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James Kittrell

James Kittrell
James Kittrell
Hometown (Last School)
Lexington (Lexington High School)
October 1, 1904

James Kittrell was born James Bingham Kittrell on October 1, 1904, in Columbia, Tennessee to James Ernest Kittrell and Letitia “Lettie May” Bingham Kittrell.

Kittrell was a native of Columbia, Tennessee. He attended Lexington public schools and played high school basketball for Lexington Senior High School (now Henry Clay).  He served in the Army during World War II, attaining the rank of captain.

He played on the freshman Kentucky basketball team in 1924 and saw action in one game for the varsity in 1925-26.  He also served on the Pan-Hellenic Council at Kentucky and was president of Delta Chi social fraternity his senior year.  He graduated from Kentucky with a Bachelor’s degree in Arts and Sciences.

Kittrell married Marie Warren Beckner, of Winchester, Kentucky, on June 23, 1928.  They had one daughter, Marie Beckner, and two sons, James Bingham Kittrell, Jr. and Lucien Cartwright.  Lucien died from measles when he was just six years old.

He was associated with the U.S. Rubber Company before becoming a partner with his father in his motor firm, the Kittrell Motor Company.

In 1942, in support of the war effort, Kittrell became a civilian automotive advisor attached to the Civilian Parts and Maintenance Division of the U.S. Army Armored Forces at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The post was one of three set up by automotive units under the supervision of General Motors.  Later he was commissioned as a First Lieutenant and reported to the U.S. Army Armored Force at Fort Knox on November 2, 1942, for service. His family resided in Elizabethtown, Kentucky while he was stationed at Fort Knox for four years.  He attained the rank of captain before returning home to Lexington in January of 1946. 

He was a former vice president of Kittrell Motor Co. and was a member of the City Planning and Zoning Commission from 1952 to 1963. He was treasurer of the commission.

He was a vice president and director of Delta National Gas Co., a director of the Cape Codder system, a past president of the Lexington Automobile Dealers Association, and a former director of the Kentucky Automobile Dealers Association.

He passed away on May 15, 1966, at the Veteran’s Hospital after a long illness.

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