Bob Wharton

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Robert Hewitt Wharton Jr (born August 28, 1871 in Lebanon, Tennessee; died January 6, 1945 in Birmingham) was an executive of the American Trust & Savings Bank, founding president of the North Birmingham Trust Savings Bank, and president of the Jefferson County Commission from 1939 to 1945.

Wharton was the son of Robert and Margaret Taylor Davis Wharton of Tennessee. He graduated from Cumberland University and began his career as a banker in Guntersville before moving to Birmingham in 1901.

Wharton married the former Leslie McKinstry on May 21, 1905. The couple had three children: Bebe, Isabel and Robert III. They resided at 2628 38th Avenue North. In addition to his banking activities, Wharton served on the board of the National Cast Iron Pipe Company and as treasurer of the North Birmingham Loan & Investment Company.

His leadership in securing improvements to the U. S. Highway 31 corridor were honored when the stone bridge over Lakeshore Drive in Shades Valley was dedicated as the R. H. "Bob" Wharton Cloverleaf Bridge in 1943. The Wharton Lookout Tower on Ruffner Mountain, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1941, is also named in his honor.