Encyclopedia 2018

The Genuine Bears This Signature, Part 3

Travel Abroad Milton Hershey traveled extensively for pleasure as well as business.   As soon as his finances permitted, he began making extended trips to destinations in the United States and abroad.  His curiosity took him to museums, cathedrals, theaters and casinos. After his marriage to Kitty travel took on a new significance.  Many trips […]

The Genuine Bears This Signature, Part 2

Planning a model industrial town Milton Hershey planned to build a model industrial town for the workers of his new chocolate factory.  Prior to breaking ground for the factory, Milton Hershey had acquired over 1200 acres of land to build a new town.  Streets were laid out and named for cacao growing regions. Image: 2003RP081.2 […]

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate: Bar Wrappers Over the Years

Search for the Perfect Formula By the early 1890s, Milton Hershey’s Lancaster Caramel Company was an established success. Fortunately, its very success set free Mr. Hershey’s enthusiasm, energy and love of technology to look for a new challenge. He found it at the Columbian Exposition where, in 1893, he had the chance to see a […]

The Genuine Bears This Signature, Part 1

Image: 4B10811.1 Caption: Milton S. Hershey, 1910 Introduction This articles examines a variety of materials signed by Milton Hershey to explore the man behind the chocolate bar. In fact, Milton Hershey didn’t sign many documents. He preferred to communicate through telephone calls and telegrams. Milton Hershey’s interests and activities were not limited to chocolate. Documents and objects […]

Milton Hershey and the Derry Township Public Schools

Introduction Derry Township’s economy before Milton Hershey returned to build his chocolate factory was primarily agricultural, supplemented by a small group of commercial businesses, ranging from grain mills to stone quarries. Milton Hershey had a profound impact on the region. When he broke ground on March 2, 1903 for his new chocolate factory, he also […]

Hershey Zoo: A Walk on the Wild Side

Introduction Throughout the 19th and early part of the 20th Century there were only a small number of wild animal collections in the United States. Not surprisingly, zoos were big city attractions. The Philadelphia Zoo, Bronx Zoo and Baltimore Zoo all opened during this time period. Milton Hershey believed in providing his town with experiences […]

Happy Birthday, Mr. Hershey

Honoring the Founder During most of Milton Hershey’s lifetime, birthday celebrations were a private affair. Sometimes Mr. Hershey hosted a small gathering of friends. Frequently he was traveling in Europe, New York City or Atlantic City, New Jersey during his birthday. That pattern changed when Milton Hershey turned 80 years old. 1937 had been a […]

Chocolate Crossroads: Chocolate and Cocoa Avenues, Northeast Corner

Introduction In early 2011 construction began a two year project to straighten the intersection of Cocoa and Chocolate Avenues and build a new bridge over the railroad tracks. As much as we talk about how Hershey has changed since Milton Hershey’s death in 1945, changes to Hershey’s physical landscape were also part of the community […]

Chocolate Crossroads: Chocolate and Cocoa Avenues, Southwest Corner

Introduction In early 2011 construction began a two year project to straighten the intersection of Cocoa and Chocolate Avenues and build a new bridge over the railroad tracks. As much as we talk about how Hershey has changed since Milton Hershey’s death in 1945, changes to Hershey’s physical landscape were also part of the community […]

Chocolate Crossroads: Chocolate and Cocoa Avenues, Northwest Corner

Introduction In early 2011 construction began a two year project to straighten the intersection of Cocoa and Chocolate Avenues and build a new bridge over the railroad tracks. As much as we talk about how Hershey has changed since Milton Hershey’s death in 1945, changes to Hershey’s physical landscape were also part of the community […]

Chocolate Crossroads: Chocolate and Cocoa Avenues, Southeast Corner

Introduction In early 2011 construction began a two year project to straighten the intersection of Cocoa and Chocolate Avenues and build a new bridge over the railroad tracks. As much as we talk about how Hershey has changed since Milton Hershey’s death in 1945, changes to Hershey’s physical landscape were also part of the community […]

Archival Treasures: 25 Years of Caring for Hershey’s History

2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the Hershey Community Archives. This exhibit highlights some of the many treasures found in the collections. Just as Hershey’s history is not only about Milton Hershey, the Archives’ collections contain information about the many businesses, organizations, events and individuals that have shaped the community. “Please send me a box […]

