On February 17, 1898, Farmers Mutual Insurance Company files Articles of Incorporation and By-laws with the Washington Secretary of State. Later renamed Mutual of Enumclaw, it is the oldest mutual insurance company in Washington state, and is a cooperative -- the membership owns the company.
The membership continues to own the company and each member has an equal vote. Members vote for officers and board members, and vote on changes in the By-laws.
The firm originally existed to protect farmers against loss by fire. Founding president George Bruhn and the first agent S. L. Sorenson, who was elected secretary in 1903, were prime movers in the company until the late teens. Both were Danish immigrants who helped found other cooperative businesses in Enumclaw. Founding vice president Otto Tamm, a north German immigrant, succeeded Bruhn as president, serving until 1935.
Enumclaw is located on a high plateau about 50 miles southeast of Seattle. The setting is pastoral with farmland to the north and west, and the forested Cascade Mountains to the east and south.
Mildred Tanner Andrews, Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company: A Century of Service (Enumclaw: Mutual of Enumclaw, 1998); Nancy Irene Hall, In the Shadow of the Mountain: a Pioneer History of Enumclaw (Enumclaw: Courier-Herald Publishing Company, Inc., 1983).
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