named. One William Whitley stated for his wife Giley that Mary came by to their house and took all the soldier's old papers about two years before she died (affidavit made in 1856). 


Sion Daniel (say 1760 - before Jan 1848)
Marriage*Feb 1786 She married Sion Daniel at Nash Co., North Carolina, in Feb 1786. 
ChartsBenjamin (son of Robert) Culpepper of Edgecombe Co., NC: Descendant Chart
Last Edited12 Nov 1999


  1. Virgil D. White, compiler, Genealogical abstracts of Revolutionary War pension files, Waynesboro, TN: National Historical Publishing Co., 1990-1992.
  2. Transcribed by Lew Griffin from LDS Film: 1577511 Item 2.

Sion Daniel

Male, #36204, (say 1760 - before Jan 1848)
Father*Peter Daniel (s 1735 - )
Birth*say 1760 Sion was born say 1760. 
American Revolution*between 1778 and 1783 He provided service in the American Revolutionary War between 1778 and 1783
(See biography.) 
Marriage*Feb 1786 He married Mary Culpepper at Nash Co., North Carolina, in Feb 1786. 
Will12 Feb 1788 Sion named as executor(s) in the will of Elizabeth (?) at Nash Co., North Carolina, on 12 Feb 1788.1 
Death*before Jan 1848 He died at North Carolina before Jan 1848. 
Biography* The Revolutionary War pension application of Sion's widow, Mary, stated that Sion's father was Peter Daniel of Halifax County, NC.
     An August 1725 deed in Bertie County, NC, of William and Rachill Whitehead to Francis and Mary Parker, stated that the land being sold was adjacent to a PETER DANIELS. Joseph Culpepper was one of the witnesses. 2
This may have been too early to have been Peter, father of Sion.
     There were two Sion Daniels in early Halifax County, NC. One was Sion, son of Peter, and the other, Sion, son of Ambrose Daniel, who, according to Worth S. Ray, came to Halifax County from St. Mary's County, MD, around 1775.
     The Sion Daniel who was executor of the will of Elizabeth Culpepper of Nash County in 1788 appears to have been Sion, son of Peter Daniel. 


Mary Culpepper (circa 1766 - before 1856)
Last Edited30 Apr 2012


  1. Transcribed by Lew Griffin from LDS Film: 1577511 Item 2.
  2. Bertie County NC Deeds, book B, page 14

Peter Daniel

Male, #36205, (say 1735 - )
Birth*say 1735 Peter was born say 1735. 
Birth of Sonsay 1760 His son Sion Daniel was born say 1760. 


Last Edited17 Aug 1999

Edwin Thomas Culpepper

Male, #36206, (26 Oct 1882 - 18 Aug 1941)
Father*Allison Thomas Culpepper (18 Dec 1854 - 2 Jun 1927)
Mother*Mamie A. Griffin (1861 - 1935)
Birth*26 Oct 1882 Edwin was born at Georgia on 26 Oct 1882.1 
1910 Census*15 Apr 1910 Edwin was listed as the head of a family on the 1910 Census at Morven, Brooks Co., Georgia.2 
Marriage*3 Dec 1913 He married Mattie Lou Spell at Brooks Co., Georgia, on 3 Dec 1913 at age 31. 
Birth of Soncirca 1914 His son Edwin Russell Culpepper was born circa 1914 at Brooks Co., Georgia
Birth of Son5 Jun 1915 His son Marion Thomas Culpepper was born on 5 Jun 1915 at Brooks Co., Georgia.3 
1920 Census*1 Jan 1920 Edwin was listed as the head of a family on the 1920 Census at Quitman, Brooks Co., Georgia.4 
Birth of Son11 Nov 1921 His son Jack R. Culpepper was born on 11 Nov 1921 at Brooks Co., Georgia.5,6 
Death of Father2 Jun 1927 His father Allison Thomas Culpepper died on 2 Jun 1927 at Brooks Co., Georgia.7 
1930 Census*1 Apr 1930 Edwin was listed as the head of a family on the 1930 Census at Empress District, Brooks Co., Georgia.8 
Death of Mother1935 His mother Mamie A. Griffin died in 1935 at Brooks Co., Georgia
Death*18 Aug 1941 He died at Brooks Co., Georgia, on 18 Aug 1941 at age 58.9,1 
Burial*circa 20 Aug 1941 His body was interred circa 20 Aug 1941 at Brooks Co., Georgia.1 


