The old-time York County community bank: ‘They know me by sight and voice’

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Wachovia’s Lisa Walker is dwarfed by safe-deposit boxes at the bank’s York headquarters in this 2006 York Daily Record/Sunday News file photo. Background posts: Will Sovereign Bank of York stadium name fame lose its crown?, Often forgotten: Achievements of people named on building facades and Hillary Clinton’s rally site in York a little odd.
At one time, hometown banks operated in just about every town around York County.
Spring Grove State Bank, for example, was a mainstay in that papertown for decades.
Glen Rock played host to two banks, almost next door – Glen Rock State Bank and People’s Bank of Glen Rock.
Until 2006, East Prospect State Bank was the last of the single-branch hometown banks in York County…. .

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East Prospect, home of York County’s last single-branch hometown bank.

At that time, Harrisburg-based CommunityBanks said it would acquire all of East Prospect State Bank’s outstanding shares for $21.5 million. That subsequently happened.
This caused a customer, Wrightsville Susan Hantz Wolf, to write a letter to the editor reminding everyone of the value of hometown service:

The East Prospect State Bank has always been a community bank. We know them as friends and neighbors outside of banking hours. They live and work here. I can phone and easily find out the missing amount in my check register that I forgot to write down. They know me by sight and voice. I consider all employees of East Prospect State Bank my friends.

Of course, bank mergers are nothing new in York County. The following family tree, as outlined in a York Daily Record/Sunday News article (10/19/08) of just one bank – Wachovia – reminds us of that:

Customers of Wachovia Corp., are seeing their bank being acquired by Wells Fargo. It’s another step in history of bank mergers that involve York County banks.
We took a look at a history of bank mergers and buyouts in York County that eventually ended with the most recent merger.
1845:
York Savings Institution was founded.
1865:
York County National Bank was the resulting name of several name changes for York Savings Institution by about this year. Previous name changes had included York Savings Bank and York County Bank.
1889:
York County National Bank bought the Weiser, Son & Carl banking house.
1943:
York County National Bank bought Guardian Trust Co. and formed York County National Bank and Trust Co.
1959:
York County National Bank and Trust Co. merged with Western National Bank of York and Merchants National Bank of Red Lion, creating National Bank of York County. It had 25 directors and $41 million in assets.
A minor acquisition occurred later in the year, as National Bank of York County acquired Peoples National Bank of Stewartstown.
1961:
National Bank of York County and Central Trust Capital Bank in Harrisburg merged, forming National Bank and Trust Co. of Central Pennsylvania.
1970:
National Bank and Trust Co. of Central Pennsylvania merged with banks in Lancaster and Reading and National Central Financial Corp. was formed.
Previously, National Bank and Trust Co. had acquired at least two more banks, including First National Bank and Trust Co. of Hanover.
1983:
National Central Financial Corp., based in Lancaster, merged with Philadelphia National Bank and CoreStates was formed.
CoreStates acquired Meridian Bancorp in Reading after the merger.
1998:
First Union Corp. completed its $16.6 billion takeover of CoreStates Financial Corp., following an announcement that it had agreed to sell more than 90 bank branches, including one in Gettysburg to Sovereign Bancorp Inc. of Wyomissing.
Previously, CoreStates had 11 offices in York County and between 10 percent and 15 percent of local deposits.
The merger formed the nation’s sixth-largest bank, with at the time $220 billion in assets and 2,600 branches in 12 states and in Washington, D.C.
2001:
Wachovia Corp. is formed when First Union and Wachovia completed their merger and combined. The company is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.
2008:
Wells Fargo agrees to buy Wachovia Corp.’s assets, after a brief scuffle with Citigroup over who would get to buy the troubled company. Wachovia in recent years had become weighed down with debt from the American mortgage meltdown.

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Wachovia and several of its predecessors have occupied the East Market Street site next to the old York County Courthouse for years.

Sources: York Daily Record/Sunday New archives, York County Historical Society.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
This entry was posted in Archives, all posts, Explanations/controversy, For photo fans, Genealogy/research, Local journalism & Web, Local landmarks, Made in York, Mail bag, Nostalgia & memories, Small-town life. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The old-time York County community bank: ‘They know me by sight and voice’

  1. Jo Ott says:

    And wouldn’t it be wonderful if Wells Fargo permanently removed that Wachovia sign that spoils the view of the old courthouse?

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