Area Financial Pioneer Dies

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Georgia Lingle-Wilson

Georgia Lingle-Wilson, 91, of Piggott, died Christmas Day at Piggott Community Hospital. A native of Piggott, and a graduate of PHS, she was known as a pioneer among women in the savings and loan industry. Wilson was also active in her church, and was the oldest living member of the General Baptist Church of Piggott. During her lifetime she also proved to be a tireless volunteer for a number of efforts and causes.

Following her graduation from Piggott High in 1941, Wilson began working for her aunt, Ms. Ella Mowery, at Piggott Federal Savings and Loan. In the years to come she continued to add to her financial skills, attending seminars and training sessions conducted by the U.S. League of Savings Institutions, Arkansas League of Savings Institutions and the Institute of Financial Education.

Later, she succeeded her aunt, who was founder of Piggott Federal, and became the association's second president and secretary of the board of directors.

According to records compiled by the U.S. League of Savings Institutions, the local savings and loan is believed to be the first in the United States founded by a woman. And until Wilson's retirement in 1989, was the only association with a history of only women managers.

When Piggott Federal merged with United Federal Savings and Loan Wilson was named as divisional president, a job she held until her retirement. Afterward, she continued to serve on the United Federal board of directors for several years.

Wilson was a member of the VFW Auxiliary for over 65 years, and was active as both a member and an officer at the local, state and national level. She also served as a docent at the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott, and delighted in sharing stories of meeting Ernest Hemingway during his visits to Piggott.

She was also active in politics, serving during the first Clinton presidential campaign as a supporter and volunteer in Charleston, S.C. During this time she helped her daughters manage the Clinton presidential campaign office in Charleston in preparation for the South Carolina primary election.

After Clinton was elected she also had the opportunity to spend several weeks as a volunteer at the White House, serving in the social office and the children's correspondence unit. She was also invited to visit the White House as a guest, attending a variety of events and state dinners.

Among those preceding her in death were her two husbands, John Ed Lingle and James William Wilson, both veterans of World War II.

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