Mechanics Cooperative Bank was the fifth organization of its kind in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and since 1877 the institution has grown stronger and more successful financially. Two mergers have helped the Bank grow to this level by expanding its existing customer base and branch network footprint from 3 locations to 8 locations. The first came in 2007 merging with Bridgewater Cooperative Bank, Bridgewater, MA, and the second came in 2008 merging with Lafayette Federal Savings Bank, Fall River, MA. Throughout its history of service, Mechanics Cooperative Bank has been instrumental in helping our customers save systematically, achieve enjoyable home ownership and grow their business.
The first association, formed in 1831 for the purpose of aiding its members to save systematically and to loan these savings to those who needed immediate funds, was in Philadelphia. It was not until 1875 that the Honorable Hon. Josiah Quincy, the Honorable J. Q. A. Brackett, Mr. Daniel Eldridge and a few others tried to secure the passage of a bill permitting similar associations in Massachusetts, and it was not until May 14, 1877, that such a bill was passed and signed by the Governor. This bill chartered “associations for the purpose of accumulating the savings of its members, paid into such corporations in fixed periodical installments, and the lending of such funds so accumulated to its members, they to be known as “Co-operative Savings Fund and Loan Associations.”
Previous to this time, a few men in the north section of Taunton had been doing just this thing in a small way, and when the bill was passed they saw the advantage of enlarging their sphere, soon taking steps to interest others. Thus this corporation was organized, and an application was sent to the Secretary of State, with 88 signatures. On September 14, 1877, the members received their charter as the “MECHANICS CO/OPERATIVE SAVINGS FUND AND LOAN ASSOCIATION.” By an act of the Legislature passed in 1883, the names of all these associations were changed to “Co-operative Banks”.
The first officers of the Mechanics Cooperative Bank were Elijah Tolman, President; Nathan Lawrence, Vice-President; John O’Neil, Secretary, and Frank L. Fish, Treasurer. The first directors included Cyrus Savage, William E. Swan, Matthew Kennedy, George J. MacAusland, Lyman A. Blake, John Hewitson, Benjamin F. Pizer, George L. Johnson, Abraham Coleman, George E. Chace, William C. Beattie, William Gornall, William H. Foulds, Thomas Leach , and Samuel Biggin.
There have been over 140 different directors, all of whom have contributed greatly to promote the welfare of the depositors and the community. The results of their labor cannot be estimated, as there are thousands of different accounts that we have had on our books, that would not have saved anything had it not been for the systematic way of saving.
Monthly meetings were held at the Young Men’s Christian Union hall, until 1880, when rooms were secured in Davol’s new block. Until June 1907, money was received only one night a month, the rooms being open only for business meetings. In 1907, however, it became necessary to keep the bank open every day. For the first ten years shares were issued but once yearly, but in July 1887, the first midyear series was opened. This plan was continued until 1916, when, in order to accommodate both investors and borrowers, a new series was issued every three months. At first, the money that was to be loaned was sold at auction each month, the minimum rate being 6% and a premium of whatever the mortgagor bid. In 1913 the sale was entirely dispensed with, and loans were granted in the order in which the applications were received.
During our history innumerable changes have taken place in our list of officers, shareholders, methods of keeping accounts and so on, but the principles on which these associations were founded are the same today as they were on the day the first dollar was deposited.
Statement of Condition
March 31, 2021
|Assets||Cash||Liabilities & Capital||Cash|
|Cash and Due from Banks||$4,957,840||Depositors’ Capital Accounts||$517,840,752|
|Investment Securities||$93,836,402||FHLB Advances and Other Borrowed Funds||$72,078,787|
|Premises & Equipment||$6,822,877||Total Capital||$70,685,122|
|Total Assets||$669,803,858||Total Liabilities & Capital||$669,803,858|