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Greencastle-based bank to build 10th branch

November 25, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - On June 3, 1864, nine movers and shakers in the Greencastle area, prompted by growing commercial activity, much of it thanks to the Civil War, signed a certificate organizing the town's first bank.

The new bank's stockholders named their financial institution The First National Bank of Greencastle, according to a history of the bank by William P. Conrad written in 1989.

Construction of the bank's 10th branch office is under way at 11050 Buchanan Trail East across from the AC&T gas station/convenience store in Washington Township.

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The First National Bank of Greencastle began life in two rented rooms in a house on North Carlisle Street in 1864.

Rent for the two rooms was $125 a year.

In 1868 the directors bought land on the northwest corner of Greencastle's center square and construction began on the building that stands today as the bank's main office.

The bank is not only a downtown Greencastle landmark for its building, but also for the giant town clock that has sat on its roof since 1872.

According to Conrad's history, the decade following the end of the Civil War had more structures built in Greencastle than at any time before. He called it, "a flurry of construction."

Today there is a new flurry of construction in Washington Township with the new Rouzerville Commons shopping center opening with Wal-Mart, Lowe's and other stores early next year. At the same time developers are inundating the township offices with plans to build several thousand new homes along the new Washington Township Boulevard, a bypass around Waynesboro north of Pa. 16, said John H. McDowell Sr., executive vice president of the bank.

McDowell started with the bank in 1977 as a branch manager.

"The Waynesboro area has provided the bank with very good growth," he said. "Now we're looking to serve the eastern side of Waynesboro. That shows we intend to stay in the area. We're in it for the long haul in Waynesboro."

Last week the bank opened its ninth branch and its second in Washington County on Eastern Boulevard, McDowell said.

The First National Bank of Greencastle opened its first branch in 1970 in Shady Grove, Pa.

Next, in order of opening, came branches in Quincy, Pa., Laurich Estates on U.S. 30 west of Chambersburg, Pa., Mercersburg, Pa., Waynesboro, Fifth Avenue in Chambersburg, Maugans Avenue in Washington County, Lincoln Way East in Chambersburg and Eastern Boulevard.

The bank has 105 full- and part-time employees, McDowell said.

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