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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Paschall, Joshua Ernest

by Walter W. Anderson, Jr., 1994

9 Aug. 1896–6 Nov. 1974

Joshua Ernest Paschall, banker, lawyer, and legislator, was born near Black Creek in Wilson County. The son of Joshua Walter and Sallie Poole Paschall, he attended the public schools of Wilson County and Atlantic Christian College (1914–18), from which he received the A.B. degree. In the summer of 1917 he had attended The University of North Carolina. Paschall was on active duty in the U.S. Naval Reserve Force in 1918 and 1919, completing his inactive service in 1921. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the North Carolina National Guard in 1922.

In 1919 he entered the banking profession as a runner and a transit clerk for Branch Bank, becoming a teller in 1920. After working in other banks he returned to Branch Bank, becoming assistant cashier (1933), vice-president (1942), cashier and director (1943), and ultimately president (1 Jan. 1953), a post he held until his retirement in 1964. Afterwards, he continued to serve as director and on committees on finance, investments, and trusts. During his presidency, the operations and facilities of Branch Bank were expanded greatly, deposits increased, and the policy of the bank became more liberal in support of the financial needs of individuals and businesses in the communities served. Confidence in the bank was maintained by continuing the relative conservatism of Branch Bank in the banking community and by the open and humane personality of Paschall, whose personal goal in life was to be of service to people in every possible way. He was also a director of Wilson Savings and Loan Association and its president from 1944 until his death.

Paschall's professional activities went beyond Branch Bank and benefited the banking community as a whole. He was instrumental in organizing the Wilson County Chapter of the American Institute of Banking. One of its first graduates, he was an instructor for several of its courses and remained active in the institute during his banking career. He was also chairman of Group II of the North Carolina Bankers Association and served as president of the state organization in 1960–61. In 1961 Governor Terry Sanford appointed him to membership on the North Carolina Banking Commission (1961–65).

Paschall's interest in law originated in its value for certain fields of banking. He enrolled in a course in law in 1923 and received an LL.B. degree from American Extension University, Los Angeles, in 1926. For two years, beginning in 1929, he studied law in a night school conducted by retired superior court judge George P. Pell in Rocky Mount, and in 1931 he passed the bar examination given by the North Carolina Supreme Court. He was a member of the American Bar Association, North Carolina State Bar, Inc., Wilson County Bar, and American Judicature Society. After retiring from Branch Bank in 1964, Paschall entered the practice of law.

Upon his retirement, various friends urged Paschall to seek election to the North Carolina House of Representatives for the Fifteenth District (Wilson and Johnston counties). He served in the legislature for four terms (1965–72) and sat on numerous committees, including Appropriations, Finance, Banks and Banking (vice-chairman), Corporations, Education, Higher Education, Water Resources and Control, Judiciary No. 1, Rules, Conservation and Development, Highway Safety (chairman), Propositions and Grievances (vice-chairman), and House Committee on Trustees of The University of North Carolina (chairman). In addition, he served on the Special Study Committee on the Uniform Commercial Code (1964), whose cause he championed; the Special Committee on Redistricting the House of Representatives (1965); and the Special Study Commission of Reorganizing the Conservation and Development Department (1967–68). At the time of his death, he was chairman of the Wilson County Democratic Executive Committee. He maintained a perfect election voting record by leaving the hospital to vote on the day of his death.

From the 1920s Paschall served Atlantic Christian College (later Barton College), the object of a lifelong loyalty. Keeping the books for the College Office, he and his wife lived on campus for two years. In later years, he served as a member and vice-chairman of the board of trustees, a member of the board's executive committee, and chairman of its finance committee. In 1961 he was awarded the LL.D. degree, and in 1971 he received the Alumnus of the Year Award.

Paschall was a member of First Christian Church in Wilson from his college days until his death. He participated in many civic activities, including the work of the Wilson Chamber of Commerce (president, 1945), United Fund (chairman, 1960), North Carolina Citizens Committee for Better Schools (1961), Wilson Planning and Zoning Commission (1964–65), and board of directors of the Coastal Plains Development Association (president, 1965–66). He also was a member of the Wilson Rotary Club, Loyal Order of Moose, Wilson Elks Club, Newcomen Society in North America, National Society of State Legislators, American Legion (post commander, 1935–36), and American Cancer Society (local chairman).

Paschall married Claire Hodges of Lenoir County (near Mount Olive) on 18 Dec. 1919. They had a daughter, Julia Daly (Mrs. Charles W. Mauze), and a son, James E., who became a major general in the U.S. Air Force. Joshua Paschall was buried in Maplewood Cemetery, Wilson.


Atlantic Christian College Alumni News, April 1961.

Autobiographical sketch (possession of Mrs. Ruby Paschall Shackleford, Wilson).

Vidette Bass, Branch: A Tradition with a Future (1962).

Biographical sketches and clippings (possession of Miss Sadie Greene, Wilson).

Sadie Greene, Wilson, personal contact.

Joshua E. Paschall to Capital Hill Publishing Company, Oklahoma City, 3 Nov. 1972.

Raleigh News and Observer, 12 July 1959.

Jack Satchwell, Wilson, personal contact.

Ruby Paschall Shackleford, Wilson, personal contact.

Smithfield Herald, 16 Feb. 1968.

Who's Who in America (1965).

Who's Who in the South and Southwest (1967–68).

Wilson Daily Times, 6 Nov. 1974.

Additional Resources:

North Carolina. Secretary of State; North Carolina. Legislative Reference Library; North Carolina Historical Commission. [Raleigh]: North Carolina Historical Comission. 1971. (accessed September 10, 2014).

Ware, Charles Crossfield. A history of Atlantic Christian College, culture in coastal Carolina. Wilson, N.C.: Atlantic Christian College. 1956. (accessed September 10, 2014).