Canton Co-operative Bank: “Fantastically ahead of its time” and helping people get ahead since 1891

True Tales From Canton’s Past is lawyer & historian George Comeau’s wonderful column in the Canton Citizen. This past summer, one of George Comeau’s True Tales was about Canton Co-operative Bank.

Even from the Bank’s founding days, George reported, “Canton Co-operative was fantastically ahead of its time.” Specifically there, he was referring to the fact that “the Bank directors had a clear understanding of the role that women played in household finances.”

In an era when women did not yet have many legal rights (including the right to vote!), Canton Co-operative had woman shareholders – as customers were called in those more formal days – including “school teachers and shop girls,” to quote George Comeau’s column again.

(Given the Bank’s history of valuing women and their contributions, it’s probably not a coincidence that our former President, Debby Kreusch, was one of the first women bank presidents in Massachusetts.)

In the 1890s, community banking was a new idea. Our first President, Ephraim Thorndike, was the publisher of a local newspaper, the Canton Journal. He felt it was so important for Canton to have a local independent bank that he started writing front-page editorials talking about banking and the value of having fair place to borrow and a safe place to save right here in town. “How Banks Do Business – Things That Look Mysterious Easily Explained” was the title of one.

(And – given the Bank’s history of wanting to explain banking and finance in clear language – it seems particularly appropriate that our current President and Canton native, Nick Maffeo, writes a monthly column called Smart About Money for the Canton Citizen.)

At the end of his history of the Bank, George Comeau wrote that perhaps “the greatest asset” of Canton Co-operative is “the legacy of families that were given the opportunity to buy a house and settle down with families that have yielded the town of Canton we know today.”

Thank you, George, for those kind words. And we plan to continue to be a bank worthy of that legacy for many years to come.”

Celebrating our 125th Anniversary in 2016, Canton Co-operative Bank is located in downtown Canton at 671 Washington Street, Canton, MA 02021.
The main phone number is 781-828-8811.

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