Copyright notice

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.

Printer-friendly page

Stockton, Richard Gordon

by Shelda M. Wills, 1994; Revised December 2021

12 Feb. 1892–12 Dec. 1960

A photograph of Richard Gordon Stockton from the 1922 University of North Carolina yearbook. Image from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Richard Gordon Stockton, lawyer and bank executive, was born in Winston-Salem, the son of Madison Doughty and Martha Vaughn Stockton. He was graduated from Winston-Salem High School in 1907 and received a bachelor of arts degree from The University of North Carolina in 1911. After studying law at Columbia University for one year, he was admitted to the Forsyth County Bar in 1913. Stockton practiced law from 1913 to 1922 and taught at The University of North Carolina during the summers of 1914, 1915, and 1916.

When President Woodrow Wilson ran for a second term in 1916, Stockton served as chairman of the Forsyth County Democratic Committee. He enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army on 13 June 1917 and was discharged as a first lieutenant on 4 Apr. 1919 after serving in the Judge Advocate General's Office.

Stockton began his banking career in 1922, when he was appointed assistant trust officer and secretary of the Wachovia Bank and Trust Company in Winston-Salem. He became vice-president and associate trust officer in 1930, trust officer in 1936, vice-president and senior trust officer in 1941, director in 1942 (a position he held until his death), senior vice-president and senior trust officer in 1946, acting president in 1949, and chairman of the board in 1951. He was chairman of the executive committee from 1956 until his retirement in 1958)

He served as a trustee of the Greensboro College for Women; president of the Methodist Children's Home, Inc., from 1941 until his death; and president of the North Carolina Foundation of Church-Related Colleges from 1956 to 1960, when he became chairman of the foundation's advisory board. During 1953 he was state treasurer of the Crusade for Freedom and president of the Carolinas United Red Feather Services.

Stockton was also state chairman of the Boys' Clubs of America, president of the YMCA, chairman of the board of trustees and managers of the Forsyth County Tuberculosis Hospital, president of the North Carolina Citizens Association, and board chairman for the Foundation for Education in Economics of the American Bankers Association. During World War II he served on the home front as general chairman of the United War Chest Campaign (1943) and chairman of the Red Cross Fund Campaign (1944). After the war he was chairman of the advisory board of the Salvation Army and served on the State Education Commission. He was a member of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce (president, 1920–22), the American Bankers Association (president, Trust Division), the American Bar Association, the North Carolina Bar Association, Beta Theta Pi, and Knights Templar.

Over the years Stockton was active in the Democratic party as well as in the Winston-Salem Rotary Club, the Kiwanis Club, the Forsyth Country Club, the Twin City Club, and the Old Town Club. A member of the Centenary Methodist Church, he served as chairman of the board of stewards.

He married Hortense Haughton Jones of Asheville on 13 Oct. 1917, and they had four children. Two of their children, Hortense Haughton Stockton and Richard Gordon Stockton Jr., died before the age of two. Two daughters, Sarah Elizabeth Stockton Hill and Jean Stockton Rhodes, lived into adulthood. Stockton died at age sixty-eight and was buried in Salem Cemetery, Winston-Salem. A portrait is available at the Winston-Salem Journal-Sentinel.


"North Carolina, U.S. Deaths, 1906-1930," digital image s.v. "Hortense Haughten Stockton" (1922-1924),

"North Carolina, U.S. Deaths, 1906-1930," digital image s.v. "Richard Gordon Stockton Jr." (1919-1921),

Who's Who in America (1962–63).

Who's Who in Commerce and Industry, 10th international ed. (1957).

Who's Who in the South (1927).

Who's Who in the South and South-west (1950–52).

Winston-Salem Journal, 12 Jan. 1958, 15 Sept. 1960.

Winston-Salem Sentinel, 19 Mar. 1941, 12 Jan. 1958, 12–13 Dec. 1960.

Additional Resources:

"Wachovia Bank Official Dies at Home Today." The Dispatch [Lexington, N.C.]. December 12, 1960. 7.  (accessed November 6, 2013).

"The School of Law: Report of the Dean." The University of North Carolina Record no. 124 (December 1914). 26. (accessed November 6, 2013).

Image Credits:

"R. G. Stockton Class of 1911." Photograph. Yackety Yack vol. 32. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: Dialectic and Philanthropic Literary Societies and the Fraternities. 1922. 29. (accessed November 6, 2013).

Origin - location: