THE CALIFORNIA FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY
THE CALIFORNIA FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, one of the grand, old reliable enterprises of San Francisco, was organized in the following 1860. The articles of incorporation, however, were not filed until February 14, 1861. It began business in the California Mutual Marine Insurance Company, with Dr. Samuel Merritt as president and C. T. Hopkins as secretary, and in 1864 was reincorporated under its present title of California Insurance Company, and transacted both the fire and marine business. The first list of directors were Dr. Samuel Merritt, Michael Reese, Joseph Belding, A. J. Pope, William Maurice, D. C. McRuer, C. W. Hathaway, W. C. Talbot and Jonas G. Clark. Dr. Merritt was succeeded in the presidency, after 18 months' service, by D. C. McRuer, who resigned on his election to Congress in 1865. Albert Miller followed Mr. McRuer and serve one year, after which, his health failing, Mr. C. T. Hopkins was elected president, and served until 1885, when the present president, Louis L. Bromwell, at that time secretary of the company, was elected.
Starting with a cash capital of $200,000, the company increased it in 1875, to $300,000, and in 1881, to $600,000. In 1861 their total cash assets were $44,009, with premiums recorded during the year, $46,748.94. December 31, 1890, the total assets were $1,284,679 and total cash premiums that year 755,900.88. Since their incorporation they have paid in dividends $1,318,516. At this writing the directors of the company are the following well-known businessman of the Pacific coast: S. S. Bigelow, John Bermingham, Daniel Meyer, A. W. Scholle, W. G. Bryan, Henry Wadsworth, E. J. Le Belton, J. R. Spring and L. L. Bromwell.
Source: "The Bay of San Francisco" Volume I. Lewis Publishing Company 1892. Page 435-436.
Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton.
© 2002 Nancy Pratt Melton