Small in Size Big on Service
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Freehold Savings Bank has a banking approach that focuses on delivering the best in community banking for the financial well-being of our communities. We carry out our commitment to our customers by combining exceptional personal service, competitive banking products, and local expertise to provide a convenient and rewarding banking experience.
We concentrate our business primarily on the origination and servicing of home mortgage and home equity loans for individuals and families throughout central New Jersey.
Freehold Savings Bank is New Jersey’s oldest savings institution. The Bank was founded on September 12, 1853 as the Freehold Mutual Loan Association, a name that was retained until 1955. At the time of our founding, Franklin Pierce was in the White House, Queen Victoria was on the throne of England, and California was in the midst of the Gold Rush. We have provided continuous service to our community since our founding, even through the Great Depression of the 1930’s.
Many of the early records of the Bank are believed to have been destroyed in a fire in the 1920’s, but the Association’s oldest known document is the Fourth Annual Statement, issued in 1857. Four names appear on this historic document: the Auditors were Richard Davis, Tunis A. Forman, and Gilbert Combs; Charles A. Bennett served as Secretary. Mr. Bennett’s descendant, John O. Bennett III, now serves on the Board of Directors. Assets were listed as “19 thousand, 315 dollars and 14½ cents (this was the last year the United States mint issued half-cent coins). The annual budget of $6,610.35 covered operating expenses such as $2.50 for printing, $6.00 for heating and lighting, and salaries of $100 for the Secretary and $25 for the Treasurer. Investments in land mortgages during the first four years of operation ran from $3,400 in 1854 through $5,600 in 1857.
The Annual Report published in 1869 still carries the names of Charles Bennett as Secretary and Gilbert Combs as an Auditor. The office address was 27 E. Main Street, which is believed to be the site of the aforementioned fire. The Association relocated to 18 Court Street in 1926, 16 W. Main Street in 1951, and finally to the present location of 68 W. Main Street in 1962. The Bank’s branch office was opened in 1984 in Freehold Township at 3649 Route 9 North (next to the Wendy’s Restaurant).
The Annual Report of 1876 carried a warning that members would be fined 25 cents for non-attendance at the Annual Meeting. Acton C. Hartshorne was listed as Secretary and Bennett, Combs, and James J. Conover were Auditors. Hartshorne served for 37 years as Secretary until the election of Joseph McDermott in 1913, followed by Edgar U. Vanderveer in 1915. Vanderveer’s daughter, Mildred V. Foley, succeeded him as Secretary. Mrs. Foley began work at the Association as a clerk on the Monday after her graduation from Freehold High School in 1914, worked her way up to Assistant Secretary in 1928, Executive Vice President in 1952, and President of Freehold Savings and Loan in 1961. Mrs. Foley retired in 1968 after devoting 54 years of service to the institution while earning the distinction of being the second woman in New Jersey to be elected President of an insured savings and loan association. During those years, she somehow found time to help with her father’s insurance business, which shared office space at that time with the Association.
Other notable officers in our history included Presidents Everett A. Woolfenden, Andrew J. Conover, and Peter F. Runyon, and Assistant Secretary Elmeda A. Gray.
David E. Sautters joined Freehold Savings Bank as Vice President and Secretary in 1968 and was elected President in 1974. Mr. Sautters guided the institution safely through the savings and loan crisis in the early 1980’s, and kept the Bank on a solid foundation. Mr. Sautters retired as President at the end of 2007, having served the Association for 40 years.
Today Freehold Savings Bank is stronger than ever, and ushers in a new era under the leadership of David J. Hage as the Bank’s President and CEO. Mr. Hage joined Freehold Savings Bank in 1989, and has been instrumental in laying the groundwork for today’s strong and stable institution.