Society For Savings originated in 1849 as a mutual savings bank, founded by Samuel H. Mather. In 1867, the modest but growing bank built Cleveland's first skyscraper, the 10-story Society for Savings Building on Public Square. Despite erecting the tallest structure between New York and Chicago at the time, the bank remained extremely conservative. That aspect is highlighted by the fact that when it celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1949, it still only had one office although it had over $200 million in deposits. This conservatism helped the bank sidestep many depressions and financial panics. In 1958, Society converted from a mutual to a public company, which enabled it to grow quickly by acquiring 12 community banks between 1958 and 1978 under the banner Society National Bank. It went through another growth spurt from 1979 to 1989, as it acquired dozens of small banks and completed four mergers worth one billion dollars, most notably Cleveland-based Central National Bank in 1986. In 1987, Society CEO Gordon E. Heffern retired and was succeeded by Robert W. Gillespie, who, although just 42, was a major figure and part of the office of the chairman for more than 5 years. Gillespie was also named chairman. Gillespie started as a teller with Society to earn money while he was finishing his graduate studies.