American Mutual Life Insurance
Company (No. 1)

The American Mutual Life Insurance Company was established on February 25 1897 as the Brotherhood of American Yeoman. In 1932, the fraternal elements of the organisation were abandoned and the name changed to the Yeoman Mutual Life Insurance Company. In 1938, the company was renamed the American Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Company History

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Brotherhood of American Yeoman Annual Meeting Literature

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Brotherhood of American Yeoman Annual Meeting Literature

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Brotherhood of American Yeoman lodge or 'Homestead'

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American Mutual Life Insurance Company office

The company was established in Bancroft, Iowa, by W J Stewart as a fraternal benefit society based on the Walter Scott novel, Ivanhoe. One of the benefits of the society was the provision of insurance and 16,000 policies were sold to members during the company's first two years in operation. By 1905, the Society had 46,000 members. The company merged with American Central Life in 1994.

Key dates

Year Event
1897 The company is established
1932 Name changes to the Yeoman Mutual Life Insurance Company
1938 Name changes to the American Mutual Life Insurance Company
1994 The company merges with American Central Life

Did you know...?

  • In 1925, the society founded a children's home called the Yeoman City of Childhood. In 1941, mismanagement of the home and $80,000 of unaccounted assets caused a company scandal, following which most of board resigned.

Subsidiaries and constituents*

Company name
United Order of Americans
Fraternal Brotherhood
United Order of Foresters

* Please note the first date given is the date of the establishment of the company and the second date is the date the company was acquired or became a subsidiary. Where only one date is given the company was established as a subsidiary of the parent company. Where one date is preceded by a hyphen the date of the establishment of the company is not known.

Staff and officials

Grand foreman (later president)

Year Name
- 1905 J E Paul
1905 - 1917 William Koch
1917 - 1930 W R Shirley
1930 - 1941 Alfred H “Dutch” Hoffman
1941 - 1960 Dr Elmer B Mountain
1960 - 1967 Harry McConachie
1967 - 1980 Geoff Smith
1980 - 1994 Sam Kalainov

Head office premises

Year Address
1900 - 1941 Yeoman Castle, Fifth Avenue and Park Street, Des Moines
1941 - 1994 Liberty Building, Sixth Avenue and Grand, Des Moines

Home branches and agencies

By 1974, the company had a network of 100 agencies from Iowa to California.

Published history

A Century of Success: The AmerUs Life Story by Jay Pridmore. Greenwich Publishing Group Inc. Lyme, Connecticut, 1996.

Further resources

Material relating to the history of the company is currently held within the business in the United States. Contact the Aviva Group Archive for more details.

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