Page 7 - Frankenmuth Insurance 150 Years Anniversary Booklet
P. 7

Frankly speaking, in English

                                             Modest but steady growth continued for the

                                             association. In 1910, the name was changed to
                                             Frankenmuther Feuer Unterstützungs-Verein. In
                                             1924, to accommodate the growing number of

                                             non-German-speaking residents of the area,
                                             the company eliminated the German-language

                                             requirement and the organization became known in English only as
                                             Frankenmuth Fire Aid Association. But records continued to be kept in German,
                                             and business continued as usual. The association was not a flashy enterprise;

                                             their business “headquarters” was in a back room of the Nuechterleins’
                                             mortuary. Carl Nuechterlein, who helped run the mortuary, was also Secretary
                                             (CEO) of the Fire Aid Association from 1925 to 1941, and helped organize the

                                             Frankenmuth Mutual Auto Insurance Company in 1921 (see “A new business
                                             hits the road” on page 9).

                                             One day in the late 1930s, a team of examiners from the State Insurance

                                             Department came to audit the association’s books. Carl Nuechterlein was busy
                                             with a funeral, but let the examiners in, telling them all the association’s records
                                             were in a box in the back room. The “box,” the examiners discovered, was a

                                                spare wooden coffin, and the records were all neatly handwritten in German.
                                                      Carl returned and interpreted for them, and though the examiners
                                  FUN FACT:
                           The company’s 1931 annual       found the records to be error-free, they suggested Carl find a
                          report lists numerous claims for
                         barns lost to fire, cows struck by   more suitable file cabinet. They also insisted the records be
                          lightning, and one $15 claim for    kept in English from then on, and made it a directive for all
                              “damage to cheese.”
                                                         insurance companies in the state. The association’s minute book
                                                    for 1939 was the first major record in which English replaced German.

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