Hershey Chocolate Company: 1894-1900

Inspired by chocolate-making machinery he saw at the 1893 World’s Exposition in Chicago, Milton Hershey returned to Lancaster and began experimenting with making chocolate. In 1894, he established the Hershey Chocolate Company and was soon producing over 100 varieties of “sweet chocolate” novelties, bite-size chocolates produced in a variety of shapes and sizes. The term […]

Hershey Convention Hall

Throughout its history, Hershey has been a well-known destination for entertainment. After the Hershey Chocolate Factory opened in 1905, the town soon emerged as a popular regional destination. Visitors came to explore the model town and enjoy Hershey Park and its growing number of amenities. In 1914, Hershey’s weekly newspaper, the Hershey Press, announced that […]

Making a Difference: Hershey Optimist Club

Hershey is fortunate to have several service organizations. While clubs have come and gone, they all exist to provide opportunities for individuals to make a difference in their community. The Archives is fortunate to have the records of a number of different service organizations that have operated in Hershey. Some are still going strong, while […]

ZooAmerica – Hershey Zoo

Additional Zoo photographs can be found on the Archives’ Flickr site. The origins of the zoo lie with the story of Franz and Louise Zinner who moved to Lebanon, PA from Weisenberg, Germany in 1899. They became good friends with their neighbors. Their neighbors soon left Lebanon to move to the western part of the United […]

World War II: The Vichy Internment at the Hotel Hershey

Many know that Hershey Chocolate Corporation played a key role in supporting the war effort during World War II. Hershey devoted the bulk of its chocolate production to the military. Hershey Chocolate Corporation was also responsible for the development and production of the Ration D bar, a survival ration that provided subsistence calories and nutrition […]

David Paul Witmer, 1894-1981

The Hershey Chocolate factory expanded regularly over its first fifty years. So did the town. Homes, businesses, schools, and recreational facilities needed to be built to keep up with the needs of a growing workforce. In addition, Hershey’s growing reputation as a tourist destination resulted in the need for more amenities to enhance the visitor’s […]

C. Emlen Urban, 1863-1939

Cassius Emlen Urban was born in Conestoga Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Lancaster’s Boys High School, he apprenticed as a draftsman at a Scranton architectural firm before returning to Lancaster in 1886. That was the same year Milton Hershey also returned to establish the Lancaster Caramel Company. Like Milton Hershey, Urban’s career quickly took […]

The Hershey Story Museum

The Hershey Story Museum is one of several educational and cultural institutions established by Milton Hershey, founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, during his lifetime between the founding of the Hershey community in 1903 and his death in 1945. Hershey intended to make his community a model town – an interesting and enjoyable place to live, work, and […]

Percy Alexander Staples, 1883-1956

Milton Hershey was not a person to leave things to chance.  As his health began to decline in the 1940s, he knew he must plan for the future leadership of the companies and community he had created.  On October 5, 1944 he announced that he was resigning as chair of the Hershey Chocolate, Hershey Trust Company, […]

John B. Sollenberger, 1897-1967

When Milton Hershey reorganized his businesses in 1927, he placed all his non-chocolate businesses in a new company, Hershey Estates. Hershey Estates was charged with managing the town and running all the recreational and tourist-oriented attractions. From 1949 to 1962 John B. Sollenberger served as President of Hershey Estates as well as General Manager for […]

H.B. Reese Candy Company

Harry Burnett Reese, founder of the H.B. Reese Candy Company, was born in Frosty Hill, Pennsylvania (York County) on May 24, 1879. In 1900, H.B. Reese married Blanche Edna Hyson, daughter of a well to do family in Bridgeton (York County), Pennsylvania. H.B. and Blanche would eventually have 16 children (8 girls, 8 boys), 13 […]

Ration D Bars

Introduction Hershey Chocolate Corporation’s involvement with the production of military ration bars began when Captain Paul Logan, from the office of U.S. Army Quartermaster General, met with William Murrie, President, Hershey Chocolate Corporation and Sam Hinkle, Chief Chemist, in April 1937. This initial visit started the experimental production of a ration bar which was to meet […]