Mattie Lou Spell (circa 1895 - )
Marriage*3 Dec 1913 He married Mattie Lou Spell at Brooks Co., Georgia, on 3 Dec 1913 at age 31. 
ChartsOrphan / Allison Culpepper of Webster Co., GA: Descendant Chart
Last Edited18 Jul 2010


  1. A Survey of Brooks County Cemeteries, Quitman, GA: Brooks County Museum and Cultural Center, 1999.
    Concord Cemetery, north of Quitman, Brooks Co., GA
    A. (Allison) Culpepper, 18 Dec 1854 - 2 Jun 1927
    Mary (Mamia) Culpepper, 1861 - 1935
    Edwin Thomas Culpepper, 26 Oct 1882 - 18 Aug 1941
    John A. Culpepper, 9 Sep 1883 - 16 Apr 1936
    Julian T. Culpepper, 11 Oct 1889 - 19 May 1946.
  2. 1910 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 10, Page 6A, Morven District, Brooks Co., GA
    Edwin T. Culpepper, Head, M, 28, S, GA/GA/GA, Farmer.
  3. U.S. Social Security Administration, compiler, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Online database at
  4. 1920 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 38, page 3A, Quitman, Brooks Co., GA
    Edward T. Culpepper, Head, M, 38, M, GA/GA/GA, Farmer
    Mattie Lou Culpepper, Wife, F, 25, M, GA/GA/GA
    Edwin R. Culpepper, Son, M, 6, S, GA/GA/GA
    Marion Culpepper, Son, M, 5, S, GA/GA/GA
    Margret Culpepper, Dau, F, 1, S, GA/GA/GA.
  5. National Archives and Records Administration, compiler, U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, Online database at, 2005.
    Jack R Culpepper, White, Single, born 1921 in Georgia, residing in King Co., Washington, enlisted as a Private in the US Army on 16 Jan 1943 in Washington.
  6. Inc., compiler, US Public Records Index, Online database at, 2005.
  7. Georgia Health Department / Office of Vital Records, compiler, Georgia Deaths, 1919-1998, Online database at, 1998.
    Allison Culpepper, d. 2 Jun 1927 in Brooks Co., GA.
  8. 1930 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 21, page 5B; Empress District, Brooks Co., GA
    Owns home, Radio=N, Farm=Y
    Edd L. Culpepper, Head, 48, Md, md @ 30, GA, GA, GA, Farmer
    Mattie L. Culpepper, Wife, 35, Md, md @ 16, GA, GA, GA
    E. Russel Culpepper, Son, 17, GA, GA, GA
    Marian T. Culpepper, Son, 14, GA, GA, GA
    Margaret M. Culpepper, Daughter, 11, GA, GA, GA
    Jack R. Culpepper, Son, 8, GA/GA/GA.
  9. Georgia Health Department / Office of Vital Records, compiler, Georgia Deaths, 1919-1998, Online database at, 1998.
    Edwin T. Culpepper, d. 18 Aug 1941 at 60 years in Brooks Co., GA.

James Edward Griffin1

Male, #36207, (say 1831 - )
Birth*say 1831 James was born say 1831. 


Last Edited17 Aug 1999


  1. E-mail written 1999-2004 to Lew Griffin from Sam Bruce Culpepper (#50067), e-mail address.

J. O. Lucas

Male, #36208, (say 1896 - )
Birth*say 1896 J. was born say 1896. 
Marriage*20 May 1921 He married Pearl G. Culpepper at Brooks Co., Georgia, on 20 May 1921. 


Pearl G. Culpepper (circa 1898 - )
Last Edited17 Aug 1999

Barbara Fulton1

Female, #36209, (say 1804 - before 1846)
Birth*say 1804 Barbara was born say 1804. 
Marriage*before 1830 She married Dr. Robert Davis Sinclair before 1830. 
Married Namebefore 1830  As of before 1830, her married name was Sinclair. 
Death*before 1846 She died before 1846. 


