Through the efforts and influence of a number of prominent citizens The Millbury Bank was established. The Massachusetts Legislature approved the act in June of 1825. Asa Waters II was chosen as the first president and a banking room was established in the Farnsworth Block, located on Elm Street in Millbury.
The Millbury Bank changed to the Millbury National Bank in November of 1864. The sound judgment and business savvy of the officers and directors soon put Millbury National Bank among the foremost banking institutions in the state.
The bank was moved to the Millbury Savings Bank Building across the street from the Farnsworth building occupying one side of the bank room.
The Statement of Condition showed that the bank continued to be a sound financial institution, which stood among the best in the state.
Millbury National Bank moved to its new quarters at 18 Main Street. Two additions have been made since then to handle the expanding operation.
The bank opened a branch at 215 Worcester Street in North Grafton in December of 1995.
The bank relocated the North Grafton branch to South Grafton in November 2010 to better serve the Blackstone Valley Communities.
Millbury National Bank continues to grow and serve the Blackstone Community. We have been helping business grow and prosper in the Valley for the last 185 years.
A Snapshot of Millbury National Bank's History: 1825 - Present
Small town financial institutions have always been at the forefront of our country’s success, even dating back to the turn of the 19th century. Small banks, such as Millbury National Bank, have helped fuel the Industrial Revolution, endured through the Great Depression and continue to thrive and serve small communities throughout the Blackstone Valley.
In the early 1800’s, when the Industrial Revolution was really taking off throughout the Blackstone Valley, a family owned armory was just picking up steam. Built by Asa Waters II and brother, Elijah Waters, the family began to revolutionize how guns were made for that time period in a small mill adjacent to the Blackstone River. During that time, their gunsmithing included many technological advances that were perceived as ahead of their time, which led to a more reliable and more accurate firearm. Due to their growing success, the armory actually received their first contract to manufacture guns from the United States government in 1808 (Blankenheim, 26).
While the company and the brothers gained wealth, they realized that a local bank was needed to help with the growth of the business, as well as other mills throughout Millbury and the surrounding areas. In 1825, the same year that John Quincy Adams was elected as our nation’s sixth President, Millbury Bank (now named Millbury National Bank) opened its doors, after receiving approximately $100,000 from 73 local business owners to purchase stock in the bank. Asa Waters II would later become the bank’s first president. Even back in the mid-1800’s, Millbury National Bank would not be immune from the lures of investors. In 1852, as the bank continued to have success over the years and moved locations several times to accommodate their growth, they learned that group of New York capitalists would try to oust the Board of Directors to take over Millbury National. As a testament to their staying power, this takeover was averted and continued their banking prowess.
By 1864, the bank’s capital stock had increased to $150,000. That same year, Millbury National Bank was granted the ability to print their own currency by the United States government. Back then, national banks printed currency with their name on them, as they were backed by U.S. government bonds. Between 1864 and 1933, Millbury National Bank printed $2.25 million in 24 different denominations. If you have ever been in the main branch in Millbury, you will notice some examples of those bills proudly displayed on the walls of the bank, along with some beautiful examples of the early weapons made by the Asa Waters armory.
As the Great Depression engulfed the country by 1933, Millbury National Bank was forced to reorganize and restructure to keep from closing. By 1934, MNB was able to offer FDIC insurance for the first time to its customers. Even in recent years with the Great Recession, the bank has fought off some tough financial times, however never removed lines of credit for small business customers, a luxury some of the larger banks couldn’t afford. Through years of trials and tribulations, Millbury National Bank knew that the key to the local economy was through small, local businesses and that the economy would rebound. As the economy continues to gain ground, and small businesses thrive in the area, Millbury National Bank remains closely held, all while working extremely hard to preserve the hometown bank feel where exemplary customer service is at the forefront of everything that we do.
Blankenheim, Michael . “Partners in American History”. ICBA Independent Banker. August 2014. 24-30.