In addition to leaving us with America’s most iconic chocolate bar, Milton S. Hershey left behind a legacy of goodness. It’s a story of persistence, spirit, compassion, selflessness and purpose.
In fact, his first two candy companies were met with failure. It wasn’t until his third business that Milton’s hard work and talent paid off. From then on, Milton prospered as a successful businessman and generous humanitarian that improved the lives of thousands.
Milton Snavely Hershey was born in Derry Township, Pennsylvania on September 13th.
At age 14, Milton discovered a passion for candy-making and spent the next four years as an apprentice for master confectioner Joseph Royer in Lancaster.
After four years of learning the trade, Milton moved to Philadelphia to start his first candy business eventually ending in bankruptcy.
Milton traveled to Denver and it was there that he learned to make caramels with fresh milk.
Milton returned to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he sold homemade caramels from a pushcart.
Lancaster Caramel Company Founded
Milton’s dedication to chocolate was confirmed when he established The Hershey Chocolate Company.
Milton married Catherine “Kitty” Sweeney. Milton met Catherine at a candy shop in New York while delivering one of his caramel orders.
Milton sold the Lancaster Caramel Company and by the end of 1900, Milton had sold his very first Hershey bar.
Factory construction was completed.
Milton and Catherine founded the Hershey Industrial School to provide education and opportunity for orphaned boys in the community.
Following Catherine’s death, Milton gifted the Hershey School Trust with his entire fortune. The School Trust provides for the well-being of Milton’s community.
The Great Building Campaign began.
Milton founded the M.S. Hershey Foundation to provide cultural opportunities for workers and residents in his community.
On October 13th, Milton died at 88 years of age. The legacy of this chocolatier, philanthropist, innovator and social entrepreneur lives on to this day.