How we came to be
How we came to be
Rooted in 1752
Benjamin Franklin began the mutual concept in Philadelphia in 1752. He reasoned that if people pooled their resources, they could protect each other against financial ruin due to fire. By helping each other, no individual would suffer a great financial burden.
Makes its way to Belleville’s Courthouse steps and, the Board is formed
In 1870, Chrisostomus Boul, a local farmer who believed strongly in this concept, traveled around the county visiting with fellow farmers, urging them to join in a Society of mutual protection against loss by fire. Over 120 farmers agreed with Boul’s plan. On February 1, 1871, a meeting was held at the St. Clair County Courthouse in Belleville with 82 farmers attending.
Nine were elected to the Board of Directors. Augustus Chenot was named President of the Board.
Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Society of St. Clair County
On February 25, 1871, the Board of Directors meeting was held in the Grand Jury room of the Courthouse in Belleville. Four distinct organizational plans were presented. The Board of Directors voted to accept a proposal to unite as a mutual protecting Society, without charter, and bound to each other by a pledge signed by each member.
The organization would be known as Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Society of St. Clair County Illinois. Only property in St. Clair County was to be insured by the Society; however, no property “located inside towns or cities” would be insured. The office of the Society was located in West Belleville.
Membership grows at more than 100 per year
By March 1883, the Society had grown to 1,438 members. On June 2, 1883, it was resolved to organize in accordance with Illinois State Law as a County Insurance Company. The Company became known as Belleville, St. Clair County Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company. Assets and Liabilities belonging to the Society in the amount of $2,661 were transferred to the new company with a risk in force of $421,392.
Property Insurance Begins
On April 7, 1965, the Board of Directors voted to shorten the Company’s name to Belleville, County Mutual Fire Insurance Company and begin insuring property in neighboring counties.
100 Years & still counting
And another new name
The Company continued to grow and once again changed their name to Belleville Mutual Insurance Company. On March 18, 1987, during the Board of Directors meeting, the vote was to extend coverage to 9 additional counties (for a total of 15) and to obtain authority from the Illinois Department of Insurance to write windstorm and hail coverage.
To support risk
On January 1, 2004 Washington County Mutual Fire Insurance Company was merged into Heartland Mutual Insurance Company. The writing territory remained at 37 counties, with over $800 million risk in force and assets of $4.5 million.
Elected in 2005, board president Les Mehrtens served until his retirement at the end of 2015.
Richard Neff became our new board president in 2016. Other members of the board are Ronald Peach (Vice-President), Stanley Brammeier (Treasurer), Michael Poettker, Paul Kocher, David Ziegler, Josh Zipprich, Anthony Esker, Jon Minton, William Simon and Christopher Feldt (Manager/Secretary).
On January 1, 2016 Calhoun County Insurance Company was merged into Heartland Mutual Insurance Company. Today, the company has 65 counties in its writing territory, with over $1.7 billion risk in force and assets in excess of $6.3 million.
In August of 2017, following suit with Grinnell Mutual’s re-branding campaign, we launched our new logo.