In the pioneer days of the Wilton community, people were faced with financial losses from the ravages of fire and lightning. They sought ways to protect themselves from such losses. According to information passed on from generation to generation, a group of farmers met in what was known as the White Pigeon schoolhouse, located 5 miles north of Wilton. The outgrowth of their meetings was the organization of the Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company of White Pigeon. The company officially organized on March 7, 1872.
Farmers in the Muscatine and Cedar county areas used horses for everything from tillage of the soil to construction of farm buildings. The world was beginning to change, and an interesting resolution was approved at a meeting that year – “that in all cases where members intend to put telephones in their houses, they must notify the Secretary without delay.”
The barn safely shelters the farmer’s most valuable possessions – his tools, his animals, and their feed. They wanted to protect those things from fire and lightning. On January 10, 1910, the organization name was changed to White Pigeon Mutual Fire and Lightning Insurance Association.
The change from horse to tractor was almost complete. Machines that were once considered an alternative to the pulling power of horses, now do much more. On January 12, 1938, action was taken to insure tractors, specifically. Also during the decade, coverage was added for pianos, radios, telephones and all musical instruments, as household goods.
Farming has become more technical and advanced. Tractors have increased power and capabilities, but they also cost more to buy and maintain. In that year, our current office building was built on Fourth Street in Wilton. It was the fifth location of the home office, and all four prior locations were also on Fourth Street.
Things have certainly changed since 1872! Tractors can do the work of hundreds of horses. Over the years, we have grown to meet the changing needs and complexion of our communities. People in towns, as well as farms, rely on White Pigeon Mutual Insurance Association to protect their homes and contents.