June Gregg: 100-Year-Old Ohio Woman Opened Bank Account in 1913

VIDEO: June Gregg, 100, holds original bank book noting first deposit made in 1913.
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At age 100, June Gregg has her wits, her health and the savings account opened for her by her dad in 1913.

She still has the little blue passbook noting an initial deposit of $6.11, and she still banks at the same small-town bank where her savings began.

The Chillicothe branch of the Huntington National Bank threw Gregg an 100th birthday party Thursday to honor her loyalty and longevity.

"When a friend of hers called and told me she had an account opened in 1913, I couldn't believe it," said the bank's Community President Doug Shoemaker. "We have customers and accounts going back decades. But 98 years? That's unique."

Gregg never saw a need to bank elsewhere.

She was born not far away in Storms, Ohio, and she opened her own general store there in the 1930s. Her savings account came in handy back then. "My dad taught me a lot about business. And one of his lessons was to stay out of debt as much as you can."

She learned well.

According to Shoemaker, who verified the account's history, "She's always maintained a healthy balance. She wants to ensure that she's comfortable." And while she has used the account over the years for big purchases like cars and travel, "she's always had a good emergency savings level."

Gregg went to work for the post office in Bainbridge, Ohio, after she sold her store and managed, she says, "to put a little from every paycheck in that account." That's a practice she thinks is lost on today's young: "Young people don't want to save anymore. They want to spend all they have. My dad taught me to save something for a rainy day."

As Shoemaker notes, she's seen a lot of "rainy days." "She's lived through both world wars and the Depression, and still has comfortable savings."

That's quite an accomplishment given the fluctuations in savings interest rates since she opened her account.

According to the Historical Statistics of the United States, a typical interest rate in 1913 would have been around 3.5 percent.

In the summer of 1981, rates hit a record 19 percent but have plummeted to an historic low today of less than one tenth of a percent.

But the bank will see to it that Gregg does better than that for a while. As both a birthday present and a reward for her loyalty, the bank will pay her a rate of around 5 percent for the next 100 days.

Asked about her sense of loyalty to the bank over the years, Gregg chuckled, "Well, I certainly feel loyal now!"

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