Long-time Boyle magistrate helped found Citizens National Bank

Published 6:47 am Saturday, November 3, 2018

James Adamson Cheek was a magistrate on Boyle Fiscal Court for 28 years and was involved in local businesses, a leader in industry and education and in the community.

He was named “Danville’s Most Useful Citizen” by the Chamber of Commerce, and known as the “Father of Good Roads”.

He was an organizer of Citizens National Bank in 1884 and was president when he died in 1933.

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Cheek was one of two living organizers of the Citizens National Bank in 1885 who participated in the laying of a cornerstone for a new bank in June 1930.

The box under the stone included records of the bank and other valuable information is the same one used for storing securities of the First National Bank, predecessor of Citizens Bank.

It included a copy of the organization certificate of the bank, the first call statement and the first published statement. It also included photos of Cheek, M.J. Farris Sr. and John A. Quisenberry and Lucy Puryear, queen of the 1930 Centre College Carnival.


A copy of the Daily Messenger and Kentucky Advocate and a copy of the organization certificate of the bank also are in the box.

He was a graduate of Centre College and served as member and treasurer of the college’s Board of Trustees for many years. He also served as an officer of the Kentucky College for Women.

Cheek was a leader of religious and civic movements in Danville and Boyle County.

He was president of the Danville Gas and Light Company and was a member of the Anaconda Club and Second Street Presbyterian Church.

Cheek was 80 years old when he died on July 6, 1933, after a three-month illness.

A tribute by his friend Col. R.G. Evans, said “Addie” Cheek was “praised for his high principals and work in the town where he grew up.”

“His friends loved him; and he was trusted by all. His life was gentle; and the elements so mixed in him, that nature might stand up, and say ‘this was a man.’”

Another tribute published in the Elizabethtown News and in The Advocate-Messenger after Cheek’s death stated: Cheek “devoted his whole life in service to his community and county. He never sought political preferment, and was magistrate for 28 years without opposition.

“He was a great road promoter for his own county, a great believer in diversified farming, and during his life was a public benefactor to his town and county.

“He was not known all over Kentucky. He confined his operations to his own county and his own people. He was a most outstanding citizen.”

Cheek was a son of the Rev. Samuel Best Cheek (1824-1869) and Ann Francis Jacobs (1828-1894). Cheek and his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Logan McKee (1854-1947), lived on Third Street.

They had three sons, Alexander McKee Cheek (1883-1889), Francis Powell Cheek (1884-1939), and Logan McKee Cheek (1886-1911); and a daughter, Mary Ashby (1891-1988). Their youngest son, Logan, was a lawyer.

All are buried in Bellevue Cemetery.

A grandson of the Cheek couple also was named Logan McKee Cheek (1913-1996). He was a son of Francis Powell Cheek.

(Editor’s notes: Information for this article was taken from The Advocate-Messenger archives and Ancestry.com; this story has been corrected to list all three sons of James and Maggie Cheek.)