Dr. Robert Davis Sinclair (9 Mar 1802 - 11 Jun 1862)
Last Edited17 Aug 1999


  1. E-mail written 1999 to Lew Griffin from Katherine E. Walker.

John Blair Culpepper1

Male, #36210, (7 Nov 1937 - 16 Aug 2016)
Father*John Broward Culpepper Ph.D. (9 Dec 1907 - 6 Apr 1990)
Mother*Betty Dunn (11 Aug 1912 - 31 Jan 2009)
Birth*7 Nov 1937 John was born at Gainesville, Alachua Co., Florida, on 7 Nov 1937. 
Marriage*11 Jun 1959 He married Cynthia Lawrence on 11 Jun 1959 at age 21. 
News Article*1 May 1987 Pioneer Savings has not achieved top billing in Florida banking circles. But Chairman William E. Nodine and CEO J. Blair Culpepper are trying to give it the qualities of a star.

In the annals of Florida financial institutions, the story of Pioneer Savings Bank is not the stuff of great theater.
Born in 1982, after the merger of Clearwater Federal (organized 1955) and Park Federal of Winter Park (organized 1934), Pioneer has grown steadily. With its rich base of more than $1.5 billion in deposits, Pioneer Savings has all the makings of an important player in regional banking. It has the management talent and stature to hold its own against all but the biggest banks that have come into Florida, and it has consistently increased its market share in the face of an onslaught of competition.
     But serious problems with nonperforming assets have lingered at the northern Pinellas County thrift since the early 1980s. In a world where only the spectacular seems to sell, Pioneer, which earned only slightly more than $1 million on assets of more than $2 billion last year, has faded into the scenery.
     Pioneer's Chairman William E. Nodine and J. Blair Culpepper, who is CEO and president of the thrift, want to change that. But Pioneer's balance sheet is still top-heavy with good will, which consists of premiums Pioneer and its predecessors paid as they were acquiring assets. Last year, the good will on Pioneer's books was double the company's shareholders' equity, and Pioneer management knows it has to work like crazy to dispel any      lingering doubt about the quality of its assets.
In the past three years, Nodine and Culpepper have made some hard choices. They sold off approximately $150 million in assets - about 10% of Pioneer's total - to begin turning the S&L around after it posted two years of losses in the early 1980s. They restructured Pioneer's balance sheet and pushed hard to expand the range of the thrift's basic financial services. A 43% increase in interest income in 1986 is a good sign that management is achieving better results as the gap narrows between Pioneer's interest-earning assets and its interest-bearing liabilities.
     Nodine, who is 57, was trained as a lawyer, but he has spent the past 30 years in banking. He joined Clearwater Federal as a director in 1956; by 1972, he was president. In 1982, he was named chairman. Culpepper, 49, got his start in banking in Jacksonville. He polished his craft as president of Atlantic Bank of Orlando and then as president of Barnett Bank of Winter Park before moving to Park Federal, where he was president until the birth of Pioneer.
     With the branch network from their original merger, plus some carefully timed and well-chosen acquisitions, Nodine and Culpepper put together a group of 40 offices concentrated in Florida's important growth belt, the area surrounding Tampa Bay and stretching east to Orlando. It is one of the richest bank franchises in Florida, probably one of the richest bank markets in the country.
     But no matter how great their market, Nodine and Culpepper had trouble shaking their lingering problems. Like so many other S&Ls, Pioneer got caught in an interest rate squeeze in the early 1980s. Its yield on earning assets dwindled as the cost of funds skyrocketed. Management also was faced with defaults on an apartment project in Tulsa, as Oklahoma's oil-patch economy dried up. Pioneer took significant write-downs on its balance sheet in 1985 on a failed condominium project in Texas, then losses surfaced on the thrift's consumer auto loans.
     Pioneer raised the level of its reserves for bad loans as its losses mounted to $2.9 million in the quarter that ended in March 1986. The scenario was not pleasant, but Pioneer elected to put the worst behind it. Instead of spreading Pioneer's losses over multiple quarters, Nodine and Culpepper took their brickbats all at one time.
     To avoid another interest rate squeeze, Pioneer moved aggressively to get out of fixed-rate real estate loans in favor of floating rate instruments such as adjustable rate mortgages. Nodine and Culpepper consolidated operations geographically, too, selling off several branch locations in North and Southwest Florida, including Pioneer banks in Gadsden and Santa Rosa counties as well as in Tallahassee, Fort Myers, Sarasota and Naples.
     As they sold assets while working their way out of the worst of their troubles, Nodine and Culpepper decided to raise capital by testing Wall Street's reaction to their performance. A public stock offering in 1985 received mixed reviews. Wall Street could summon only mild enthusiasm for Pioneer's stock. After coming to market at $7 a share, the shares climbed to $11.40, then fell to $5.25 before leveling off at $8.75, where they were trading in early April.
     Nodine and Culpepper remain sanguine about reactions to their management plans. "We know we're not unique," Nodine says, "but I think a lot of people have missed what we've been up to in the past three years." Adds Culpepper, "In the past few years, we've gotten back to basics. We've put our house in order, and we're content to keep on trying to be a better team."
     Finally, Nodine and Culpepper believe Pioneer is ready for a new role. For too long, the thrift has acted like an understudy just waiting for that one big chance. Pioneer's senior managers say they're not waiting around to be discovered but continuing to take action that will reposition their bank business for the future.
     In 1986, Pioneer sold the bank's headquarters near Clearwater for about $15 million in an arrangement that allows the bank to lease back space for the next 10 years. Pioneer's architecturally arresting quarters are the embodiment of management's highly developed sense of style, and the pragmatic decision to liquidate that investment showed the depth of management's commitment to redeploying assets. Besides the headquarters building, Pioneer sold another 96 acres adjacent to it; they were earmarked for an office development. Trammell Crow paid Pioneer $6.5 million for the land.
     Getting back to basics, redeploying assets and consolidating its franchise may start to get Pioneer better reviews. Several bank stock analysts who looked at Pioneer's recent performance say the thrift has done a superb job of redirecting its business. This year, aside from offering expanded financial services to checking account customers, Pioneer will underwrite approximately $300 million in loans on income properties, which it then intends to sell for about $140 million to federally backed mortgage pools like Fannie Mae. But business this year will emphasize the basics, and some 50% of Pioneer's assets will remain committed to residential loans.
     Nodine and Culpepper say there is nothing dramatic in what they've done to turn their thrift around, but some analysts wonder if the duo is quietly preparing their company for a friendly takeover. Both managers say there is no truth in such rumors, though they coyly conclude they wouldn't turn down an offer without careful consideration.
     Meanwhile, if interested suitors are mulling over Pioneer's potential, they'll be weighing several factors - Pioneer's management, the quality of the thrift's assets and its market. And there is still the lingering question of the premium someone would have to pay for the good will on Pioneer's books.
     Nodine and Culpepper say they have not been revamping their methods just to get headlines or to help sell their company. Let Wall Street investors put whatever value they want on Pioneer stock, they suggest; the thrift's stockholders seem pleased with management, Pioneer's future seems well-planned and the financial services business is one of the best businesses around.
     Given such a scenario, Nodine and Culpepper say they're content to bide their time. Pioneer Savings may not have seen its name up in lights, but it may have star quality that no one has discovered. Until someone does, management at Pioneer will just keep waiting in the wings.2 
Biography*1988 From "Who’s Who in America, 1988 - 1989":

