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 July 23, 1983 the company announces their 100th year anniversary. and hosted a commemorative party for their insureds.
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, 2003 Denver Mutual Insurance Company in Newton, IL was merged into Belleville Mutual Insurance Company. Then on January 1, 2004 Washington County Mutual Fire Insurance Company in Addieville, IL was merged in also. The writing territory remained at 37 counties, with over $800 million risk in force and assets of $4.5 million.
In 2005 Belleville Mutual Insurance Company changed its name and log to become Heartland Mutual Insurance Company.
On January 1, 2016 our company once again grew in size by acquiring Calhoun County Insurance Company. Our current Board President, Rich Neff, was also elected in 2016.
At this point our company stood with 65 counties in our writing territory, 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.
As of December 31, 2022 Heartland Mutual Insurance Company writes in 76 counties, has 73 or so Agencies writing our products, has over $2.2 billion risk in force, and assets in excess of $7.9 million.
We are celebrating 140 years of service in 2023!
Past and Present
1883-1886 Joseph Veile
1887-1890 Augustus Chenot
1890-1891 George Schnerger
1891-1897 Augustus Chenot
1897-1900 George Schnerger
1900-1906 James H. Atkinson
1906-1907 E. B. Ogle
1907-1939 Henry Lang
1939-1962 Erwin W. Seibert
1962-1978 Roland G. Eidman
1978-1988 Clifford M. Woodrome
1988-1994 Raymond Schickedanz
1994-2005 Don Koenig
2005-2016 Les Mehrtens
2016-Present Richard Neff
Standing: Jon Minton; Josh Zipprich; David Ziegler; Paul Kocher; Ronald Peach, Vice President; and Les Mehrtens, Former Board President
Seated: William Simon; Richard Neff, Board President; Sue Mollett; Stanley Brammeier, Treasurer; Christopher M. Feldt, Chief Executive Officer; and Mark Boston