Toms River Regional Schools Hall of Fame

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Frank W. Sutton Jr.

Frank W. Sutton, Jr. left the Toms River Schools in his sophomore year when his father got him a job as a messenger at the First National Bank of Toms River. Although he joined the bank as a messenger at the age of 14, the on-the-job training as typist-bookkeeper-titler led him over the next 68 years in banking to become First National's Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Trust officer, increasing the institution from a deposit base of $400,000 to $400,000,000. With no further formal education, Frank Sutton also became an instructor in the school of the American Bankers Association.

After the depression he was able to bring the first deposits of New Jersey state funds to his bank which he then loaned to people to survive the hard times. When other banks in Ocean County were shaky, he managed to secure funds for them to avoid their failing and having to close their doors.

Mr. Sutton's many civic achievements include helping to organize the Kiwanis Club and the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce of which he served as president. He was a trustee of Paul Kimball Hospital, and a veteran fund raiser for Boy Scouts. He was for more than 40 years Chairman of the U.S. Savings Bond Committee for Ocean County from World War I through World War II, raising an estimated $20 million. In 1978 the Treasurer of the United States, Angie Taylor Morton, presented a plaque honoring Frank Sutton for his service to the American economy estimated to be the longest of any in the history of the Treasury Department. A founder of the N.J. Chapter of the Conference of Christian and Jews, the organization presented its 1986 Distinguished Service Citation to the First National Bank of Toms River in his honor. The citation sums up many of the reasons the Toms River Schools is recognizing Frank Sutton for his unique success in business and as a humanitarian. In part it reads, "... for an outstanding career of service to the Ocean County Community and to the state; for creative and courageous leadership as an advocate of economic growth and productivity; for fostering the value of human enterprise as a continuing process; for promoting the ideals of the National Conference of Christians and Jews in his business, civic, and professional activities."

Frank Sutton was president of both the county and state banker's association and an executive committee member of the American Banking Association. He was also an economic advisor to Governor Robert B. Meyner.

His passing on November 20, 1977 represented the end of one of the most distinguished careers in New Jersey banking.


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