Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Delaware National Bank of Delhi, N.Y

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Delaware National Bank of Delhi, N.Y

Article excerpt

Much of the history of New York State is written in water.

And you can't separate banking history from the mainstream. JPMorgan Chase, for instance, owes the beginning of one of its antecedents to New York City's thirst. Aaron Burr and partners started The Manhattan Company as a water supplier but used it as a ruse to open a bank, which eventually became The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A. The city soon outstripped the somewhat shady water company, but the bank went on.

Over the centuries, New York City's demand for water grew so tremendous that a system of 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes was established over time in upstate New York to supply its needs. A huge series of aqueducts and tunnels carries the upstate water to the city. In a complex legal relationship, the city, though it doesn't govern the five-county area where it draws its water, has certain powers of approval and consent regarding commercial and economic development near its water sources.

It's been a push-and-putt history between locals who want to make something of their communities and city and state officials who need to wet Gotham's whistle. Indeed, Robert W. Armstrong, president of Delaware National Bank of Delhi, says this balancing act makes prosperity a challenge for New York's watershed communities.

Which brings us to Delhi and this bank. The village is situated in Delaware County, named for the west branch of the Delaware River that passes through Delhi and which feeds part of the NYC watershed. As upper New York was apportioned into counties, Delaware was formed and needed a name for what would become its county seat.

Two choices were in contention. One was backed by General Erastus Root, the other by friends of Judge Ebenezer Foote. …

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