At 82, Hugh Kincaid retires a third time, this time for good

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 448 views 

Hugh Kincaid insists the third time will be the charm. Kincaid, who will turn 83 in September, retired from The Bank of Fayetteville, effective June 30.

He was the bank’s senior vice president of the trust department since 2002 — the same year he retired from a 39-year career at the University of Arkansas. An attorney by trade, Kincaid also retired from a 30-year career in private practice in 1993.

“My thinking now, since this is my third retirement, is it’s time to seriously retire, retire,” Kincaid said during a recent interview in his second-floor office of the Lewis Building, built in 1908 and home to The Bank of Fayetteville since 1987 when founder John Lewis purchased the property for the downtown Fayetteville location on the square. “I hope to have more time to spend with family and some things that, you know, you put off doing. When you put off doing as long as I have, you may never get around to doing them at my age.”

Kincaid said his relationship with Lewis — a close friend who was known as “Mr. Fayetteville” for his knowledge of the city’s history and his desire get the community involved in its development — led him to the bank following his second retirement. Lewis died in June 2007.

Following an August 2015 acquisition, The Bank of Fayetteville is now a division of Stuttgart-based Farmers & Merchants Bank in southeast Arkansas.

“John saw 10 times further down the road than any person I ever knew,” Kincaid said. “And he was very persuasive. I originally told him I would go to work for him a couple of years, and then 15 years just buzzed right by. It has been fascinating to be a part of the bank, and I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Hugh Kincaid

Kincaid, born and bred in Fayetteville, graduated from Fayetteville High in 1952, then earned a bachelor’s degree (1956) and a law degree (1959) from the University of Arkansas. He spent the next four years in Washington, D.C., first as trial counsel in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate Generals (JAG) Corps, then as a trial attorney for President John F. Kennedy’s Justice Department.

Kincaid returned to Fayetteville in 1963 to begin his practice, later becoming a partner in the firm Kincaid, Horne and Trumbo. That same year, he began teaching business law at the UA, and did so for the next 32 years. He was also the college’s director of planned giving from 1993 to 2002.

Kincaid also held elected office at both the city and state level, serving four years (1965-1969) as Fayetteville’s city attorney and two terms (1970-1974) in the Arkansas House of Representatives. While there, he was a driving force behind legislation that brought kindergarten to all Arkansas public schools. Looking back, he said the issue was “vitally important” to him.

“I have always felt strongly that education was the threshold for opportunity,” he said. “When I went to the legislature, we didn’t have public kindergartens in Arkansas, aside from a few pilot programs in various places of the state.”

Aside from his work, Kincaid has been recognized by numerous groups for his community involvement. He is a recipient of the Lugean L. Chilcote Award for Outstanding Service to the Arkansas Community Foundation, the Wes Gordon Good Deeds Award given by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, the Distinguished Citizens Award from the Washington County Historical Society and the Golden Acorn Award from the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association for leading the effort to create the ecologically diverse Brooks-Hummel Nature Reserve. He was also inducted in 2013 into the Fayetteville Schools Hall of Honor.

Although the word “retirement” may evoke images of an elderly, white-haired man sitting in a rocker on a front porch, that won’t be Kincaid’s retirement — though he certainly has the requisite white hair.

“I will probably do some volunteer work, but haven’t decided where,” he said. “Probably for one or more charities to help them with some fundraising.”

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