Saturday, September 14, 2013

At Home in Rochester: Milton Henry Haselswerdt House

This lovely home on North Main Street stands in testimony to Rochester's share in the prosperity of the decade known as the "Roaring Twenties." The house was built  in 1928 as the family home of Milton Henry Haselswerdt and his wife, Augustine Blanchard Haselswerdt.  The Rochester Era described the progress on the house in October 1928:
M. H. Haselswerdt, president of the First National bank, who is building a fine new 12-room home, is nearing completion. The house is of colonial design, with exterior walls of buff brick and tile roof. The colonial entrance and arched windows add much to the attractiveness.
Milton Haselswerdt was born in Washtenaw County in 1882. After completing high school, he attended business school in Ypsilanti before taking a position as an assistant cashier at a bank in St. Ignace. He moved to Rochester in 1908, where he helped to organize the First National Bank of Rochester, serving at first as cashier and eventually rising to the position of president of the bank.  He was vice-president of the bank at the time that it built a modern new facility on the southwest corner of Fourth & Main, the building that houses Chase Bank today.

The Haselswerdts moved into their new home only months before the stock market crash of 1929 changed the economic fortunes of the nation.  Milton H. Haselswerdt was best remembered for bringing the First National Bank of Rochester out of the 1933 bank crisis in reorganized form, as the Rochester National Bank. This bank was the only one in Rochester to survive the Great Depression with no harm to depositors. It later merged with National Bank of Detroit, and Haselswerdt stayed with NBD as a director of the Rochester branch, retiring in 1957. He died in 1976 and  was entombed at White Chapel Cemetery in Troy.

1 comment:

  1. As a youngster growing up in Rochester, I never appreciated these beautiful homes. I'm so glad you are bringing them back to me!