My first job after getting out of the Marine
Corps was in early 1967 in the Trust Department of National Newark
and Essex Bank at 744 Broad Street - the Grand Daddy of them all.
It was established in 1804 as the Newark Banking and Insurance Company.
It was the first bank in the State of New Jersey and the forty-fifth
bank in the country. I first worked in the "securities cage"
handling the physical stocks and bonds that the customers brought
into the bank for safekeeping, and I then became the "trader"
for the bank and did the buying and selling of securities for itself
and it's customers.
In those days Newark was the financial capital of New Jersey.
The city abounded with banks, trust company's, brokerage firms,
law firms, and insurance companies. Many millions were made and
lost right here in Newark.
Some of the other banks and trust companies were Howard Savings
Institution, which was the first to open accounts for the school
children; National State Bank of Newark; Bank of Commerce; Fidelity
Union Trust Company; Bessemer Trust Company; and the United States
There were many brokerage firms in the city. Some of them have
since merged with other firms over the years, and many of them simply
have gone out of business. Almost none of them are left in Newark
today. Some of the major firms were A. M. Kidder; Adams & Hinkley
Alexander Reid; Auchincloss, Parker & Redpath; Bruns Nordman;
F. I. DuPont & Co.; Eastman Dillon; Edwards & Hanley; Winslow,
Cohu, & Stetsen; Halle & Stieglitz; Harris Upham; Ira Haupt
& Co; Hayden Stone; Heller & Meyer; Hemphill Noyes; Hirsch
& Co; Kean Taylor; Kidder Peabody; Laird Bissell; Merrill Lynch
Pierce Fenner & Bean (later known as Smith); Nugent & Igoe;
Oppenheimer & Co; Owens & Co; Reynolds & Co; Spencer
Trask; Winslow Cohu & Stetsen; and a slew of smaller firms.
There were a whole slew of Insurance Companies and agents. Of
course the Granddaddy of them all is the Prudential which was founded
by John Fairfield Dryden in 1873. Then there was Aetna; American
Insurance Company; Allstate; Equitable Life; Hartford, Metropolitan
Life; Mutual Benefit; State Farm and Travelers.
The oldest insurance company in the city was the Newark Mutual
Fire Assurance Company which was founded in 1810; and the Firemen's
Insurance Company, which had it's original building on the corner
of Broad and Market streets, and had a wooden statue of a fireman
standing on top of the building.
It was the Prudential Insurance Company and Mutual Benefit Life
who literally saved Newark from sinking further than it did after
the 1967 riots. They decided to stay in the city and led the way
for the early "rebirth" of the city that took place in
the 70's and 80's and is still going on stronger than ever at this
point in time.