of Sardis Insurance
Today finds the Association a strong and reliable insurer, as our company roots are anchored in the
mutual support of earlier generations.
Our mutual protective association continues to be owned by it’s policyholders and governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership at their annual meeting. The Annual Membership Meeting is held on the third Saturday of January at the association office. The office, currently in the former school building at Laings, has been located in Monroe County since the company’s beginning in 1872.
By providing clients with personal, friendly service as our forefathers did in 1872, the directors, staff, and agents are dedicated to excellence today and tomorrow for the benefit of the policyholders.
Times sure have changed since 1872, but German Farmers Mutual of Sardis Insurance Association still provides quality insurance protection for your home or farm.
Our history can be traced back to the 28th day of January 1872, when at the home of Johan Rubi (a farmer of Swiss Ancestry), a half dozen farmers came together to form a mutual fire insurance association. These neighbors living in Ohio Township, county of Monroe, after careful inspection of the others’ farms and houses, banded together to insure each other’s property against fire and lightning losses.
In order to undertake this deliberation, Samuel Bruny acted as chairman and Jacob Hafliger as secretary. Elected by majority vote, Johan Rubi, Peter Fankhauser and Fred Schupbach would serve as directors; Jacob Hafliger and Fred Thonen as substitute men. They decided to call their organization “The Mutual Fire Aid and Relief Association of Ohio Township and Vicinity, Monroe County, Ohio”. The original minutes book indicates this group met annually at one of the member’s home and were also known by "The Ohio Township Aid Society."
In 1879 “The German Farmers Mutual Insurance Association”, became incorporated, as authorized by the Ohio Legislature under Chapter 3939 of the O.R.C.. Ten members signed the original Articles of Incorporation on the 3rd day of December 1879. Milton Barnes, Secretary of State, signed the certificate and affixed the “Great Seal of the State of Ohio”. This association became one of the first insurance mutuals to do business in Monroe County.
Originally all records were kept in German and not until January 2, 1897, do we find the minutes first recorded in English. At that time the group was meeting at the Salem Schoolhouse at Morton, Monroe County Ohio. January 2, 1943 minutes indicate the name had changed slightly to "The German Farmers Mutual Insurance Association of Morton, Monroe County Ohio." From 1946 – 1969 the annual meetings were held at the Salem Church at Morton and in 1970 the Hilltop Community Center on SR 536 became the location for annual meetings. As permitted by Ohio Law, a Board of Directors was elected by the membership at their annual meetings. This Board of Directors exercised the corporate powers of the association which was owned by it’s policyholders.
As losses of a few were divided amongst many, the association soon grew beyond the Morton Community. However, it was January 1978 before the association became known as the present day “German Farmers Mutual of Sardis Insurance Association.”