Salisbury Banks

In 1871 Silas C. Keim and Jacob D. Livengood opened and operated a private bank on Ord Street. This bank closed in about 1879 due to long continuance of hard times after the panic of 1873. Valley Bank was established in 1889 by John L. Barchus and Jacob D. Livengood on Grant Street. This institution prospered and continued in operation until 1902 when a charter was devised and a permanent bank was established.

In 1898 Albert Reitz became a clerk in the Valley Bank and later became cashier of the new First National Bank. The new bank grew out of the Valley Bank. The First National Bank was chartered and nationalized in 1902. The First National Bank continued giving full and complete banking services to the community from 1902 to 1939. This institution prospered and became one of the leading and strongest banking institutions in southern Somerset County. In 1939, due to the effects of the depression years, the wishes of the officers and directors to retire, and the lack of younger trained personnel to take over the reins of the bank, they (the directors) decided, after long and continuous consultation with the Citizens National Bank officers and directors, to merge the First National bank of Salisbury with the Citizens National Bank of Meyersdale.

The merger was effected in 1939 and Salisbury was without its own banking facilities until October 5, 1959. Mr. John L. Barchus continued as president from 1902 until the merger. Of the original directors, Ernest E. Livengood and Harvey H. Maust continued as directors for the entire life of this bank. This bank was located on Grant Street. Citizens State Bank of Salisbury was chartered and opened for business in 1917 in a new building built for the bank and post office by the Lichliter heirs. This building was located in the Lichliter block and the present Salisbury post office occupies the entire building which was formerly used by both the bank and the post office. The officers were John C. Lichliter, Sr., Frank F. Petry, Russell Hay, David H. Keim, John Wright and John Knecht, directors.

This bank continued in operation from 1917 to 1933, giving full and complete banking services to the community and was an asset to southern Somerset County as well as to Salisbury. John C. Lichliter, Sr. continued as president of the bank during its entire life and Frank F. Petry, Russell Hay, David H. Keim and John Wright continued as directors until 1933.

Mark T. Bender became cashier after John Miller resigned to become an officer in the bank at Biglerville, Pa. Mr. Bender continued as cashier until 1933.

In early March 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered all banks closed (for the bank holiday) to be examined and certain standards to be complied with before reopening. After much discussion, a decision was reached by the officers and directors to close the bank rather than to attempt to raise the capitol stock from $25,000 to $50,000 and reserve the $25,000 additional. At that time the country was in the midst of one of the greatest depressions in history and any attempt to raise the additional $50,000 out of the community would have been an impossible task in those days. The closing of the bank at that time should not be understood to mean that the institution was weak in any way. Proof of this statement is that everyone who had an account in the Citizens State Bank was paid 100% on the dollar and no losses were suffered by the depositors.

The Salisbury branch of Second National Bank of Meyersdale, PA was opened October 5, 1959 in the building formerly occupied by the First National Bank before its merger with the Citizens National Bank of Meyersdale in 1939.

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