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Community Roots and Entrepreneurial Spirit Run Deep

Graystone Tower Bank Joins Susquehanna Bank

It’s not often that a financial institution celebrates the fast-paced growth of a start-up bank, coupled with a legacy that dates to the Civil War. Yes, it’s a dynamic combination – but one that encompasses a sense of community, pride, passion, and forging relationships. As Graystone Tower Bank joins the Susquehanna family, we take time to reflect on the storied traditions, community heritage, and entrepreneurial spirit that have served as hallmarks for the Bank’s success.

First National Bank of Chester County

Shortly after President Lincoln signed the National Currency Act in 1863, two of Graystone Tower’s predecessors were formed – First National Bank of Chester County and First National Bank of Greencastle.

Nearly 150 years ago, 12 prominent and influential citizens joined together to establish First National Bank of West Chester, later known as First National Bank of Chester County. Chartered in December 1863, the Bank conducted business adjacent to where the main branch at 9 North High Street stands today. Erected in 1912, the branch serves as a symbol of Chester County history, outfitted with wall murals that depict a historical era and a circular vault door, weighing in at 17 tons, which is still in use today.

A short time later, in June 1864 in the town of Greencastle, nine local businessmen signed an organizational certificate requesting authority to establish the First National Bank of Greencastle.

Operations began in 1865 and in the few years following, the Bank building was constructed on the northwest corner of the public square. It is there that the three-story building still stands, topped with Greencastle’s Town Clock, which has served as the community’s principal landmark since 1872. An iconic building, the Greencastle office continues to embrace many community celebrations. Most notable is Old Home Week, a triennial homecoming that showcases approximately 100 local events and activities for residents and visitors to enjoy.

At the turn of the century and just over the mountain in Fulton County, the First National Bank of McConnellsburg was established in 1906. For more than 100 years, employees have offered hometown banking service in McConnellsburg and the surrounding communities. Like the main branch of the First National Bank of Chester County, the McConnellsburg office boasts a distinctive circular vault door, as well as a grand lobby.

Fast forward to 2005 – a group of bankers from Central Pennsylvania identified a need for a true community bank, which led to the founding of Graystone Bank. The Graystone mission, vision, and value statement is one that is based on local, relationship-oriented bankers with a passion for serving our customers and local communities. Through these values and a determined entrepreneurial spirit, the Graystone franchise flourished, becoming one of the fastest-growing banks in Pennsylvania and earning recognition as a Best Place to Work in Central Pennsylvania each year since inception. In an organization where the employees are the most important asset, team members work together in a high-care, high-accountability, and high-performance environment.

These banks, with their varied histories, eventually came together under one umbrella – Graystone Tower Bank. Graystone was recognized among the top 32 best-performing banks and thrifts in the nation (by Sandler O’Neill and Partners) and as the region’s fastest-growing company in the Central Penn Business Journal. But more importantly, we’ve continued to maintain our focus of positively impacting the lives of others in each of the markets we serve.

Although we’ve celebrated many milestones through the years, our employees have not lost sight of what community banking is all about. It’s a hometown banking atmosphere where each customer is greeted with a friendly smile and a warm conversation. It’s passionately serving others and taking a personal interest in helping customers meet their financial goals. It’s being a trusted business advisor to our customers, generation after generation. It’s partnering with local businesses to help the communities prosper. It’s rolling up our sleeves and volunteering with non-profit agencies to enrich the lives in the local communities we serve. It’s about doing what counts – and as a new chapter begins, we look forward to “Doing What Counts” for our customers and community members as Susquehanna Bank.


This blog post was written by Sharon, public relations coordinator for Graystone Tower Bank, who joined Susquehanna Bank’s marketing department when the two banks merged on February 17, 2012.

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Posted in In the Community, Industry News.

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