Newspaper Clippings for
from the Independent Register Tuesday, 11 October 1932
Millburn Mutual Insurance Co.
Is Over 77 Years Old
About 77 years ago a house belonging to George Strang was burned to
the ground, it was found that the company in which he carried insurance
was insolvent, and the property was a total loss.
This set the people of the community thinking, and Father Dodge was the
prime mover in forming this company. He was a man of extra-ordinary
ability, and the impression of his rugged honesty is still felt at
At the first meeting, March 5th, 1855, a small group of men banded
themselves together to help one another in a fire loss, so the Millburn
Mutual Fire Insurance Company was organized.
They confined the operations of the company the first year to within
about four miles of the meeting house at Millburn. A committee was
appointed to draft a set of by-laws and adjourned until March 12.
Second Meeting March 12, the committee on by-laws reported and adopted
same, and elected the following for officers: President, Robert
Pollock; Secretary, Wm. F. Buffhan; Treasurer, Andrew White; Trustees:
Geo. Strang, Geo. Webb and Nathaniel Vose.
Fifty-nine policies were issued the first year, with an insurance of
In 1856 they extended the bounds on the north to the state line.
In 1858 they applied for a charter for the company, and at this time
they moved to extend the boundary lines to four towns, namely: Newport,
Antioch, Avon and Warren, with the exception of the corporations of
Antioch and Hainesville.
In 1861 it was voted that the town of Goodel or Goodale be added to the
Millburn company. This is what is now known as the town of Grant.
At the 3rd meeting June 4, 1864, Mr. Havelia Whitney was appointed a
committee of one to draft a charter of the Millburn Mutual Insurance
At a special meeting Jan. 24, 1865, the charter drafted by Whitney was
submitted and approved. Mr. Whitney was instructed to forward the
charter to Springfield. Little did these men think of the value of the
charter that they presented to the farmers of Lake county, as this
charter gives us privileges no other company has been able to get, and
it should be guarded well.
The tenth annual meeting June 3, 1865, the by-laws were so amended that
the limits of the company shall be co-extensive with the limits of the
county of Lake, excepting the incorporated towns.
In 1870 it was voted to have all annual meetings at Millburn on the
first Saturday after the first Monday of January of each year, and this
has never been changed.
The first 17 years of the company the records of the secretary were kept
in a book 5 1/2x7 1/2 inches, containing but 37 pages.
On the 50th anniversary, in January 1905, the company had $2,886,600
insurance in force. Today it has $6,463,550. The first numbered policy
was issued to G. P. Rose of Warren, in 1855. This policy is on file at
the secretary's office, and the same property has been insured
continuously to the present time.
During the more recent years Mr. George B. Stephens was one of the able
and efficient promoters of the company, being president for several
terms, always devoting much of his time and energy for the betterment of
the company until his death in 1922.
Mr. John A. Thain was another one of the able promoters of the company,
being secretary for twenty-four years, also president for several
years--a very faithful worker until his death in 1922.
List of presidents to the present time are as follows: Robert Pollock,
Theodore Frazier, Sherman Trumball, Thomas Webb, Ira Webb, Havelia
Whitney, Gardner Hastings, George Strang, John Strang, James L. Thain,
John K. Pollock, George Stephens, William White, George Kennedy, John
Bonner, John A. Thain--all the above now deceased.
Leslie Bonner is president at the time.
Secretaries: Wm. Buffham, Wm. Hockaday, Robert Minto, Richard Pantall,
Henry Webb, D. B. Taylor, G. L. Stewart, James Dodge, E. P. Dodge, John
A. Thain--all deceased.
J. S. Denman is secretary at the present time.
Treasurers: Andrew White, John Jollock, James Pollock, Geo. Webb, A. H.
Stewart, G. L. Stewart, P. W. Stewart, William White, John Bonner, W. F.
Clow, W. B. Stewart, R. L. Strang--all deceased.
James H. Bonner, L. S. Bonner, H. H. Grimm, Harold Minto, C. J. Wright,
J. S. Denman have been treasurers. Carl Hughes is treasurer at the
Directors since 50th anniversary: John Pollock, George Edwards, Geo.
Kapple, John McClure, George McCullough, Ernest Davis, David White,
David Pullen, L. W. Wakefield, W. F. Clow and C. J. Wright. The present
directors are John G. Wirtz, W. J. Swayer and Frank Kennedy.