Granite State Stories: America’s first credit union opens in Manchester 

  • Advertisement for La Caisse Populaire Ste-Marie, from Sampson and Murdock Company’s 1918 Manchester Directory. Courtesy of the N.H. Historical Society

Published: 5/14/2018 4:31:54 PM

The first credit union in the United States opened its doors in 1908 to serve the primarily Franco-American mill workers in Manchester.

For $5, the price of one share of capital stock, anyone could become a member and deposit their savings or be eligible for a loan. Known as La Caisse Populaire, St. Marie, or “the people’s bank,” it was organized by Monsignor Pierre Hevey, the pastor of St. Marie parish, who hoped to provide his parishioners with wider access to credit.

The credit union model was soon adopted by underserved populations in other towns and cities across the nation.

N.H. Historical Society

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