A look back on West Hempstead’s first National Bank


The West Hempstead National Bank opened its doors in 1927 on Hempstead Avenue on the corner of Harborough Road. It was owned by Stephen Alfred Bedell, stepson of Edwin C. Duryea and son of Lydia Van Dusen. In the 1920s, the bank accepted deposits of bills, gold, silver and checks until all gold had to be turned in to the banks as per the national government.

The West Hempstead National Bank printed currency starting in 1927 and ending in 1935 that totaled $211,120. Its charter number was 13104. The bank closed in the early 1950s. The latest bankbook owned by the West Hempstead Historical Society is dated March 30, 1950. Stephen A. Bedell also owned Nassau Mutual Fuel Company, the bank’s neighbor to the west on Hempstead Avenue.

This March, the West Hempstead Historical Society displayed a collection of artifacts from the bank on its main floor wall at the West Hempstead Public Library. The display will run through June.

–Submitted by Lesley McAvoy