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Rodney Prior Lien


Posted By: S. Ferrall (email)
Date: 5/19/2008 at 04:46:59

The following biography was compiled by the contributor, combining information contained in two news articles appearing in Ohio newspapers: the Lima News, January 17, 1940; and the Zanesville Signal, February 1, 1940.

Only 38 years old, but with more than 18 years actual banking experience, Rodney Prior Lien is Ohio's new superintendent of banks. He reliquished the presidency of the National Bank of Lima to succeed Samuel H. Squire of [illegible] Jan. 15 in the $7.500-a-year post - one of the best paid in state service. Lien, who never went to college and learned of the complexities of banks from actual experience, bids fair to become known as the "Beau Brummel" of Ohio state departments. Of solid build and with dark hair tinged with steaks of grey, this handsome banker has experienced a meteoritic career across the world of finance.

Lien was born October 6, 1901, at Postville, Iowa, the son of H.H. and Jane (Prior) Lien. His father [word cut off - could be either 'moved' or 'died'] when he was three years old, and Rodney went to work for a bank in Rudd, Iowa, following his graduation from Postville High School in 1919.

Three years later he transferred to the First National bank of Mason City, Iowa. In 1928 he bacame cashier of the Northwest Savings bank of Mason City, and in 1932 went to Waterloo, Iowa, as assistant receiver for two national banks in liquidation. The following year he became executive vice president of the Waterloo National bank.

His only departure from the banking profession came in 1935, when he was made business manager of radio stations owned by the Des Moines, Iowa Register and Tribune. He returned to his chosen field as executive vice president of the National Bank of Lima in September, 1936 and was made president of the bank January 1, 1938.

"I intend to have as efficient administration as possible and to give as much help as possible to the state banks of Ohio" the graying-haired superintendent declared earnestly. He is five feet 10 inches tall, with unusually broad shoulders which permit him to carry his 185 pounds like an athlete. His hobbies are golf and horseback riding. "I hope to keep on in the banking business indefinitely" he observed, "My ultimate goal is so far away that I can't even talk about it but banking is my work." Altho he is an avid Republican, preferring the "economic theories of the Republicans over those of the Democrats," Lien contended that he secured his position on his own merits rather than through political indorsement. "I wanted the job and I presented my qualifications to Gov. Bricker," he said. "No one called the governor on the telephone or worte letters for me."

Oddly enough, Lien's middle name is Prior, which was the subject for many a jest. But Lien believes the middle name to be an asset. "Its oddity," he explained, "makes bankers and other persons with whom I deal remember me. For that reason I call attention to the middle name if it means a verbal thrust at my expense."

He was married July 19, 1931, to Nora M. Caruth, and has two daughters, Joan, seven and Nancy, five.


Allamakee Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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