History of Maple Valley MutualOn May 23, 1891, twenty four property holders from the Towns of Maple Valley, Howe, Gillett, Oconto Falls, Pensaukee, Chase and Town of Oconto, all situated in the County of Oconto, State of Wisconsin, met in the Maple Valley Town Hall to begin the organization of a mutual fire insurance corporation. Many of these people had recently moved into this area from other parts of the state and found that no insurance protection was available to them here. Organizing their own mutual insurance company was the best way to protect themselves from financial ruin of fire or lightning strike.
The directors elected at the first meeting were:
|James Johnson||Christian Peterson||Frank Hubbard|
|J.A. Schweiberg||Hans Christ Hanson||James Peck|
|Peter Kieffer||George Kobes||Otto Horsemann|
The following officers were elected at this meeting:
|James Johnson – President||Christian Peterson – Secretary|
|Frank Hubbard – Treasurer||J.A. Schweiberg – Assessor|
|Hans Christ Hanson – Assessor|
The name of the corporation would be Town of Maple Valley Mutual Home Fire Insurance Company. Since there were not enough members present as required by law, the meeting was adjourned until June 15, 1891.
On June 15, 1891, the following residents of the Towns of Maple Valley, Howe, Gillett, Oconto Falls, Pensaukee, Chase and Town of Oconto and owners of more than twenty five thousand dollars worth of property which they agreed to insure, met in the Maple Valley Town Hall to organize a mutual fire insurance corporation. The name of the corporation was to be Maple Valley Mutual Home Fire Insurance Company. Incorporators being: James Johnson, Christian Peterson, Frank Hubbard, John A. Schweiberg, Hans Christ Hanson, James Peck, Peter Kieffer, George Kobes, Otto Horsemann, John Johnson, John Monson, John Hanson, Andrew Gregerson, Henry Johnson, Niels Skovgart, Soren Peterson, James Kadlec, Sevi Tiechy, Thomas Hoffman, John Chicota, Mike Peterson, Severin Johnson, Fred Christenson, M.A. Mortenson, Knud Hanson, Soren H. Brock, Charles Mc Allister, Simon Nita, Joseph Sladkey, John C. Johnson, Martin Kobes, Frank Teteak, George Blasek, Theodore Christenson, Emil Kershek, John Shovner, Wm. Sieckmann, August J. Schoenebeck, Ferdinand Michalies, James Marlett, Freeman Brazeau, Thomas Mc Dougald, Peter Nielson and Albert Urbanik.
The directors and officers elected at the first meeting on May 23, 1891 were reaffirmed at this June 15th meeting and continued in office until the first annual meeting. The By-Laws of the Company were also approved and set forth in the minutes of this meeting. Organization was completed by September 1, 1891, so the Company began accepting applications and issuing policies. Twenty nine applications were approved on September 18, 1891 with a total premium of $245.88.
Of the 71 policies issued in 1891, the largest was policy #3 in the amount of $1,517 issued to George Kobes of Spruce and the smallest for $300, policy #71, was issued to Wm. Davis of Hickory.
The first loss suffered by the Company was a barn owned by Severin Johnson and included one and one fourth tons of hay and two sacks of feed. The total amount of this loss, which occurred on May 21, 1893, was $163.75. The second loss occurred on August 17, 1893 at the George Tiecke premises. Two barns and contents were lost that day and cost the Company $480. A dwelling and contents owned by Albert Therio was the third loss sustained by the Company. This loss occurred on September 11, 1894 and cost the Company $401.50.
One of the earlier losses was the St. Charles Catholic Church of Lena which burned on Tuesday, September 20, 1898. The building and contents were insured in the amount of $965. At that time the church was located two miles East of Lena near the present location of St. Charles Cemetery.
A typical loss report of those days, that of W.J. Moore of Strand, lists such items as: 1 bottle of Sloans liniment $.50, 1 bottle of Holmes sprain cure $.50, 1 bottle of carbolic acid $.25, 1 kicking strap $.75, 1 sweat pad $.50, 4 wrenches $.50, 1 auger $.35, 1 chisel $.25, 1 hand saw $.25, 1 breast bore and bits $.50, 22 grain bags in good condition $2.20, 1 felt lap robe $1.50, 1 wheel barrow $1.50, 1 shovel $.50, 1 stone boat $1.00, 1 new travoy $1.50, 1 new neck yoke $.75, 2 sythes and snaths $2.00, whiffle trees and eveners $5.00, 160 tooth drag good as new $6.00, 1 fanning mill $10.00, 5 bu. ground feed $1.25, 130 bu. oats threshed $26.00 1 acre of peas not threshed $10.00, wheat cut for hay $5.50, 1 1/2 tons old hay $16.50, 10 loads new hay $66.00, and 1 barn (30x70x14) log $100.00. This loss occurred between nine and ten o’clock in the evening and was caused by a lantern exploding and being knocked down in bedding.
Maple Valley Mutual Chronology
Throughout the years, Maple Valley Mutual continued to prosper as recorded by the Company’s secretary in the annual journals. Highlights of particular interest are listed below to show the growth and changes through the years.
- 1891 – Maple Valley Mutual Home Fire Insurance Company was established by 44 residents of Oconto County because the larger companies would not provide them with the insurance coverages they needed.
- 1939 – The name of the Company was changed to Maple Valley Mutual Insurance Company.
- 1959 – The Company office was moved to 316 West Main Street, Lena, Wisconsin.
- 1961 – Windstorm, hail, theft and overturn coverages were made available to the Company’s policyholders.
- 1965 – Vandalism coverage was made available to the Company’s policyholders.
- 1970 – Farmowners, Homeowners and Mobilehomeowners were made available to the Company’s policyholders.
- 1973 – The Company office was moved to 200 West Main Street, Lena, Wisconsin.
- 1974 – New articles and by-laws suggested by the Wisconsin Insurance Department were adopted. The Company’s territory was expanded to now include Brown, Florence, Forest, Marinette, Oconto and Shawano counties.
– Inland Marine coverages were made available to the Company’s policyholders.
- 1982 – The Company expanded into Commercial lines and began offering a comprehensive package policy to small businesses.
- 1987 – The Company became a nonassessable regional mutual insurance corporation with an expanded writing territory of 14 counties in northeastern Wisconsin.
– The Company moved into its present home office facility at 304 North Rosera (Old Highway 141), Lena, Wisconsin.
- 1989 – Farm and Personal Umbrella policies were made available to the Company’s policyholders.
– The Company received a financial rating of “A” from Demotech, Inc.
- 1990 – The Company received a financial performance index rating of “8 Strong” from the A.M. Best Company.
- 1991 – Workers Compensation coverages were made available to small businessowners.
– On July 20th, the Company celebrated its centennial at St. Charles Parish Grounds, East Main Street, Lena, Wisconsin.
- 1992 – The Company received an A (EXCELLENT) rating from the A.M. Best Company. Maple Valley Mutual was one of only eight small mutuals in the nation that were changed from a financial performance index rating to the more prestigious A rating.
- 1995 – Kossuth Mutual Insurance Company, Francis Creek, Wisconsin merged into Maple Valley Mutual Insurance Company. This merger brought together reserves, business and personnel that resulted in a surviving Company that is better able to service its customers.
- 1998 – The Company’s A. M. Best Rating was changed to A- (EXCELLENT).
- 2006 – The Company celebrated its 115th anniversary.
- 2007 – A Businessowners program was made available to small businesses in northeastern Wisconsin.
- 2008 – Fond du Lac and Winnebago counties were added to the Company’s writing territory.
- 2009 – Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas counties were added to the Company’s writing territory.