History of The Bank of Landisburg

Bank pic

The Bank of Landisburg had its beginning in 1903 when an organizational meeting was held on August 19th. $10,000.00 in capital had been raised by the selling of stock. Many familiar names were among the original stockholders: Sheibley, Jones, Wilson, Bower, Kennedy, Wertz, Dum, Kell, Loy, and Wagner. Stockholders elected directors at that August meeting and on October 19, 1903, the bank opened for business in a building located on the corner of Main & Carlisle Streets that already housed a general store.

In 1905 the directors of the bank decided that the Community of Blain needed a bank. A building was rented, equipment and supplies purchased and the Blain Office opened for business. A lengthy, complicated branch application as required today was unheard of at that time.

Apparently, The Bank of Landisburg was profitable because in 1918 new bank buildings were built in both Landisburg and Blain. In Landisburg, the bank moved from the southwest corner of Main & Carlisle Streets to the northwest corner of those streets. A house had to be moved before the new bank building was constructed on that site.

In Blain, an almost identical building was constructed on the main street (Rt. 274). Both buildings are still in use. The Landisburg building, which had an addition added in 1962, has been used as a U.S. Post Office since January 1988. The Blain building was remodeled and enlarged in 1987 when a drive-in window was installed.

In 1978, when the bank’s total assets were $21 million, it was learned that a larger Carlisle bank had purchased a gas station at Brunner's Corner, near Shermans Dale, to use as a branch office. A branch application was quickly completed by Landisburg and hand delivered to the Pennsylvania Department of Banking in Harrisburg. The Bank of Landisburg's application arrived at the Department before the other application and was subsequently approved. The Carlisle bank╝s application was rejected.

The Bank of Landisburg has managed to survive over the years while a number of independent community banks in Perry County have disappeared. The communities of Duncannon, Ickesburg, Loysville, New Bloomfield and Millerstown no longer have independent banks.

The Bank of Landisburg is somewhat unique, in that in addition to being an independent bank, until April 17, 1992, it had been a private bank. Private banks were unincorporated and in almost all cases, family owned or owned by two or more partners. Landisburg again was different. Since it was founded, it has been owned by a group of stockholders. The bank had been described at times as a large partnership and at other times as an unincorporated stock company.

In the late 1970's, there were less than fifteen private banks in the United States. Five of those banks were in Pennsylvania. In 1990, three private banks remained in Pennsylvania. It is unknown if any still existed outside of this state. Because the private bank's depositors were not covered by federal insurance (FDIC), the Pennsylvania Department of Banking pressured these remaining banks to relinquish their private charters and take steps to qualify for FDIC insurance.

On April 17, 1992, for a few hours, The Bank of Landisburg was the last operating private bank in Pennsylvania (and possibly in the United States). The other two Pennsylvania private banks were closed by the Department of Banking because of their financial health.

On April 20, 1992, The Bank of Landisburg opened for business as an incorporated, federally insured, state chartered, Federal Reserve Member bank.