William F.R. Murrie, 1873-1950

Introduction Born 1873, William F.R. Murrie started his work career at age 16 as a telegraph apprentice. Despite his rapid advancement to train dispatcher, Murrie soon became bored with railroad life and went to work for Weaver and Costello, a Pittsburgh confectionery firm. Within a couple years Murrie, not yet 23, became the top salesman […]

Harold S. Mohler, 1919-1988

Harold Mohler’s years as President and Chief Executive Officer, and then as Chairman of the Board, of Hershey Chocolate comprised a period of unprecedented change and dramatic growth for Hershey. While at the helm, Mohler led the company to diversify into other food and food-related fields and to venture into previously uncharted territory — the […]

Memorial Field

Planning for a community park On a July day in 1944 Milton Hershey invited the Derry Township School Board (Harry L. Erdman, Amos F. Geesaman, William H. Dunbar, III, Dr. Wayne D. Stettler, Clayton C. Gingrich, Howard G. Shelley, Edward Stover and Raymond H. Koch, School Superintendent), to a luncheon at his home in the […]

The M.S. Hershey Foundation

Providing for the youth of Derry Township was an enduring passion for Milton Hershey throughout his life. During the Depression he realized that jobs were limited and young men and women just graduating from high school had limited opportunities for employment. In 1935, in response to this need, Milton Hershey established The M.S. Hershey Foundation, […]

William Henry “Lebbie” Lebkicher, 1845-1929

William Henry “Lebbie” Lebkicher, a wizened, string bean of a man, was a native of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In 1880 he was working on a farm adjoining one of the Snavely farms in southern Lancaster County. The Snavelys were part of Milton Hershey’s mother’s family. It was through them that Lebbie learned of Milton Hershey’s need for […]

Lancaster Caramel Company

Milton Hershey started the Lancaster Caramel Company in 1886 after he returned to Lancaster, Pennsylvania following the failure of his New York City candy business. The Lancaster business would be his third confectionery venture. The new business was first located in Jacob Gable’s big warehouse on the west side of South Duke Street near Vine […]

Hotel Hershey

Additional photographs of Hotel Hershey can be found on the Archives’ Flickr site. Introduction Sitting high on Pat’s Hill overlooking the town of Hershey and the beautiful Lebanon Valley, Hotel Hershey is often referred to as the jewel in the crown of attractions and amenities that Milton Hershey created for his model community. The Hotel was […]

Samuel F. Hinkle, 1900-1984

The Early Years Samuel Hinkle graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1922 with a degree in industrial (now chemical) engineering. Following two unsatisfactory industrial laboratory jobs in Canada, he returned to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Hinkle contacted the Academic Department at Penn State and was referred to a job opening at the Hershey Chocolate Company. […]

High Point Mansion

  On May 25, 1898, Milton Hershey married Catherine Sweeney of Jamestown, NY in the rectory of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. He was 41 and she 26. Following the wedding they returned to Lancaster, PA where Mr. Hershey owned a highly successful confectionery business. When Milton Hershey decided to move his chocolate business to Derry Church, […]

Hershey’s Tropical Chocolate Bar

Since the United States Army turned to Hershey for help in developing its survival Field Ration D bar, it was only natural that in 1943, the Procurement Division of the United States Army approached Hershey Chocolate Corporation about the possibility of developing a heat resistant confectionery chocolate bar with an improved flavor. After a short period […]

Hershey’s Syrup

Hershey Chocolate Company first began producing chocolate syrup for commercial use in 1926. However work on a formula for syrup had begun a few years earlier. There was an experimental kitchen at the old Hershey Industrial School (today Milton Hershey School). Chance Phillips, a long time employee began working for Hershey Chocolate in 1914 recalled that […]

Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar

Introduced in 1925, Mr. Goodbar was Hershey’s first new bar in almost twenty years. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds had been introduced in 1908. The man responsible for developing the formula for Mr. Goodbar, Samuel Hinkle, graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1922 with a degree in industrial (now chemical) engineering. Following two unsatisfactory industrial […]

Hershey’s Cocoa Butter Soap

Milton Hershey, did not like to have anything go to waste. Around 1936, he decided to make cocoa butter soap as a way of dealing with the million pounds of surplus cocoa butter created by the factory each year. This surplus came from floor scrapings, product and cocoa shells. Hershey Estates was selected to produce the soap […]

