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Joel A. Montgomery was born on March 25, 1920 in Biggers, Arkansas. Raised in a humble and loving home, Joel developed his entrepreneurial spirit at a young age selling vegetables grown by his family. His beginnings may have been meager, but it was the beginning of a successful career.
Later in his life, and following his service in the U.S. Army, Joel moved to Saint Louis and entered Washington University law school. Also during this time, he joined the Dolan Real Estate Company. This is where Joel says he “found his life’s work” and came to realize that he didn’t want to practice law, but that he wanted to be a “real estate man.”
In 1950, Joel bought land in Tennessee and moved his family to Memphis. Joel Montgomery built and developed over 6,000 homes, apartments, and condominiums in Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, including the first-ever condominium project in Memphis, Tennessee. He was well on his way to becoming a successful real estate developer, including land holdings in several states and one foreign country.
In 1957, Tennessee-based Union Planters sought a new, stronger stockholder to purchase Sikeston’s Planters Bank. Joel Montgomery met the challenge. After his purchase of Planters Bank, he moved his young family to Sikeston, converted the charter to a national banking charter, and renamed his bank the First National Bank.
In 2004, the bank’s name was changed to what it is today, Montgomery Bank, to honor our founder, Joel A. Montgomery, Sr.
During his illustrious career, he has been named Sikeston’s “Man of the Year” and was honored with an extraordinary distinction being listed as one of former President George Bush’s “1,000 Points of Light.” For all of his financial success, however, Joel Montgomery is especially proud of the role he played in establishing both the Sikeston Rescue Mission and the Bootheel Food Bank. Both are non-profit enterprises with a mission focus to help the needy of Southeast Missouri.
When not in the familiar surroundings of Montgomery Bank, shaking hands and meeting people, Joel Montgomery, Sr. enjoys fishing and spending time with his family. He calls Sikeston, MO his home. When you see him, take a minute to stop and introduce yourself. He would love to say, “Hi.”