On June 17th, James Louis “Jim” Talton received a 50 year service recognition award from the Kiwanis Club of Smithfield. Talton was born in Smithfield, NC on February 3, 1918 to Lillie Higgins and Thomas Jethro Talton.
In 1935, he graduated from Smithfield High School and attended the University of North Carolina and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce in 1939 and returned to Smithfield to work at First Citizens Bank.
James served in the Army at Seymour Johnson in Goldsboro in the accounting department. He married Mary Elizabeth Woodard of Kenly on April 17, 1943. They had two daughters, Mary Lillie Wilkins and Rebecca T. Kalsbeek, both of Raleigh.
In the late ‘40’s, James left the bank to work at Austin-Ogburn Cotton Company as a cotton classer and bookkeeper until cotton was no longer a major producer in the county. Afterwards he returned to First Citizens Bank as a loan officer and an employee of the auditing department until his retirement at the age of 70.
James has been a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church of Smithfield where he has served as a deacon for many years. He always says, “I need the church more than it needs me.”
Influenced by Smithfield pharmacist Jimmy Creech, James joined the Smithfield Kiwanis Club in 1965 and has enjoyed the camaraderie and mission of the Club for fifty years.
He is described a true Southern gentleman who values religion, family, friends, hard work, honesty and the UNC Tarheels.