Hershey’s Chewing Gum

Introduction Hershey Chocolate Company manufactured chewing gum between 1915 and 1924. The gum was first introduced under the name “Easy Chew.” Clayton Snavely, Milton Hershey’s cousin and the man put in charge of developing the chewing gum business, was interviewed in 1954 and related the story of how Hershey Chocolate got into the chewing gum business. About […]

Hershey’s Bon Bons

Hershey’s Bon Bons were one of the Hershey Chocolate Company’s earliest products. They appear on a ca. 1900 Saleman’s wholesale price list. They were listed under Hershey Chocolate “Fancy Shapes” as Vanilla Chocolate Bon Bons. Bon Bons were small solid pieces of chocolate molded in flower shapes. In each package pieces were packed in a […]

Hersheypark Rides: Carrousels

Hersheypark has been home to three different carrousels or merry-go-rounds over the years. Hershey Park’s first carrousel began operating in 1908. One of Hershey Chocolate’s salesmen, who had seen one while out traveling on business, thought the Park should have one. He also knew where the Park could buy a good secondhand machine. He told […]

Hershey Park Attractions: Fun Houses

Fun houses are an old amusement park tradition dating back to the turn of the 20th century. As fun houses developed they followed two design approaches: active and walk-through. In an “active” fun house, guests could experience the different attractions within the fun house repeatedly. Patrons could stay as long as they wanted, moving from […]


Origins Milton Hershey recognized that opportunities for recreation would be critical to the success of his planned model town. As he laid out his model industrial town, Milton Hershey set aside 150 acres of land for a park. The land was located to the north of the town and chocolate factory. Hershey Park was developed while […]

Veronica “Fanny” Snavely Hershey, 1835-1920

Veronica “Fanny” Snavely Hershey – 9/4/1835 – 3/11/1920 “Fanny,” whose formal name was Veronica after her great-grandmother, was born September 4, 1835, the daughter of Abraham Snavely (1787-1866) and Elizabeth (Buckwalter) Snavely. Fanny’s father, a Reformed Mennonite clergyman, had been confirmed bishop in 1830. Bishop Abraham was a wealthy man for his day. Milton Hershey […]

Milton Snavely Hershey in Philadelphia, 1876-1882

Milton Hershey’s success as a candy maker came only after several years of struggle and two failed attempts to establish a candy business. After Milton Hershey completed his apprenticeship with Lancaster confectioner, Joseph Royer, he wanted to open his own candy shop. Not wanting to compete with his teacher, Hershey traveled to Philadelphia in May […]

Milton Snavely Hershey, 1857-1945

Introduction In the early 1900s, Milton S. Hershey made one of the great American fortunes through dogged persistence and the courage to pursue a dream. Though he was modest and unassuming in appearance, Milton Hershey was a shrewd and determined businessman. He had a genius for timing and an instinctive ability to choose loyal and […]

Henry Hershey, 1829-1904

Born January 4, 1829 at The Homestead, Henry Hershey was the oldest of seven children, six of whom survived to adulthood. His parents were Jacob and Nancy (Hershey) Hershey. This is the family roster: Henry (1829-1904), Joseph (1830-1855), Elizabeth (1832-1903), Christian (1836- ? ), Jacob (1938-1887), and Elias (1841-1925). Little Isaac (1846-1848) died before he was two […]

Catherine “Kitty” Sweeney Hershey, 1871-1915

Additional photographs of Catherine Hershey can be found at the Archives’ Flickr site:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/26307193@N02/sets/ Picture it. A young, working-class girl from western New York state meets a rich Lancaster, PA businessman fourteen years her senior at the turn of the 20th century. They fall in love, get married, and settle in the rich farmlands of central Pennsylvania. […]

Hershey Trust Company

Introduction In early 1903, while he made plans to break ground for his chocolate factory in a field near the tiny community of Derry Church, Pennsylvania, Milton Hershey thought about the needs of his future workers. He had the foresight to recognize that if his chocolate making idea was to work for the benefit of all, he […]

Hershey Theatre

Origins of Hershey Theatre In 1915, Hershey had his architect, C. Emlen Urban, draw up plans for a new community building. As Urban drew up plans for the building, the architect engaged the design services of Tiffany Studios to develop plans for the Theatre’s interior design. The building was to include two theaters, a dining […]

