George J. MecherleBack to
State Farm Insurance
George Mecherle grew up as the fifth child of German immigrants near a small town just west of Normal, IL. At age 22, George began farming his land and continued for 20 years before moving to Bloomington and becoming an insurance salesman for a small company. While he was successful in selling insurance, he didn’t feel that the business practices and rates of the company fit the needs of farmers. Living in more rural areas, farmers had fewer accidents and fewer losses than those with vehicles in the city and thought they should pay lower rates.
Mecherle took his idea and started State Farm in 1922 as a mutual automobile insurance company owned by its policyholders.
State Farm quickly grew to other states in 1925 and started providing insurance to people living in cities as well as farms the year after and expanding as far as California in 1928. Mecherle’s personal reputation for integrity and fairness grew the company with excellent service and reasonable profit. At the time of his retirement from CEO in 1937, State Farm was a nationwide company with over one million policy holders and was the largest automobile insurer in America.