HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — Milton S. Hershey, the founder of The Hershey Company, would have turned 166 on Sept. 13. Hershey was born in Derry Township in 1857.
Hershey started out in the confectionary world by founding the Lancaster Caramel Company in 1886 and then later establishing The Hershey Chocolate Company in 1894. Five years later, he married Catherine “Kitty” Sweeney in 1889. They met at a candy shop in New York while Hershey was delivering one of his caramel orders.
By the turn of the century, Hershey decided that he wanted to invest his time in chocolate, and in 1900, Hershey sold his caramel company and sold the very first Hershey bar near the end of that year.
Milton Hershey was not known just for his chocolate but for his love of giving back. He founded Hershey Park in 1906 as a leisure park for his employees at the chocolate factory.
In 1909, Milton and Catherine founded the Hershey Industrial School to help provide education to orphaned boys in the community. According to The Hershey Story, this school was founded after the couple found out they could not have children of their own This would later be renamed Milton Hershey School. In 1918, Hershey provided the school that he and Catherine started with his entire fortune.
Later in 1935, Hershey founded the M.S. Hershey Foundation. This was established to give cultural opportunities for workers and residents in the community.
In 1945, Hershey passed away. His legacy can still be seen throughout the town he founded and throughout the joy and happiness his candy provides to thousands of people day in and day out.