Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More on the Loyal Americans

Many thanks to Debra Wilson, who has solved the mystery of the Loyal Americans by finding the following pin:
which bears a striking resemblance to the one I found:
The top pin was associated with the Loyal Americans of the Republic in Springfield, Illinois; the name of the organization was changed to Loyal Americans in 1915.  The following year, the name was changed to Loyal American Life Insurance, and then Loyal American Life Association in 1917.  In 1934, the Loyal American Life Association merged with the Ben Hur Life Association.
The Loyal Americans of the Republic was incorporated and commenced business on November 7, 1896 in Springfield, Illinois, with E. J. Dunn as its president, and H. D. Cowan as secretary. 
The name on the pin would then date it to about 1915.  Some of the other items found in the box belonged to the Lair family (or their descendants) of Princeville, Illinois.  Based on these facts, I would speculate that the pin belonged to Lawson F. Lair (1833-1923), of Princeville.  I might possibly have belonged to his son, William L. Lair, but because I have never seen any of Will’s belongings in my family’s possession, I would tend to think it belonged to Lawson.  However, Lawson’s probate file does not mention him having any insurance at the time of his death in 1923.
Again, thank you, Deb!
Sources (besides Debra):  http://bulletin.lifeguide.com/issuer_tracing.html                                                                       Fourth Annual Insurance Report of the Ninth Biennial Period by the Commissioner of Insurance of the State of North Dakota for the Year Ending December 31, 1906 (p. 464)


  1. And the Ben Hur Life Association became USA Life Insurance in 1988


    And today, I believe it is S.USA Life Insurance. http://www.sbliusa.com/

  2. @shrew - no, other than your 15 minutes of fame. Enjoy! :)
    @John - Thanks for the additional info. Wonder if they still have the old records??

  3. Let me know when those 15 minutes start so I can drag a comb through my hair first. Seriously, you've given me far too much credit - I threw you a lead, you did all the research and connecting. And I should be thanking YOU - I was trying to decide if I should sit in front of the computer all night long, or be productive. You gave me an opportunity to do both at the same time, while still avoiding the mess in the kitchen.