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CREECH, HARRIS

CREECH, HARRIS (26 Feb. 1874-18 May 1941) was president of the Cleveland Trust Co. for 18 years; his leadership during the Depression ensured the company's continuance as the premier banking institution for many years. Creech was born in Cleveland, the son of James and Carabelle Simmons Creech and was educated in the city's public schools. He went to work for the Garfield Savings Banks as a utility clerk when it opened in 1892 and rose through the ranks to become president in 1916 at age 42. Following the merger of Garfield Savings with Cleveland Trust in 1922, Creech became vice president of the combined institution. When FREDERICK GOFF died in March 1923, he was named president of the trust company.

A strong advocate of branch banking from his days at Garfield, Creech actively pursued the extension of Cleveland Trust offices throughout the area. When the Trust Company reopened after the national bank holiday in 1933, Creech personally reassured jittery depositors seeking to withdraw their money that the company was sound financially. In 1936 he was awarded the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce Medal for Public Service for his successful efforts to maintain public confidence in the banking community during the crisis. While he was president of Cleveland Trust, its deposits increased by about $270 million, and it became the largest commercial bank and trust company in Ohio.

Creech died in Cleveland at age 67 and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY. He was survived by his wife Carlotta, a son James Pope, and a daughter, Mrs. Edward T. Bartlett II.