Keeping up with past and present happenings in a remarkable small town.
There used to be a policeman standing at that corner all the time.
Ago, I confess to a fear of heights. I recall walking the viaduct...always on the outside.You may recall the banks had what was known back then as a 'Christmas Club" where you could save a dime, quarter or fifty cents a week or a month then just before Christmas you could retrieve your nest egg...no interest,of course, to spend. In the course of visiting the Butler Savings and Trust each week, I discovered the stairs which led to the offices on the upper floors and eventually to the roof. No doubt, you know where this is heading...yeppers...I was able to get on the roof and little by little over week by week I would venture closer and closer to the edge and finally got enough courage to look over the edge to the street below thus curing myself of my fear of heights.Thus led, I should add, several years later, walking up the stairs of the Washingtom Monument-all 555ft 5 and 1/2 inches- peering out the porthole, then walking back down...quite proud of myself. I'll bet, today, the door to the roof of the bank is securely locked and bolted so no kid can get on the roof....but maybe I'm wrong...after all...it is Butler.
The John Berg and Company Bank was originally on this site till 1923 when it closed. The Butler Savings and Trust Company constructed an 8 story building on the site and opened its doors in 1926. In 1980 the building was known as the Union National Bank Building. The bank then changed to Integra Bank, then it changed to National City bank and now is PNC Bank. Lots of different names but always a bank. remember as a kid going to a dentist who had his office on one of the upper floor. He had plaster paris molds of Disney characters his he gave to kids. They were unfinished and needed to be but were pretty neat for us kids. I remember the Christmas Clubs at the banks also. I think they gave you a card that was punched each time you added money to the account. I have a Liberty Bell Bank patented Feb 18, 1919 from Butler County National Bank but no key for it. I suspect you took it to the Bank and they opened it for you to deposit. Butler Co. National Bank opened it new bank in Oct 1903, later became Mellon Bank and is now the Lafayette Building next door to the Court House. If any one has info on key to open the old Liberty Bell banks I would appreciate the info.
What I remember most about this building was that for decades it housed the office of Dr. Max Nast. He was one of Butler's most interesting and notable characters. He was an old fashioned family doctor who made house calls in the middle of the night and gave birth to hundreds of Butlerites. He practiced well into his 80's and lived to be over 100 years old. He never married, claiming that he was too devoted to his profession and it wouldn't be fair to his spouse. I don't think he ever made a fortune and he lived a modest life. His office was a scary place for a kid. Uncomfortable hard back chairs in his waiting room with boring magazines that led to a small office with a desk and file cabinets full of hand written records meticulously drafted in true pen and ink. His examining room had an adjustable table with disposable butcher paper that was surrounded by myriads of old medical equipment in glass cabinets that resembled a torture chamber. There were educational posters on the wall with various pictures of anatomy and an eye chart. Most distinctive, however, was the pungent aroma of antiseptic fluids and alcohol that permeated the examination room. It’s where I got my series of polio shots and was treated for a variety of maladies from the flu to broken bones. Dr. Nast could be a crusty old codger who didn’t suffer fools or tolerate unhealthy behavior well, especially smoking (even before the Surgeon General’s report in the early 1960’s on the dangers of tobacco). He knew your medical history by memory, not out of a data warehouse, and he felt a little like a member of the family – more like the distant Uncle. It is such a stark contrast to today’s impersonal system of health care, reliant on computers and specialists who don’t even know your name, and where the level and quality of care is completely determined by your insurance and ability to pay. As for me, I’d put my life in the hands of Dr. Nast any day.
In the 50's, the CEO of Butler Savings was John Campbell. He owned a beautiful dairy farm in Center Twp. stocked with prize Guernsey cattle. The heirs sold it and the Clearview Mall now sits on the property. He was a very nice guy and active in local charities as well as the Butler Farm Show.
Yes, Dr. Anne Marte (chiropractor)had a third floor office here. I loved the brass mail chute! I often rode the elevator to other floors just to see what was there. And you had to go to another floor (from the 3rd) to use the bathroom which was a neat place also.
Dr. Goehring, the ear, nose, throat, and allergy doctor also practiced here. He worked well into his 80's. He was on the 5th floor I believe, and I remember looking out the waiting room window to look down at Main St. He always had copies of the Butler Hospital Nursing Yearbook. I remember looking through them everytime I went.
Don't forget the heated sidewalk...always clear no matter the snow!
The building was built without the use of a crane and the only wood contained in the building are the doors and decorative decor. During the construction one of the workers fell to their death down the elevator shaft.
Growing up our dentist was Dr. Brandberg (sp). Many a time I remember getting drilled while looking directly onto Main Street from about the 4th or 5th floor...!!
We also went to Dr. Brandberg. Nothing like getting a tooth filled without the benefit of novocaine. I still cringe when I hear the water or air being blown onto a tooth that is ready to get a filling.
You are so right (above)! Dr. Brandberg made novocaine optional, and my dad chose for us not to take it. I don't know how much it saved us...!!!
Can anyone remember a Mr. Boliver and what his position was at the bank, circa 1950-1951?R.D.DunnVancouver, British ColumbiaDominion of Canada
Dr. Chauncey Loutsenhieiser was also a dentist there. He didpensedlife advice to teenage patients. He was a very kind man.
My grandfather worked at the bank until his retirement. He would take us into the vault and let us lift bags of coins and bills. We visited the roof once, frightened the devil out of me. We would get loans from Grandfather and hit the next door drug store soda fountain for vanilla cokes. If it was a great day we would be escorted to the Hot Dog Shop for their delicacies.
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