By Uncle Irvin

In this issue of the Chester County Press, there's a story about the financial history of the Oxford area from 1970 to 1990, told by the guy who was a big part of it.

Carl Fretz is the president of Peoples Bank of Oxford, and the area it served was his instrument. With Carl as president, Peoples became the leading regional bank, which not only made money for the shareholders, but loaned money to many small businesses, while opening branches all over the area.

Uncle Irvin and his weekly newspaper operation was one example of how Carl's lending philosophy paid off. Carl thought the character of a businessman was just as important as collateral, and if he didn't practice this philosophy, the Chester County Press, and many new business ventures, would not have happened so quickly.

Prior to Carl, Clyde Mason -- the founder of the bank and Carl's boss -- very rarely loaned money to businesses which were not related to agriculture. Carl pioneered a more progressive lending strategy that served all small businesses.

In addition to his business career, Carl was a mover in his church and other philanthropic endeavors, and offered his considerable singing talent to the community.

The Oxford area is a better place today because of leaders like Carl Fretz.