When Dollar Bank opened for business in 1855, Pittsburgh and Cleveland were emerging as industrial centers. Telegraph and railroad connected them with the country, and each other. The two cities provided the iron, glass, tools and machines needed by a growing United States.
Workers by the thousands flocked to jobs in the mills, mines, factories and stores.
Americans. Immigrants. Families.
People eager for work. For opportunity.
Charles Colton believed that the working class should have access to banking services just like wealthier people.
In particular, he believed that ordinary people of limited means deserved a chance to earn dividends on their money, no matter how modest the sum of their savings account.
The idea for Dollar Bank was born.
A savings bank where anyone could open an account with as little as $1.
A bank with no capital stock and no stockholders. Managed by Trustees for the sole benefit of the depositors.
A mutual savings bank.
Charles Colton, the bank’s founder, ran the daily operations singlehandedly. For 3-1/2 years.
Until the bank's growth was assured, Colton remained the only salaried employee.
The Bank grew rapidly. We earned a strong reputation in the Pittsburgh region as a bank where people's money was safe and secure.
Depositors came from all walks of life. Clerks. Carpenters. Teachers. Housewives. Coal miners. Engineers. Barbers. Attorneys. Steel workers. Secretaries.
A bank for everyone.
Between 1855 and the 1930s, all of Dollar Bank's ledgers were handwritten. These ledgers contain records of more than 400,000 savings accounts opened during that time.
These are the original signatures of our depositors.
After the Civil War, Dollar Bank had outgrown its rented rooms on Fourth Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh.
Philadelphia architect Isaac Hobbs was commissioned to design Dollar Bank's new building, which opened April 3, 1871. Hobbs' building represented the strength and permanence of the bank within.
Two stately stone lions, carved by German immigrant Max Kohler, flanked the entrance. The lions symbolized guardianship of the people's money.
Despite a series of banking crises in the late 1800s, Dollar Bank remained stable. Its reputation, and deposits, grew.
By the 1890s, as many as 1,000 customers a day were being served by Dollar Bank's staff of fourteen employees.
To accommodate this phenomenal growth, the Fourth Avenue Building was expanded in 1896, and again in 1905.
During the Great Depression, many banks across the nation failed, and depositors lost their money. Dollar Bank grew, in spite of the difficult economy.
The Bank's assets passed the $100 million mark in June 1950. More than 63,000 active savings accounts were a testament to the confidence and trust the people of Pittsburgh had in the Bank.
When Dollar Bank turned 100 in 1955, we were the oldest bank in Pittsburgh, and the city's only mutual savings bank.
In the 1960s, Dollar Bank expanded with branch offices in suburbs and neighboring counties.
In 1984, Dollar Bank entered the Cleveland area with the acquisition of Continental Federal Savings & Loan Bank.
Over the decades, innovations in technology helped us serve our customers in faster, more convenient ways. We moved banking services outside the bank building and took them to the customer. Dollar Bank's consistent leadership in technological innovation has given our customers real-time, around-the-clock access to their accounts, while maintaining security and privacy.
For more than 160 years, Dollar Bank has remained true to its founding principles.
A mutual bank.
Free to serve the best interests of our customers. Not stockholders.
A bank dedicated to helping individuals and businesses with their financial needs.
With knowledgeable and caring employees that will continue a legacy of superior customer service.
A bank that is innovative in our support and development of the communities where we do business. Because they're the neighborhoods our customers and employees live in and care about.
With continued conservative and thoughtful management, inspired problem solving and creative use of technology, Dollar Bank will be available as a preferred banking option for another 160 years.