HISTORY OF THE BANK OF
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
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.