On Sept. 7, 1875, Mt. Morris Norwegian Mutual Fire Insurance Company was organized in Mt. Morris, WI. A Lutheran minister partnered with 12 local farmers who all donated a dollar to start the company.
140 years later, the company serves over 18,500 policyholders throughout the state and has written premiums in excess of $21 million. The company has been domiciled in Waushara County since its existence.
A celebration was held Sept. 11 at the Chula Vista Resort and Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells in honor of the company’s 140 years of service to Wisconsin’s families and business owners.
Over 170 individuals from around the state and the country attended this historic event, including agents, business associates, the Mt. Morris staff and Board of Directors.
Two Hillsboro residents, Robert Benish Sr. and Robert Hoefs, are Board members. Hoefs is also Chairman of the board.
The day’s events included education classes for agents, a boat ride on the Wisconsin River and golf.
The evening events included state Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) addressing the crowd and congratulating Mt. Morris on this historic accomplishment.
President/CEO Daniel Fenske introduced the 30 members of the Mt. Morris staff and Board of Directors.
He also updated the attendees on the company’s consistent approach in becoming a major presence in Wisconsin and doing so by maintaining its strong, secure financial position.
Fenske provided a list of facts and historic events that have molded the company.
• 1886: At the tenth annual Meeting a resolution was adopted that teams, horses, mules and oxen be insured by the company anywhere except in public barns.
• 1897: The company experienced a devastating loss. The Danish Lutheran Church in Pine River was destroyed by a fire. Loss paid $250.
• 1975: Mt. Morris celebrates its centennial.
• 1986: Mt. Morris purchases its first computer.
• 1992: Wautoma experiences a severe tornado, and as a result the company incurs major losses.
• 1997: Mt. Morris becomes a 6.11 (Non-assessable) Mutual, writing statewide.
• 2005: Mt. Morris becomes the first company in the state to provide equipment breakdown coverage on farm policies.
• 2008: The company writes its first auto policy.
• 2013: The company eclipses $20 million in written premiums.
The event concluded with entertainment by ComedySportz, a nationally known improv group.