A Bank for Workers
As soon as the Hershey chocolate factory opened in 1905, Milton S. Hershey began to turn his dreams of a harmonious model industrial town into reality. He considered a bank integral to the fulfillment of that mission. He wasted little time and established Hershey Trust Company to accept deposits and make loans to factory workers and farmers.
As envisioned, Hershey Trust Company quickly became a large presence in the town. Ten years after its founding, the Trust moved to its new headquarters on West Chocolate Avenue. In 1925, the Trust Company began to direct more of its efforts towards managing the assets of the Hershey Industrial School Trust, which had been established seven years earlier. Therefore, the Trust separated its savings and loans departments from other Trust functions by creating the Hershey National Bank.
The bank helped realize the ideals of its founder, Milton S. Hershey. It provided opportunities to students at the Hershey Industrial School, as many worked at the bank and assumed executive level positions. Between 1955 and 1975, the bank also helped construct the suburban residences of Hershey, as it made $39 million available in residential mortgages.
In 1980, Hershey National Bank converted to a state charter and re-named itself as The Hershey Bank. PNC acquired it six years later.
Photo courtesy of the Hershey Community Archives, Hershey, PA.