The EMPIRE SAVINGS & LOAN was a black-owned and operated financial institution formed to meet the needs of blacks (see AFRICAN AMERICANS) migrating from the South. It was founded in 1911 by HERBERT CHAUNCEY at 2316 E. 55th St. with $100,000 in capital solicited from his friends. When the savings and loan prospered, Chauncey appointed Howard Murrell as manager and turned his attention to real estate and insurance ventures. During the Depression, Empire faced the same problems as most banking institutions: savers withdrew funds to live on and borrowers could not make their payments. When the company could not met expenses, taxes, and interest, the state took over its operations and liquidated the remaining assets. Over 60% of the depositors' original funds had been returned to them when the liquidation was completed in 1958. Empire's final address was at 1277 E. 105th St. in 1954.

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