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Credit Union History

From The Beginning...

Early in 1935 a group of 25 men who were co-workers in the Homestead Plant of United States Steel formed what they called a "suit club". Each member of the group contributed $1.00 from each pay, at which time a winner would be chosen and for his investment of one dollar he would be able to purchase a suit of his choice from a local men's store.

One member of the group, Mr. John Piper, who was a time keeper had been reading about the newly formed credit union movement. He was so impressed with the idea that he started to discuss it with his 24 suit club buddies. After much discussion, it was decided that they would like to form a credit union for all of the employees of the Homestead Works Steel Mill. After much paper work and a request to the National Credit Union Administration was completed and approved, the $25.00 from the suit club went to purchase the charter for "The Homestead Steel Works Employees Federal Credit Union". The charter was granted on November 30, 1935 and we were assigned Charter Number 794.

Mr. Piper was elected as the first treasurer of the new credit union. Other officers on the board included; President, Mr. Michael O'Rourke; Vice President, Harry Bolens; and Secretary William "Bill" Kaliden. All of these men were diligent workers and spent countless hours as volunteers to assure the success of their newly formed credit union. On pay days, it was a common sight to see these men and others from the original charter stationed at the mill gate collecting money from fellow employees who had joined the credit union. This money was either deposited into share accounts or used to make a payment on a loan. The very first loan granted was for $50. Installments were $5 monthly and the annual percentage rate was 12% on the unpaid balance. Often when a member requested a loan, his name had to be placed onto a waiting list until enough money was deposited into shares, the source for all loans. The first business address was 701 Ann Street, which housed Howdens Tailor Shop, and the first monthly board meetings were held in the kitchen of the Kaliden residence. After acquiring several temporary offices, the credit union was finally moved into the "old hospital building" in 1957 were we remained until 1990.

In 1985 with closing of the mill in sight, directors of the credit union agreed to change our name from "The Homestead Steel Works Employees Federal Credit Union" to "Tri Boro Federal Credit Union" and received from the National Credit Union Administration a charter to permit those who live in Homestead, Munhall, West Homestead, and Whitaker. This Multiple Group Common Bond permitted varied groups with a common bond to enjoy membership in Tri Boro.

Now in 2006, we are moving forward with a newly expanded "Community Charter." On March 16, 2006, the National Credit Union Administration granted Tri Boro FCU a "Community Charter" that reads, "Persons who Live, Work, Worship, or Attend School in and Businesses and other Legal Entities in Allegheny and Washington Counties, Pennsylvania, along with Immediate Family Members." This new expansion is our greatest opportunity to market the many products and services we offer.

Technology has also brought us to where we are today. Computers and automation have taken over much of the work that was once done with pen in hand by those tireless volunteers in the beginning. However, some things never change and we still work hard to make this, your credit union, a very successful operation.

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