Press Releases

First Hope Bank Celebrates Centennial Anniversary

Hope, NJ, March 4, 2012

100 years ago, The First National Bank of Hope opened its door to customers, serving the growing population in the towns of Blairstown, Belvidere, and Hackettstown, New Jersey, and Portland, Pennsylvania. Led by the bank’s directors -- Lewis C. Beatty, Sr., John H. Huff, Harry R. Hurley, Samuel Read, Richard M. Van Horn, and cashier, A. Roy Hunsberger -- a foundation of serving the community was born.

The bank grew in assets despite World War I under the leadership of Lewis C. Beatty Sr. His son, Lewis C. Beatty Jr., took on his father’s duties after Mr. Beatty Sr.'s death in 1924. The younger Beatty would then start a 62 year association of leadership with the bank. Always an innovator, “Uncle Lew” installed the first banking drive-up window and depository in Northwestern New Jersey during the 1950s, and guided the bank through The Great Depression and World War II.

Succeeding Lewis C. Beatty Jr. in 1984 would be his son, Norman E. Beatty, the bank’s current Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, and President. Norman, a 1963 graduate of West Point and 1971 graduate of the University of Alabama (MBA, MS), would come home to the family bank upon retirement from the United States Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. Twenty years of service to his country would provide valuable leadership experience to guide the bank forward into the 21st century.

Under Norman’s leadership, the bank expanded from Warren into Sussex and Morris Counties and pioneered such services as telephone, online, and mobile banking. He also directed the expansion of new and existing business lines. In addition to traditional retail banking, First Hope is now known for its Commercial, Consumer and Mortgage Lending, as well as its Trust and Investment Services. Additionally, First Hope is building its statewide reputation as it expands First Hope Mortgages, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Hope Bank with offices in both North and South New Jersey.

Four generations of family leadership later, with five additional banking offices and three mortgage subsidiary locations, the bank has grown not only by its size, but by its reputation as well. As a local, independent hometown bank, First Hope can offer the products and services that larger banks and investment companies do but still know its customers by name, understand their goals, and provide them with personal service that is so often overlooked nowadays.

“The success of First Hope has always been rooted in our community. As we celebrate and reflect on the past 100 years, our greatest successes have been our customers' greatest successes. Whether it’s purchasing a new home, assisting you in sending your kids to college, or helping local businesses, volunteer groups, and other community organizations, we are privileged to have played a part in them all,” said Daniel Beatty, the bank’s Chief Operations Officer and great-grandson of the bank’s founder.

“It is with great pride that we celebrate our bank’s 100th Anniversary. It is a true testament to the great men and women who have been a part of this organization before us and with us today. As we reflect on the great legacy of First Hope Bank and its founders, we look to the future with even greater excitement. Here’s to the next 100 Years!” Norman E. Beatty added.

First Hope will be celebrating its centennial anniversary with numerous events through the year, notably with a special anniversary cake created by Carlo’s Bakery of TLC Network’s “Cake Boss.” Special anniversary products, services, and materials will also be unveiled as the year progresses.

First Hope Bank, established in 1911, is a full-service financial institution with locations in Andover, Blairstown, Great Meadows, Hackettstown, Hope and Sparta. Known for its customer service, financial strength and stability, First Hope Bank also offers the sophisticated range of products and services found in large financial institutions including a comprehensive trust and investment services division. First Hope Bank's associates strive every day to fulfill the Bank's motto, "World class service, close to home."