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Ebenezer Hayward, A Leader in Banking in the 1800’s

Ebenezer Hayward was a financial innovator in the business of banking. He helped to establish Mendon's first bank in 1825, the only bank between Worcester and Providence. By 1832, after family and economic conditions changed, he transferred the business to a neighboring town to utilize a new influx of financial energy. He helped to create an improvement in the way money was loaned and invested, and he became an influence that promoted economic growth and development of the region.

Ebenezer moved to Mendon to be cashier of the Mendon Bank, but neither the bank nor his house had been completed. He moved in with his brother Caleb's family at 38 Maple St. until his house was ready. The china closet in the parlor served as a temporary bank vault. When the brick bank opened at 3 Main St., Caleb was a director, and Caleb's father-in-law, Seth Hastings, was bank president.

Ebenezer's new place to live was a stately federal style house at 7 Hastings St. The bank's system of operation was called insider lending. Money was loaned only to people who had close connections to the directors. For six years, Ebenezer, with approval of the president, ran the day-to-day operations of the Mendon Bank.

The 1830's brought about change in the institution's leadership. Seth Hastings died in 1831 and Caleb Hayward died in 1832. Ebenezer became the new C.E.O. The region's economy was shifting to the new Blackstone Canal, which was showing signs of prosperity.

Ebenezer moved the business to Uxbridge, and modernized the lending system by opening up a broader spectrum of directors and customers. It was a time of industrialization along the Blackstone, Mumford and West Rivers. The new president of the new bank re-organized banking policies to create a national banking system to accommodate new opportunities provided by the hardest working rivers in the Northeast.

Ebenezer and his family continued to live at 7 Hastings St. until about 1840. He was married to Susan Burbeck of Boston. She was the daughter of William Burbeck, an officer in the Revolutionary War. They raised six children in their beautiful home in the village before moving to Uxbridge. He was an active member of the Unitarian Church.

Historian Ellery Bicknell Crane praised him for his "superior business ability, unsullied integrity and sound judgment in matter of finances." His children and grandchildren went on to become bank and woolen mill executives in Uxbridge, Douglas and other area towns. His foresight and innovation created change that promoted growth and development in the region's economy.

The current owner of 7 Hastings Street is A.J. Jones and Co., Inc., Electrical Contractor.


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