Bank executive, b: Gainesville, Fla., 7 Nov 1937; s. John Broward and Betty (Dunn) Culpepper; m. Cynthia Lawrence, 11 Jun 1959; l child, Elizabeth. BA, U. Fla., 1959, MBA 1963. V. P., Atlantic Nat. Bank, Jacksonville, 1963-69; pres., chief exec. officer Atlantic Bank of Orlando, Fla., 1969-72; Barnett Bank of Winter Park. Fla., 1972-74. Pioneer Savs. Bank. Winter Park and Clearwater, Fla., 1974---; chmn. Fla. Infor. Mgmt. Systems, Orlando, 1986-; bd. dirs. Fla. League Fn. Instns., 1978-. Pres. Orlando area C. of C., 1976: trustee, treas. Ringling Mus. Art, Sarasota, Fla., 1984-. chairm.-, Winter Park Meml. Hosp., 1973-82 U. Cen. Fla. Found., Orlando, 1975-81. Served to 1st Lt. U.S. Army, 1959-61. Named Free Enterprise Citizen of Yr., Winter Park C. of C, 1979, Hon. Olympian, U.S. Olympic Com., 1983. Democrat. Presbyterian. Clubs: Carlouel Yacht (Clearwater); Belleair (Fla.) Country. Office Pioneer Savs Bank 5770 Roosevelt Blvd Clearwater FL 34620. 
News Article1 Oct 1988 J. Blair Culpepper Facing Greatest Test of His Mettle

