Established in the 1850s, the Dorchester Mutual Fire Insurance Company was one of the landmarks of Port Norfolk. The building, which is located on Woodworth Street (formerly Wood Street) has recently been converted to residential condominiums.
Founded in 1855. In 1858 the president was Asaph Churchill and secretary was William F. Temple. Directors from Dorchester were Asaph Churchill, Marshall P. Wilder, John H. Robinson, Henry Humphreys, Edward H. R. Ruggles, Otis Wright, Charles A. Wood, Chaarles Hunt, Laban Pratt.
The following is from: Commercial and Financial New England Illustrated. (Boston: The Boston Herald, 1906), 66.
Dorchester Mutual Fire Insurance Company.
Whatever final results ensue from the insurance investigations now occupying the public attention as to the relative merits of various forms of fire insurance, the history of the Dorchester Mutual Fire Insurance Company conclusively proves the stability of honest and efficient management. This company is an organization which has done honor to the historic old town whose name it bears and in fifty years of remarkable success has done more to popularize mutual fire insurance than all the essays that were ever written. Incorporated in 1855, under the laws of the commonwealth which is noted the world over for the rigidity and stringency of its insurance laws, this company has been and is furnishing insurance that insures at positive cost; and the fact that it has been doing it right along for fifty years presents unanswerable arguments in favor of mutual fire insurance. An enviable reputation for equitable adjustment and prompt payment of losses is an asset which this company possesses to a marked degree and has enabled it to do a maximum of business at a minimum of expense. Conservative in the extreme, the company exercises great care in the selection of risks and makes no efforts to cover an especially wide field, directing its attention, rather, to the thorough cultivation of the field that is covered; that is, it secures all the extra desirable risks and leaves the extra hazardous ventures to other hands. Confining its efforts to these lines, it has proved the wisdom of its executive’s business acumen and foresight by leading all the other mutual fire insurance companies of Massachusetts in the volume of business done in 1904, with a record of risks written totaling the very comfortable amount of $13,152,016, with premiums received amounting to $223,038, losses incurred of $106,478, and a loss to premiums of 47.74 per cent. The following figures from the fiftieth annual statement of company, issued July 1, 1905 will be of interest as showing the extent to which its failities are utilized: Number of policies, 29,660; personal property, $8,746.471; real estate $30,608,287. The headquarters of the company are in a handsome and well-equipped brick building owned by it, which is located at Neponset, Dorchester District, Boston, Mass., and it has agencies in every city, town and village in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Mr. Thomas F. Temple is president and treasurer of the company/ Mr. W. D C Curtis is secretary. The board of directors is composed of the following well-known gentlemen: J. B. L. Bartlett, Clarence Burgin, W. D. D. Curtis, Chas T. Gallagher, Laban Pratt, Thomas F. Temple, and Sarell J. Willis.