The State of Ohio chartered The National Mutual Automobile Association. The company could write only automobile fire insurance, and its first association members were twenty residents of Celina, Ohio.
The association had its first fire loss - an auto was destroyed in a paint shop. Business was handled out of a two-room office with only one clerk. Mr. Brookhart described the early days thus: "Of necessity I was publicity manager, home office underwriter, field man, loss man, mail boy, and office janitor, in addition to trying to take care of a local insurance agency here in Celina."
The Celina Mutual Casualty Company was organized to take care of the liability lines. The same men of vision headed up this enterprise.
E.J. Brookhart guided the companies through two world wars and the Great Depression. Despite these hardships, no layoffs occurred.
From two rooms, the companies grew into a two-story building on Main Street, Celina.
Upon Brookhart's death in 1950, C.M. Montgomery, E.J. Brookhart's brother-in-law, was elected general manager and secretary of both companies.
C.M.'s son, Don W. Montgomery, joined the companies as general counsel. He had formerly been an Assistant Attorney General for Ohio as well as Prosecuting Attorney for Mercer County.
A new home office building was dedicated at 1 Insurance Square, Celina, Ohio. The American Association of Nurserymen, Inc., awarded The Celina Mutual Insurance Company with its prestigious Commercial Landscaping Award. In conjunction with her beautification of America program, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson personally presented the award to Don Montgomery.
The Celina Insurance Group expanded the corporate headquarters building in Celina, Ohio.
William W. Montgomery, Don's son, joined the group. William Montgomery is a graduate of DePauw University and received his law degree from Ohio Northern University School of Law. He served two terms in the Indiana House of Representatives and also was a member and later chairman of the Public Service Commission of Indiana.
William W. Montgomery was elected president and chief operating officer of the companies.
Celina Insurance Group celebrated its 90th anniversary. The company was also recognized with the Mercer County Community Business of the Year award.
William W. Montgomery was elected Chairman of the Board of the Celina Insurance Group companies.
Celina Insurance Group celebrates 100 years in business. A time capsule was commissioned to commemorate the milestone, and is currently on display at our Home Office.