In J. Blair Culpepper , who was the ranking ROTC cadet and scholarship football player at the University of Florida, there has always been what's called a fiery linebacker's streak. Now the 50- year-old CEO and president of Pioneer Savings Bank, this avid runner, who rarely touches a drink or red meat, says he's in better shape than when he was a fighting Gator.
     Culpepper needs to be in fighting shape these days. After 25 years in the banking business, he's facing the greatest test of his mettle: Income property loans, which Pioneer Savings Bank originated through a subsidiary in the Southwest when diversification looked like a promising frontier, blasted a hole in the bank's financial sheet this year. Net losses were posted at $10.4 million as of June 1988 -- a big wind shift for an S&L that was growing accustomed to profits for three consecutive years, reaching a record $6.6 million in 1987.
     Headquartered in Clearwater, Pioneer resulted from the 1982 merger of Clearwater Federal Savings and Loan Association and Park Federal Savings and Loan in Winter Park. "We had the chance to expand into other activities," Culpepper says of the events following the merger. "So we began to diversify, with income property or real estate loans and through a commercial and industrial general contracting company called Enterprise Building Corporation," he explains.
     While issuing many of those loans back in 1984 and 1985, Pioneer was no two-bit operation merely struggling for rapid growth. Collectively, Park Federal and Clearwater Federal's assets totaled in excess of $1.6 billion at the time of the merger. Still, the out- of-state markets turned out to be as volatile as the oil upon which their economy depends. Far greater casualties resulting from such ventures are strewn throughout the S&L industry.      "We have about 45 commercial loans that we are concerned about," Culpepper explains candidly. "Some are current loans, and the borrowers are trying to work with us. In other cases, we have foreclosed, sold or ended up managing properties while looking for opportunities to sell." Pioneer's loans in the Silicon Valley in California have turned out to be particularly troublesome, along with others in Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma.
     So Pioneer has decided to go "back to basics" with traditional banking services. While a task force of specialists heal the wounds in the Southwest, Pioneer has cleaned house and focused on its booming growth markets in Florida. "We're going to start sticking to our knitting from here on out, with banking and trust services and heavy emphasis on residential lending activities," Culpepper says. "It's better to be a simpler, more directive organization."
     The ordeal is "serious but manageable," says Culpepper , who, after scouring over Pioneer's entire portfolio, is confident that the worst is over. Losses this year reduced Pioneer's total operating capital from $60 million to $50 million.
     To help remedy the situation, Pioneer last year sold its stock in Enterprise Building Corporation which had development projects throughout Florida. Out-of-state lending offices have all closed, and the number of retail branch operations in Florida has been trimmed from 50 to 35 (plus nine lending offices still in operation) in order to create more manageable, close-knit operations primarily within the Tampa Bay and Orlando regions.
     Culpepper expects profit margins to show marked improvement within a year. "The rest of our bank (its Florida operation) is sound, no problems," he emphasizes. Deposits as of June 1988 were $1.58 billion, compared to $1.49 billion for the year ended September 1987. Assets in June totaled $2.12 billion, compared to $2.10 billion in September of last year. "We have a very low delinquency rate on consumer, commercial and residential loans.      And we now make a large percentage of adjustable rate loans, which enables us to face rises and falls in interest rates. Approximately 80% of our assets match with our liabilities," he says.
     Culpepper seems to have approached his management challenge with zeal. People say one of his specialities is an ability to lead -- from his early academic and athletic feats as a youth, to his steady progress into leadership roles in career and outside activities. At work, his management style reflects his athletic background. "It is that of a coach," comments William Nodine, chairman of Pioneer. "He generates enthusiasm and commitment, combining hands-on leadership while also allowing cohorts to exercise their own authority and judgment."
     A devout "Bob Graham conservative Democrat," Culpepper has in recent years adopted the U.S. Senator and former Florida governor's "workdays" around the bank. Once a month Culpepper dons a name tag to work alongside the bank's grassroots employees. "I get a lift from that," he says. "It helps me understand our employees and how customers react. Often I'm able to relate back to a supervisor personal problems an employee might be having that the supervisor should know about in order to help them. It has helped the bank; it has helped me."
     Culpepper 's background is admirable. A third generation Floridian, he was the Eagle Scout and church-going, milk and cookies type who toed the line in a strict household. While an honor student at Leon High in Tallahassee, he was involved in Boy's State, student council, Junior Rotarian and other outside activities, as well as being named the state's "Scholar-Athlete" by the Florida sportswriters.
