By Paula Walter
Johnson County has always been home for Bill Brookshire, the President of Johnson County Bank. His father passed away when he was just a teenager. His mother, Bonnie, raised their three sons and one daughter. Mr. Bill Brookshire graduated from Johnson County High School. “I got on a bus the next day after graduation with two other friends,” he stated. “We went to Flint, Michigan, where they built Buicks. I was making about four times as much as I did in Johnson County.”
Approximately a year later, Brookshire started buying cars in Flint and driving them back to Mountain City to sell. He eventually came back home and began working for a Johnson City insurance agency, later starting his own agency. He also owned a mobile home and auto dealership.
It wasn’t long before Brookshire saw the importance of having another bank in Johnson County.
Ten local men banned together and sent an application to the State of Tennessee and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation showing the need for a bank in Johnson County.
A charter was soon obtained, and the new bank was named JOHNSON COUNTY BANK with a slogan “The Peoples Bank.”
The new bank was up and ready for business beginning in 1975. The People’s Bank made a promise to provide friendly and courteous service, as well as a better way to bank.
In 1983, Brookshire became president of Johnson County Bank and the CEO after some reorganization within the company.
“We declared that we would be a people’s bank,” said Brookshire. “The best customers make the best bank.” He stressed the hard work ethics of the bank employees. “We are a family,” he added. “I tell my employees that the customers need to be treated better than they would want to be treating themselves if they were the customer. The advice comes from my Mother.”
He touted the bank’s hard-working employees and their willingness to step up and help others. Johnson County Bank has strived to take care of their customers and recognized their importance to the success of the bank. The employees of the bank and those on the bank board strive to make a positive impact in the community. They are family oriented and active in the community. Johnson County Bank is one of the top performing small community banks in the state of Tennessee.
Although Brookshire will be 85 this June, he has no plans on retiring. “I want to be right here at this bank,” he stated with a wide grin that lit up his face. “This is home.”