Family, Business, Community…Building Tennessee’s ‘Mayberry’

These days, life is looking a little different for Wilson County resident, Randall Clemons. After more than 30 years at the helm of Wilson Bank & Trust-the institution that he helped organize-Clemons passed the torch at the end of 2019 and called it a day… sort of. “I’m still on the board at the bank so I’ll still be around, but not in the day to day operations.”

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In 1987, Clemons was part of the group of 11 partners who launched Wilson Bank & Trust in Lebanon. The bank would grow from a two-bedroom house with eight employees to 28 branches in locations throughout Middle Tennessee and 540 employees.
Clemons, who devoted his years in banking to the concept of a homegrown, hometown bank now has an opportunity to turn his attention to other passions. One is family, but business and community will continue to play a big role in his life, said Clemons.

“My wife and I are certainly planning to stay involved in the community; our roots are pretty deep in Wilson County,” said Clemons, who spent his earliest formative years in Granville and then moved with his family to Carthage after the family farm was destroyed when the Cordell Hull Dam was built. “We’ll be hanging around, spending more time with family and our grandson.”
In addition to spending more time with his family and traveling, Clemons will continue his role as President of the Wilson County Fair and President of Granville Museum and Historic Granville. For years, Clemons has split his time between Lebanon and the quaint town east of Smith County where he grew up. Retirement means he can dedicate more energy into its revitalization. “We have so many exciting things on the horizon for Granville” Clemons continues, “We are branding it as Tennessee’s Mayberry Town and we’re doing a lot to take it to the next level.”

One such “next level event” is the opening of the “Mayberry I Love Lucy” museum in April. “The idea to open the museum started when a couple from Sparta who had one of the largest collections of I Love Lucy memorabilia in the country decided they wanted it to be enjoyed by people who would appreciate it so they placed it with us.”
To commemorate the grand opening, Keith Thibodeaux who played the role of Little Rickie on the popular television show will be on hand to perform and meet visitors. Another special guest will also perform that day and later that evening during the Sutton Ole Time Music Hour. Rodney Dillard, one of the original members of The Darlings, who many remember from their fan-favorite appearances on The Andy Griffith Show, will be performing and signing autographs at the museum and he will be the opening act on that evening’s broadcast.
With all Clemons has going on, it’s safe to say retirement doesn’t mean slowing down for him. And he’s ok with that.
“Retirement is a big change, but I’m excited about what the future holds for my family and my community.”

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