     University of Florida classmates, including longtime friend Sen. Graham, saw Culpepper rise in stature in numerous leadership roles while attending college in his hometown. His were the all-American roles: fraternity president, interfraternity council vice president, Florida Hall of Fame and "Who's Who's", vice president of the Scabbard and Blade honorary, distinguished military graduate, and being awarded the Army ROTC's Outstanding Senior Award -- all done while displaying that linebacker's streak on the varsity football field.
     Graduating in 1959, Culpepper married Cynthia, a childhood friend and served two years in U.S. Army Intelligence in Washington D.C. On the side, he attended law school at George Washington University. Returning to Gainesville to complete law studies, he ended up securing a master's degree with honors in business. "I felt, in the long run, that lawyers didn't make decisions," he says. "They give advice and counsel, and then they walk away. In business, I like to make the decisions. If you want a decision made, I'll make it," he says. "I will admit that I make mistakes, but I try to learn from them and keep going forward."
     He began his banking career with Atlantic National Bank of Jacksonville in 1963, and shortly thereafter his and Cynthia's only child, Betsy, was born. Culpepper later became president of Atlantic Bank of Orlando and president of Barnett Bank of Winter Park. He was CEO and president of Park Federal in Winter Haven when the institution with $400 million in assets, merged with Clearwater Federal to create Pioneer Savings Bank.
     Culpepper says that since the merger, Pioneer's deposit growth has been purposefully conservative in order to emphasize "high- quality service" while drawing customers from emerging suburbs in the Tampa Bay and Orlando areas. "We will continue to concentrate on Orlando, Tampa Bay and the Interstate 4 corridor. But as an independent bank, I don't see us expanding beyond $3 billion in assets.
     "We're at an awkward size, too small to spread across the state and big enough to have a significant share of the market base," Culpepper explains. While Pioneer Savings is "operating as though we will be an independent forever," Culpepper doesn't dismiss the possibility of a future merger. "I do believe there will be much more consolidation in Florida. There is a real capital strength in institutions that grow by merger."
     Yet as the clouds continue to linger over the entire thrift industry, Culpepper , like everyone else, feels a strong sense of urgency in getting the industry's larger problems resolved. "I feel certain the next presidential administration, whether it is George Bush's or Michael Dukakis's, will face up to them. The healthy institutions have been paying hefty assessments to the FSLIC to keep the thing afloat," he says, pointing out the $2 million in extra insurance premiums that Pioneer paid into the fund this year. "There's simply not enough money in our coffers to support them over a long period of time." He advocates the consolidation of the FDIC and FSLIC, and more stringent regulations requiring new institutions to "earn the right to expand" after securing a significant net worth and clean portfolio.
     In his 25 years of banking, Culpepper has left an exhaustive trail of state and local leadership accomplishments wherever he has lived. There are at least 100 such organization involvements thus far, from the looks of his tightly-packed resume.
     Gil McArthur, a Clearwater-based CPA and chairman of Morton Plant Hospital, describes Culpepper as being "thoughtful and deliberative on matters of importance," and "a steady individual" who maintains a broad perspective. Culpepper , a past chairman of the hospital board, is currently a director and vice chairman. Among other activities, he also divides his time between the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, where he is a trustee, and the University of Florida, where he advises the school of business and is a die-hard football fan (of course).
     "I'm a fairly organized person," he says. "I don't think I need to sit at this desk from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to be productive. So if I can help someone out, I'll stop what I'm doing. But frankly, I've had to refuse a number of offers to serve on boards because I want to concentrate on the internal activities here at Pioneer."
     Forthright and practical about the career task now before him, Culpepper says he has outgrown the perhaps excessive "intensity" he once displayed. "I have an ability now to poke fun at myself, and tell myself, `just cool it,'" he grins.
     "I just need to be as honest and direct as I can in dealing with the problem that has come up," Culpepper says.      "We need to be reasonable and rational, and I am the spokesman for that." He thinks that realistic approach, combined with a "back-to-basics" effort, will enable Pioneer Savings Bank to emerge as an even stronger competitor.
     "It gives you a challenge. It gives all of your management skills a test." It seems to have fueled that fiery linebacker's streak as well, for the way Culpepper sees it, "dealing with adversity just gives you a little more steel in your spine."3 
News Article1 Mar 1989 Worn, Beaten - Blair Culpepper Resigns as CEO at Pioneer Savings

