About Us

History of the Company

In September of 1885 a group of farmers from Spring Vale, Wyanett, Dalbo and Maple Ridge townships met at the O. Hawkins house in Wyanett Township for the purpose of organizing a town insurance company. Boards of directors were elected and were asked to have the company incorporated by the first annual meeting which would be held January, 1886. Elected to the board was A.E. Nelson of Spring Vale, A.M. Nordell of Dalbo, N. Engstrom and G.E. Olson both of Maple Ridge and O. Hawkins of Wyanett. The insurance company would only write policies for the above 4 townships. The first job of the board was to write to the state insurance commissioner to get the legal blanks which were necessary to write insurance. Once they received the legal blanks it was necessary to “make the movement known among the people”. Notices were posted in all the post offices. According to the minutes of the organization meeting, A.M. Nordell and O. Hawkins were appointed to do the personal contact work. They started their journey the first day of December, 1885 and traveled for about six days. The movement was made known and many of the most respected citizens promised to recommend the company to their neighbors and friends. The only Perils covered by insurance were fire, hail or lightning.

The first policy was sold to Erick Bruce on March 23, 1886. He was from Dalbo and the amount of insurance he had on his policy was $373.00 which he paid $1.89 in premium for the year. By December 31, 1886 they had $122.72 in surplus. At the annual meeting in 1887 the secretary reported that up to date he had written all policies in long hand because the board did not have enough money to buy the printed forms.

Following are some interesting and fun facts from the last 120+ years.

The company expanded into Spencer Brook, Bradford and Stanchfield Townships in Isanti County and Brunswick Township in Kanabec County in 1889. (As of 2010 the company can insure property in all of Aitkin, Anoka, Benton, Carlton, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Pine, Morrison and Sherburne Counties).

In the early days of the company if a policyholder did not have cash to pay the premium they could sign a note at a rate of 7% interest. By 1892 all notes had to be paid in full. The Treasurer was given $15.00 for his services.

In 1890 every dwelling had to have a masonry chimney and “every member must sweep the chimney every three months”.

In 1892 the company articles & bylaws were printed and distributed to each member at a cost of $7.00 for printing. Two members were appointed to travel to Minneapolis to purchase a safe for no more than $35.00.

It appears that the company was giving loans for real estate and chattel starting in 1898.

At the 1900 annual meeting a motion was made that the board inspect all chimneys making sure that they were brick chimneys.

1905 a motion was passed that the Swedish Language could be talked while discussing points in the meetings. Also houses located in uncultivated or grassy land shall be protected against prairie or forest fires by cutting down to the ground all dead timber or brush and clearing away all rubbish at least 5 rods from any building. Claims were paid at ¾ of current insured value.

1908 the Treasurer was ordered to deposit surplus funds into several banks but the bank or banks were requested to give good security for such funds deposited. The treasurer was hereby ordered to see that such security be performed. (Before FDIC)

In 1920 a Professor in electricity gave a presentation on the “Science of Electricity”. He gave a demonstration on the effect of lightning on buildings that had lightning rods and those that did not. The meeting expressed it faith to the lightning rods.

A fire occurred on November, 1911 to a store and dwelling owned by A.E. Conger. Cause of the fire was evidentially due to a chimney fire in the kitchen. They were compensated $1600.00 for the dwelling, $100.00 for furniture and $100.00 for wearing apparel. The Congers agreed to wait 90 days for the money “if the board thought best”. They were paid on January 29, 1912.

At the March 28, 1931 annual meeting the number of board members was increased from 7 to 9 members. Frank Powers of Quamba State Bank was elected director. By May of 1931 the board was receding coverage on properties by 25 to 50% due to the loss in value caused by the start of the Great Depression.

In March of 1932 Peter Healden was hired to inspect properties and reduce coverage on building as needed.

The office building that Spring Vale Mutual operated from for several years in Dalbo Minnesota was once Dalbo State Bank. In 1933 the “Bank Crash” closed many banks, but Dalbo State bank remained open. In August of 1933 the bank moved into Cambridge and assumed the name of Cambridge State Bank. At that point Spring Vale Mutual Insurance Company moved into the building. They bought the building in 1947 from Mrs. Anlund. In January, 2012 the office was relocated to Mora, MN and for the 1st time since the company started has moved into a different county, Kanabec County.

Today we package policies (combined with a wind carrier) in addition to the fire, lightning and theft coverage is wind, hail, liability and inland marine coverage’s. The company has an inspection program in place.

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Since 1885, when the group of farmers first met to form the insurance company, there have only been 8 Secretaries of the company: 1885 thru 1892 A.M. Nordell; 1892 thru 1910 O.H. Olson; 1910 thru 1935 P.B. Peterson; 1935 thru 1942 L. Anlund; 1943 thru 1960 George Erickson; 1960 thru 1976 Wm Niemann; 1976 thru 2012 Gary Sobas. Belinda Nehring took over Secretary/Manager in January of 2012 but had been employed with the company since 1988.

Today Spring Vale Mutual is still run by a board of directors. The present Board Members are: President – Terry Dalbey, Vice President – Larry Sederstrom, Secretary/Manager – Belinda Nehring, Treasurer – Richard Hansen, Additional board members – Beverly Tvedt and Donna Kollar. Office administrator – Brenda Trongard.

Our Staff

Belinda Nehring, ManagerBrenda Trongard, Office Assistant

Contact Us

200 Oak Street
P.O. Box 27
Mora, MN 55051
(320)679-9972 tel
(320)679-9973 fax
bnehring@svmutual.com

Office hours: 8:00–4:30 p.m.
Monday–Friday

Summer Hours
Fridays: 8:00–2:00 pm

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