February 13, 1914
The Utica Mutual Compensation Insurance Corporation was founded on February 13, 1914, as a workers compensation insurance carrier, by leaders whose vision and insight guided the company on a steady course to success.
Shown here: Delos DeWolf Smyth, Utica Mutual’s first president, John L. Train, the company’s secretary, treasurer and general manager, Merwin K. Hart, company founder, and Utica Mutual’s first logo, a reproduction of the corporate seal.
Our first 25 years
The company quickly expanded in the coverages it wrote and the policyholders it served, establishing a reputation for service that made it one of New York State’s most successful and respected mutual insurance organizations.
Shown here: A gathering to mark Utica Mutual’s 10th anniversary in 1924, the company’s safety bureau in 1924, a modified version of the Utica Mutual logo around 1918, the Mayro Building, the company’s home from 1917 to 1926, Utica Mutual’s ladies bowling team, and the company’s hospital division at Faxton Hospital in Utica, NY.
Utica Mutual’s move to the independent agency system started in 1928 when it began appointing agents to sell automobile insurance in areas not easily serviced by the company’s centrally located branch offices throughout New York State.
Shown here: An overview of the company’s district and branch offices in the 1920s, the new logo that was introduced around 1929, celebrating Utica Mutual’s 20th year in 1934, a company-sponsored information booth welcoming visitors to the area in the 1930s, and the Rochester, NY, branch office in the 1930s.
During the Great Depression, while other companies struggled or closed, Utica Mutual stood on solid financial ground, experiencing some of the best of its early years and finding cause to celebrate its quarter-century of taking care of agents and policyholders.
Shown here: Utica Mutual’s championship employee baseball team, the Oneida Indian corporate trademark introduced in 1938, an early Utica Mutual advertisement, marking 25 years in business in 1939, and modern office equipment, circa 1930.
Our first 50 years
Despite the effects regulatory sources and World War II had on the company, Utica Mutual’s assets had more than doubled by the end of the 1940s, with the organization well-poised to prosper in a peacetime economy.
Shown here: A group of Utica Mutual employees offering holiday greetings, a sample of the Utica Mutual calendars produced as giveaways for decades, John L. Train, the company’s secretary, treasurer and general manager, a slightly modified version of the company’s Oneida Indian corporate trademark, Utica Mutual’s headquarters at the First National Bank Building in downtown Utica, a roadside billboard promoting auto insurance, an issue of the monthly Service Record Magazine published during and after World War II, and employees gathering at Utica Mutual’s Christmas party in 1943.
The company’s growth and expansion was epitomized in the 1950s by the construction of the Home Office building in New Hartford. A December, 1950 groundbreaking was followed by the laying of the cornerstone on May 10, 1952, with occupancy taking place less than one year later.
Shown here: John L. Train (holding trowel) and other dignitaries at the laying of the cornerstone, the move from downtown Utica to New Hartford which covered 3 days and 3 million pounds of equipment, John L. Train in his office, an aerial view of the Utica Mutual Insurance Company’s Home Office, a combination of personnel and automation to get the job done in an efficient manner, employee lockers at the new Home Office, staffers at work in the mailroom, and Joseph P. Craugh, who became president and general manager in 1958.
Along with the doubling of the company’s size through consistent increases in premium volume and assets in the 1960s, things continued looking up for Utica Mutual as the decade ended with the groundbreaking for the tower complex, built to accommodate an ever-increasing workforce.
Shown here: The tower’s official opening in 1971, the tower under construction, the special logo designed for Utica Mutual’s golden anniversary, the finished tower adjacent the main building in New Hartford, Victor T. Ehre, who joined the company as president in 1964, CEO Victor T. Ehre at the tower’s June 2, 1969 groundbreaking ceremony, and employees hard at work at the New Hartford headquarters.
Our first 75 years
The need to change, adapt and innovate, through its technology, products and people, helped the Utica National Insurance Group emerge from the 1970s much larger and stronger than ever, positioning it to become an even more powerful force in the national insurance marketplace.
Shown here: Ads promoting the company’s products in the 1970s and 1980s, Utica Mutual entered the computer age in the early 1960s and by 1968 was on its third generation of computer equipment, “The Insurance That Starts With You” slogan introduced in 1964, the underwriting record unit at the New England Regional Office in 1965, Utica Mutual decades before cubicles were installed, Jack B. Riffle and Insurance Information Institute President Mechlin Moore, and Victor T. Ehre with Jack B. Riffle.
The business challenges of the early 1980s gave way to the company’s further growth later in the decade as it marked 75 years of service, setting the stage for additional development as a new century approached.
Shown here: The bronze plaque honoring Joseph P. Craugh in the Home Office lobby, W. Craig Heston, who joined the company in 1963, a commemorative logo and slogan helped mark the company’s 75th anniversary in 1989, employees donned period dress, circa 1914, to celebrate the 75th anniversary, the Home Office lobby replete with marble floors and walls, and plaques recognizing company leaders, Utica National advertisements featuring Craig Heston, new computers in the late 1970s, state-of-the-art office equipment, circa 1985, and a 1990 issue of YOU magazine for agent-customers.
Our first century
The Utica National Insurance Group’s core values, ethics and promise to its agent-customers, policyholders and employees to be there for them in all ways have withstood the test of time into the 21st century — continuing to fulfill the promise made by the company’s founders in 1914.
Shown here: J. Douglas Robinson, who was named president and chief executive officer in 2000 following Craig Heston’s retirement, the annual Boilermaker Kids’ Run sponsored by Utica National since its first running in 1989, staff members at the New England Regional Office, the Home Office in New Hartford, NY, and Chairman and CEO Doug Robinson.
Beginning our second century
Utica National Insurance Group reached two major milestones in less than five years. The company celebrated 100 years of making people feel secure, appreciated and respected in 2014. Just three short years later, employees and agents worked together to reach the $1 billion in direct premium threshold, which was just the starting point to the company reaching its full potential.
Shown here: Richard P. Creedon, Esq., who was named Chairman of the Board and CEO in 2019; Kristen H. Martin, who was named President and COO in 2019; a representation of the company’s digital and social offerings; the 100th anniversary logo; employees gathered for meetings; and a check presentation from the Utica National Group Foundation.