The shareholders of Pioneer Savings Bank had good reason to feel dejected. The market value of their stock in the Clearwater-based thrift had slipped to $2.50 a share, about a third of its initial offering price in 1985. But as they gathered for their annual meeting this past January, they didn't know the thrift's CEO would not be there to offer hope.
     Less than 24 hours before the meeting, Blair Culpepper, 51, abruptly resigned as chief executive and president of Pioneer Savings. "I was extremely frustrated with what has happened at Pioneer," Culpepper says. "I decided it would be in the best interest of the company for me to step down and let Bill Nodine (Pioneer's chairman) assert some of the things he wanted to do." Even though Culpepper did not give up his job as a Pioneer director, "I just didn't feel like going (to the annual meeting)," he says. "I was worn and beaten and wanted to go away."
     Plagued by non-earning assets, the $2.1-billion thrift announced $28 million in net losses for the 12 months ended this past September. Its regulatory capital by the end of the same period had dwindled to an anemic 1.7% of its total assets.
     Culpepper joined Pioneer in 1982, when his Winter Park-based Park Federal Savings and Loan merged with Nodine's Clearwater Federal. While Pioneer started out with a choice banking franchise in prime growth areas of Central Florida, the thrift has been hobbled by bad loans in Arizona and California's Silicon Valley. Even without the big losses reported last year, Pioneer's return on average assets since going public comes to a paltry 0.22%.
     After the sale of a large chunk of Pioneer assets and the restructuring of its balance sheet, Culpepper told in mid-1987, "We've put our house in order." Or so he thought. Still, Culpepper hasn't lost hope. "I still think Pioneer is a survivor," Culpepper said in February from his car phone, adding that keeping the thrift alive by selling it "certainly is an option." When Culpepper spoke to , he was on his way to a job interview. He said then he is not sure he'll stay in banking.4 
Death of Father6 Apr 1990 His father John Broward Culpepper Ph.D. died on 6 Apr 1990 at Tallahassee, Leon Co., Florida.5,6 
News Article26 Feb 1991 First National Bank of Central Florida says it has hired J. Blair Culpepper, a longtime local banker, away from Wachovia Bank in Winter Park. Culpepper worked in private banking at the former National Bank of Commerce, which Wachovia bought last year. William Holt, head of Wachovia's Central Florida region, said the bank is "hiring a lot of investment people that sell the model portfolio" of the bank.7 
Death of Spouse12 Apr 2001 His wife Cynthia Lawrence died on 12 Apr 2001.5 
Death of Mother31 Jan 2009 His mother Betty Dunn died on 31 Jan 2009 at Tallahassee, Leon Co., Florida.8 
Death*16 Aug 2016 He died at Winter Park, Orange Co., Florida, on 16 Aug 2016 at age 78.9 
Obituary*18 Aug 2016 John Blair Culpepper of Winter Park, FL, passed away on Tuesday, August 16, 2016, surrounded by his family. He was 78. Born November 7, 1937, in Gainesville, Blair grew up in Tallahassee. He was an Eagle Scout and All-Southern football player at Leon High School and received the State Scholar-Athlete Award. Blair played linebacker for the Florida Gators. He graduated with honors from the University of Florida with a B.A. in political science and a master's in business administration. He completed the Advanced Management Program for executives at Harvard Business School. He was also a Cadet Colonel Army ROTC, President of Sigma Chi Fraternity, Pi Sigma Alpha, Alpha Kappa Psi and Florida Blue Key. Following college, he served two years active duty as a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer. His distinguished banking career started in 1963 with Atlantic National Bank in Jacksonville. He later became President and CEO of four separate Florida banks, including Atlantic National Bank, Barnett Bank of Winter Park, Winter Park Federal Savings and Loan Association, Pioneer Savings Bank. In addition, he served a Vice President and Director of First National Bank of Central Florida in Winter Park immediately prior to retirement. His community service was extensive, including serving two terms on The Florida Bar Board of Governors, past President of Winter Park Rotary, Board Member of the Mayflower Retirement Community and Trustee Emeritus of the Albin Polasek Museum. He was a past Chairman of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, The University of Central Florida Foundation and the Orlando Museum of Art. He was a Board Treasurer of the Ringling Museum, Sarasota, and Supervisor of the Community Development Board, Celebration, Florida. Blair served as President of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and was named Winter Park's "Citizen of the Year" in 2004. He was named a Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow and was honored in 2015 by Sigma Chi Fraternity as a Significant Sig. He was also a member of Gator Boosters and the First United Methodist Church of Winter Park. Funeral services will be held at First United Methodist Church of Winter Park, 125 N. Interlachen Avenue, Winter Park, 32789,at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 19, 2016. Blair is survived by his wife, Diane; his daughter, Betsy Culpepper; his brother, Bruce (Pep) Culpepper; stepdaughter, Kristin (John) Vasilj; father-in-law, Henry K. Bruce; and three grandchildren, Julia, Emily and Joey Vasilj. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. John Broward and Elizabeth "Betty" Culpepper, and Betsy's mother, Cynthia Lawrence Culpepper. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Blair's memory to either Sigma Chi Foundation.... or Gator Boosters....9 

