Mohnton National Bank

The article originally appeared in a publication commemorating Mohnton's 75th anniversary in 1982.

As business and industry developed within the Borough of Mohnton, the need for banking facilities became apparent. As a result the Mohnton National Bank was organized and incorporated. Although having been granted its charter on December 7, 1907, it did not open its doors for general business until January 24,1908. The Board of Directors of the new bank were as follows:

George H. Leininger  M. C. Kauffman
L. G. Hain John VonEida  
Augustus R. Anderson Jeremiah Horning
Charles M. Yetter Jacob C. Kessler
William G. Leininger E. G. Werner
Henry H. Worley  Harry Dumm
S. K. Remp    Aaron S. Hornberger

George H. Leininger was elected President and Wayne Griffith was named Cashier by the Board of Directors.

The Mohnton National Bank functioned as a national bank until March 29, 1921, when it was reorganized as a state bank known as the Mohnton Trust Company. This was done in order to broaden banking services and to establish a bank at Shillington, PA. The Shillington bank was incorporated as a state bank with the Mohnton Trust Co. owning or controlling 51% of the capital stock.

Both banks continued to serve the area until ordered closed during the "Banking Holiday" declared by the Federal Government on March 6, 1933. After the "Banking Holiday" ban was removed, both banks were ordered closed and liquidated by the Pennsylvania State Banking Depart­ment because of the chaotic national economic and financial conditions of the time. However, by the authority of the Federal Sardoni Act, they were allowed limited banking privileges until reorganization was possible. The Shillington Bank was not reorganized but liquidated. The Mohnton Trust Co. was also liquidated, and a new bank known as the Wyomissing Valley Bank was organized. While liquidation of the banks was beyond control of the officers, it is interesting to note that all depositors were paid in full. The president of the bank during all these years was Mr. Leininger.

The Wyomissing Valley Bank received its charter on July 5, 1934, and opened its doors on July 16,1934. The Board of Directors consisted of the following:

Wayne F. Griffith   Allen O. Fisher
Dr. Harry B. Schaeffer Edward M. Hughes
Luke A. Lutz Harry E. Bender
Clint F. Flickinger  Dr. L. R. Rothermel
John K. Hertz  

Wayne F. Griffith was the newly elected president.

A new dimension was added to the Wyomissing Valley Bank on March 1, 1953, when it was acquired and became a branch of the Berks County Trust Company of Reading, Pa. At the time of its acquisition, the bank had assets of over $3,800,000 and was one of the strongest small banks in the United States based on the ratio of assets to capital.

In August of 1964, the Berks County Trust Co., having grown beyond the borders of Berks, assumed the name of American Bank. For several years thereafter, an advisory committee of former directors of the Wyomissing Valley Bank served under the new institution. They were: Clint F. Flickinger, Edward M. Hughes, Luke A. Lutz, W. Wayne Mohn, Dr. L. R. Rothermel, and Dr. Harry B. Schaeffer.

During the years of the Wyomissing Valley Bank, the manager and cashier was W. Wayne Mohn, and the assistant cashier was Charles Glass. Early tellers were Daniel Krick, Vernon Wolfskill, and Norman Burkhart. These were followed by Marie Glass, Harvey Witmoyer, Esther Schonour, and Clyde Reinert. Mr. Witmoyer recently retired as a senior vice president, and Mr. Reinert is in charge of another branch of American Bank.

In 1966, The Colonial Berks Real Estate Co., a subsidiary of American Bank, built the adjoining post office building and leased it to the U. S. Government. Colonial Berks had previously constructed the parking lot across the street on the site of the former Isaac Spatz home.

For most of these 75 years, the business of banking has proceeded rather quietly and orderly in the Borough. An exception occurred at 11:47 a.m. on September 13,1971. Two men took the then Police Chief Wayne Drumheller hostage about a block west of the bank and marched him into the bank, where they held him captive along with the employees and customers. Several shots were fired, but no one was hurt. The robbers escaped with a sum of money, which was insured against loss to protect depositors. The excitement abated, and business soon returned to normal. The Wyomissing Valley office of American Bank has continued to serve the community well to this day.


Stock Certificate 1932 - click on image to enlarge

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