Skip to main content

Donald M. Karp’s Broad National Bank Collection

Identifier: MG Nwk BNB-(Offsite)

Scope and Contents

This collection comprises Federal Bank Examiner’s reports, newsletters, scrapbooks, photographs and ephemera related to Broad National Bank and its antecedents.

The collection is divided into six series: Series 1: Union National Bank, 1926-1959, 1971-1977 Series 2: Broad National Bank, 1929, 1956-1999 Series 3: Photographs, 1950s-2003 Series 4: Subject Files, 1931-2003 Series 5: Audio / Visual, 1996-2004, Undated Series 6: Ephemera, 1833-1987, Undated


  • 1925 - 2004
  • 1833

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission from the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center (CFC-NJIC). The CFC-NJIC approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Biographical / Historical

Broad National Bank of Newark, New Jersey, was incorporated in 1925 as the Labor Co-Operative National Bank. Arthur A. Quinn, of the American Federation of Labor and a New Jersey State senator from Middlesex, was the bank’s first President and Chairman. Among the other twenty-seven incorporators were Newark Police Commissioner William J. Brennan (father of Chief Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.), and various labor leaders including one woman, Melinda Scott of the Organized Textile Workers of America. The original capitalization of the bank was $250,000 and the bank’s headquarters were located at 9-11 Franklin Street, Newark.

Over the years the name of the bank changed several times, as did its headquarters, until the bank merged with the Independence Community Bank in 1999. Labor Co-Operative National Bank became the Labor National Bank (1927); Union National Bank with headquarters at 214 Market Street (1929); Broad National Bank, Newark when it moved to a newly constructed building at 903-905 Broad Street (1961); and Broad National Bank (1980), which was eventually part of the holding company Broad National Bancorporation. In 2006 Independence Community Bank was sold to Sovereign Bank.

The first officers of the bank included, along with President and Chairman Quinn, Vice-Presidents Henry Hilfers (Secretary of the State Federation of Labor), Adam Zusi (President of Essex Trade Council) and Silas Scudder; Cashier Charles E. Barthe and Assistant Cashier William Dunkel who soon succeeded Barthe and later became Executive Vice-President. Henry Carless, first General Counsel for the bank, was active in drafting state legislation related to the rights of workers and unions including workmen’s compensation regulations.

Among the bank’s presidents were Arthur A. Quinn (1925-1947), Newark Mayor Vincent J. Murphy (1947-1951), Edward Slater (1951-1959), Edward Moore, Oliver Herttua, Clair G. Bradley (1970-1975), and Richard P. Garber. Chairmen of the Board comprised Arthur A. Quinn (1925-1956), William Egan (1956-1960), Milton J. Lesnik (1960-1970), Stanley J. Lesnik (1970-1985), and Donald M. Karp (1985-1999).

Donald M. Karp (b. 1936), a native of Newark and a graduate of the University of Vermont (BA, 1958) and Cornell Law School (JD, 1961), spent the bulk of his career associated with Broad National Bank and its later iterations. Although he practiced law privately until 1991 when he became the Chief Executive Officer of BNB, Karp had been a member of the bank’s board since 1972 and had served as BNB’s General Counsel. Karp was elected Vice-Chairman of the Board in 1976 and Chairman of the Board in 1985. When BNB merged with Independence Community Bank in 1999, Karp continued on the Board as Vice-Chairman. In 2006, when Independence Community Bank was sold to Sovereign Bank, Karp retired, but remained on the board of Sovereign Bank’s Divisional Board of New York.

Karp has long been a Newark history buff and a Newark booster. He actively supported Newark’s cultural, civic, educational and philanthropic endeavors, as well as Newark business development and he encouraged the officers and employees of the bank to participate in community affairs as well. Among the many institutions with which Karp is or has been involved are: New Jersey Performing Arts Center (Council of Trustees), Newark Museum (Board member), New Jersey Historical Society (Chairman of the Board), Newark Public Library, Newark Preservation & Landmarks Committee, Newark Conservancy, and New Jersey College of Medicine (Advisory Board).

Milton J. Lesnik (c.1915-1970), whose daughter Margery is married to Karp, led the transformation of Union National Bank to Broad National Bank, Newark. Lesnik, who was CEO of BNB from 1960 until his death in 1970 had earlier served as counsel of the bank. In the mid-1950s Lesnik purchased a controlling interest in the bank and became Chairman of the Board.


17.2 Linear Feet (8 record cartons; 5 document boxes; 2 half-document boxes; 4 over-size boxes )

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Donald Karp, 2017

Related Materials

Donald M. Karp Collection of U.S. Bank Reports, 1926 - 2009 (MG Banks), Newark Public Library, Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center

Alix Ross
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center, Newark Public Library Repository

3rd Floor
Newark Public Library
5 Washington St.
Newark NJ 07102 United States