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Milton and Catherine Hershey

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A mural of Milton and Catherine Hershey  located in the interior of the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.
Milton Hershey was born on September 13, 1857 in Derry Church, PA. Milton Hershey started his career in the candy making industry as an apprentice to a Lancaster, PA, candy maker. He opened his own candy company in 1876 but it failed after six years. He then moved to Denver, Colorado, where he worked for a caramel manufacturer. After attempting to establish businesses in Chicago, New Orleans, and New York City, Milton Hershey returned to Lancaster, PA, and established the Lancaster Caramel Company. In 1893, he began producing chocolate coatings for his caramels and in 1894 the Hershey Chocolate Company was born as a subsidiary to his caramel company. The caramel company was sold in 1900 for $1 million but Milton Hershey retained the chocolate manufacturing equipment and the rights to manufacture chocolate. He used the money to build what is now the world's largest chocolate manufacturing plant. This plant opened in 1905. As well as making a success of his chocolate business, Milton Hershey made a success of the community that surrounded it. A bank, department store, school, park, churches, golf courses, zoo, and even a trolley system were established in the town after the opening of the plant. During the Great Depression, Milton Hershey created jobs by having a grand hotel, a community building, a sports arena, and a new office building for the chocolate factory built. Milton Hershey and his wife Catherine who had no children of their own also established the Milton Hershey School for children whose family life had been disrupted.