Hershey Stadium

Hershey Stadium was the last major project of Hershey’s Great Building Campaign of the 1930s. Hershey’s construction program during the Great Depression provided 600 construction jobs and helped protect Hershey from the country’s economic collapse. Hershey Stadium was completed in the Spring of 1939. It was intended to provide a venue for college, professional, and […]

Hershey Public Library

The campaign to establish a public library in Hershey began in the spring of 1912. In the April 11, 1912 issue of the Hershey Press, there was an announcement that Hershey would soon have a public library:  A LIBRARY FOR HERSHEY WILL BE PLACED IN THE Y.M.C.A. OPEN TO PUBLIC Hershey is to have a […]

Hershey Gardens

Landscaping and beautification of grounds and property was always a priority for Milton and Catherine Hershey. Mr. Hershey strongly believed in giving his people a beautiful place to live, and he was very fond of flowers and all types of plants. The gardens at his home, High Point, were well planned and beautiful. There was beautiful […]

Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company

Introduction When Milton Hershey decided to build a new chocolate factory he also decided to build a model town to house his workers and support his business. His model town included comfortable homes, an inexpensive public transportation system, a quality public school system, and extensive recreational and cultural opportunities. Under the umbrella of the Hershey […]

Hershey Department Store

Building designed by C. Emlen Urban, noted Lancaster architect, responsible for designing many of Hershey’s major structures, including the original factory and offices, Cocoa House, Hershey Trust Company building, the Convention Hall, High Point and the Community Building. Construction of the Press Building was described in the 11/4/1915 issue of the Hershey Press. It was one of the principal projects of […]

Hershey Cemetery

When founding the community of Hershey, Milton Hershey planned for most of the necessities and amenities needed to serve its residents. He provided for the community’s housing, schools, recreation and transportation. One service he didn’t immediately establish was for the dead. Hershey had no cemetery. Most of the Derry Township’s churches maintained graveyards, but for […]

Hershey Sports Arena

Hershey Sports Arena is a testament to Milton Hershey’s love of risk-taking and for innovative ideas. Its engineering significance and the story of its construction are a fascinating part of Hershey’s history. Residents of Hershey have been enthusiasts of hockey for years. Its popularity in its early years brought large crowds to the old Ice Palace. […]

Eisenhower’s Birthday Party

It is not every day that a small town in rural Pennsylvania gets to honor a president, and not just any president, but a beloved war hero. On October 13, 1953, the people of Hershey got to do just that, when Hershey hosted a 63rd birthday party for sitting President Dwight D. Eisenhower, sponsored by the […]

William E. Dearden, 1922-2003

The first time William E. Dearden came to Hershey was in 1935. He was 13 years old and it was the Depression. Dearden’s mother had recently died and his father was struggling to care for his three children while he was frequently unemployed. Acting on the advice of a Philadelphia neighbor, his father enrolled Dearden and his […]

Central Hershey, Cuba: 1916-1946

Milton Hershey first visited Cuba in January 1916. It is said that he fell in love with the country at first sight. It was a country of eternal spring, where the inhabitants found it hot if the temperature went up over eighty degrees and cold if it dropped to seventy. Hershey was excited by the […]

Cocoa Bean Baby Trademark, 1898-1968

Shortly after Milton Hershey started his chocolate company he began searching for a trademark design that would reflect the promise of his new business. The first logo that he used was an intertwined ‘H’, ‘C’, and ‘Co.’ Unfortunately, this monogram wasn’t very distinctive and it was soon replaced by a design that would represent the […]

Cocoa Bean Football Game

The Cocoa Bean Game began in 1943 as a community service project of the Rotary Club of Hershey and the Hershey Civic Club. The local football teams of Hershey High School and the Hershey Industrial School [now known as the Milton Hershey School] wanted to play each other. Ralph Hoar, then head of athletics for […]

Community Gardens

During World War I, the United States government promoted community gardens to supplement and expand the domestic food supply. In 1917 Hershey responded by setting aside six acres of ground in East Hershey [east of Homestead Road, probably bounded on the south by Areba Avenue] for a community farm. Rohrer Snavely was placed in charge. […]

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