History of the Bank
In 1933, Charles H. Jett, Sr. obtained a franchise for Servel Kerosene Refrigerators for Lexington & Central Kentucky. On January 1, 1936, Charles H. Jett, Jr. purchased the Servel Electrolux Gas Refrigerator franchise and business from his father.
He soon found that more refrigerators, stoves and other appliances could be sold if they were financed for $10 per month rather than selling them for $300 at one time. Hence the beginning of the installment loan and collection business. Installment lending was new and bankers required that high reserves be kept which forced the new business to save. During World War II, these reserves allowed the proprietorship, Charles H. Jett, Jr Appliances, to continue to provide service to its customers. Many of these same people and their children remain customers of the bank today.
Charles H. Jett, Jr. purchased the Jett Building at 101 E. High Street in 1945 and remodeled the ground level and first floor for the operation of his appliance business in the spring of 1946. The second floor served as his home.
On January 31, 1947, Charles H. Jett, Jr. organized the corporation Jett's Inc. for the purpose of selling and servicing kitchen appliances. The corporate articles have been amended several times since that date.
As the founder of the corporation, he served continuously as the Director for 36 years until his untimely death on April 25, 1983. During that time, he served first as President and later as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Jett's quick wit, humor, ready smile and hand shake were his trademark with business associates and friends. His innovative ideas, guidance and understanding of people and the markets were valuable assets to us all.
The Jett's Inc. name was amended to Preferred Credit Corporation and an Industrial Loan Charter was obtained on September 10, 1956. During this period, the appliance sales and repair businesses were sold and moved to other locations. The newly established Preferred Credit Corporation occupied a portion of the first floor. Later in 1966 the corporation developed the basic financial structure of a bank.
The name was again amended to Bank of the Bluegrass, Inc. and a commercial bank charter was obtained on April 10, 1972. Eight people were employed by the bank.
In 1973, the vault, with the drive-up facility underneath, was constructed on the back of the Jett Building. On November 21, 1981, Trust services were added and the name was amended to Bank of the Bluegrass & Trust Co. Today Jerry Johnson leads our Wealth Management Department which has grown to over $165 million in assets.
1983 saw the passing of C.H. Jett, Jr., and Charles H. Jett, III became Chairman of the Board and CEO.
In 2000, after 40 years of service, Charles H. Jett, III passed away. Mark Herren was elected Chairman of the Board.
September 13, 2003 - Bank of the Bluegrass & Trust Co. opened their first branch at 215 Southland Drive, allowing for bank growth and employing over 50 employees. In 2004 Bill Allen joined the bank as President. In addition to developing customer relationships, Bill oversees both branch locations, Wealth Management, Financial Services, Business Development, Deposit Growth, Marketing and Human Resources.
Bank of the Bluegrass continues with local ownership and family tradition. The bank currently has fourth generation Jett family members active in the management of the bank. Our focus remains on providing a high level of customer service and upholding the Mission Statement which starts with: Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.
Utilization of technology has enhanced our customers' experiences. Internet and mobile banking are a couple of resources provided to customers to allow for quick and efficient access to the bank. However strong personal service has not gone away. We continue to greet our customers by name when they enter the bank and all decisions are still made locally.