Family 1

Cynthia Lawrence (30 Jun 1937 - 12 Apr 2001)
Marriage*11 Jun 1959 He married Cynthia Lawrence on 11 Jun 1959 at age 21. 

Family 2

Diane (?)
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Jones Co., GA: Descendant Chart
Last Edited3 Sep 2016


  1. Who's Who in America, 45th Ed., 1988-1989, Chicago, Illinois: Marquis-Who's Who, 1988, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. US/CAN 973 D36w 45 ed.
    John Blair Culpepper. Bank executive, b: Gainesville, Fla., 1937; s. John Broward and Betty (Dunn) Culpepper; m. Cynthia Lawrence, 11 Jun 1959; l child, Elizabeth. BA, U. Fla., 1959, MBA 1963. V. P., Atlantic Nat. Bank, Jacksonville, 1963-69; pres., chief exec. officer Atlantic Bank of Orlando, Fla., 1969-72; Barnett Bank of Winter Park. Fla., 1972-74. Pioneer Savs. Bank. Winter Park and Clearwater, Fla., 1974---; chmn. Fla. Infor. Mgmt. Systems, Orlando, 1986-; bd. dirs. Fla. League Fn. Instns., 1978-. Pres. Orlando area C. of C., 1976: trustee, treas. Ringling Mus. Art, Sarasota, Fla., 1984-;. chairm.-, Winter Park Meml. Hosp., 1973-82 U. Cen. Fla. Found., Orlando, 1975-81. Served to 1st Lt. U.S. Army, 1959-61. Named Free Enterprise Citizen of Yr., Winter Park C. of C, 1979, Hon. Olympian, U.S. Olympic Com., 1983. Democrat. Presbyterian. Clubs: Carlouel Yacht (Clearwater); Belleair (Fla.) Country. Office Pioneer Savs Bank 5770 Roosevelt Blvd Clearwater FL 34620.
  2. Jeffrey W. Tucker, Florida Trend; Volume 30, Number 1; 1 May 1987, Page 43.
  3. Robin Simmons, Florida Business - Tampa Bay, Clearwater, FL, 1 Oct 1988, Page 46.
  4. Florida Trend, Volume 31, Number 11, 1 Mar 1989, Page 74.
  5. U.S. Social Security Administration, compiler, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Online database at
  6. State of Florida Health Department / Office of Vital Records, compiler, Florida Death Index, 1936-1998, Online database at, 2004.
    John Broward Culpepper, Cert 43861, Leon Co., FL, White, 09 Dec 1907 - 06 Apr 1990.
  7. The Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, FL.
    Barry Flynn, Banking Column, February 26, 2001.
  8. Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee, FL.
    Obituary of Betty Dunn Culpepper (#7941), published 1 Feb 2009.
  9. Obituary of John Culpepper, published in the Orlando Sentinel from Aug. 18 to Aug. 19, 2016.