She was the first employee hired at what was then known as Cleveland Credit Exchange by Bill Jones, father of Allan Jones.
She worked for the company more than 50 years.
Throughout her impressive tenure, Margaret Duggan kept credit records on everyone in Cleveland, storing much of the information in her head. Merchants could call her and ask for her immediately.
Jones said she never wanted to do anything but be a credit reporter — she didn’t want to supervise. Rather, she enjoyed being a credit reporter, which she did for more than 50 years.
Bill Jones bought the Credit Exchange July 1, 1946, selling the business to son Allan in 1977, after which Duggan continued working for the company.
By the time Allan sold the Credit Bureau database in 1988, Credit Bureau Services was the largest privately owned credit bureau in Tennessee, covering 63 counties.
Jones sold the credit bureau database to Equifax in Atlanta. The company then focused on mortgage credit reporting and collections. Jones built it into the largest collections agency in the state, with offices from Memphis to Atlanta. Jones sold this business in 1998.
Jones said as long as he worked there he doesn’t remember Duggan missing a day being sick. She will be sadly missed by the Jones Management team.
Jones’ assistant, Debbie Layne, worked with Duggan since 1976. Duggan was known by anyone who extended credit up through 1996.
Over time, the Credit Bureau evolved into what is today Jones Management Services and Check Into Cash, so in essence, the companies are celebrating their 70th anniversary next year. Were it not for Duggan, they may never have made it past year one.
A full obituary will be published in the Cleveland Daily Banner later this week.
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