General Agency Company is a fifth-generation, family owned and operated business and one of the oldest, continuous businesses in Mt. Pleasant. We are often regarded as one of Central and Western Michigan's largest and most progressive multi-state insurance agencies.
The agency was founded by three active Mt. Pleasant insurance agents -- Charles A. Carnahan, Walter W. Russell and Glen H. Riley -- in 1915. The three founders were of pioneer stock in Isabella County and were determined to provide a growing community with much better and broader insurance service.
In those early years of the General Agency, Mt. Pleasant was home to very little industry. Thus, service was provided primarily for the residents in the form of life and accident insurance. Then, in the mid-1920's, oil fields were developed in Central Michigan and in a short time the Mt. Pleasant area became "the Oil Capital of Michigan". Petroleum prospectors swarmed into the area and thereby created many new needs for insurance protection. It was at this point that the General Agency grew and expanded rapidly to accommodate this exciting new type of business. We gradually became known as the Oil Industry's insurance agent; specialists in the field to handle the coverages peculiar to the oil and gas industry. Today, after over 90 years of this experience, we remain specialists. In addition, we have developed a capacity to deal with the demands of other growing commercial businesses.
This period of growth enabled Charles Carnahan to persuade his son, Clifford, (Tip) to leave his Life Insurance work in Toledo, Ohio and join the General Agency in 1938.
In 1954, Jack Weisenburger, son-in-law of Tip Carnahan joined the firm. Don Olson signed on in 1970, and in 1977 one of Jack's four sons, Bob, entered the business, developing the Life, Health, Retirement Planning and Investments area.
In July 1978, the General Agency moved into its new enlarged office building on East Broadway. Soon after, in 1981, Mt. Pleasant native Mick Natzel joined the staff as a qualified Commercial Insurance Specialist with a wonderful target marketing experience with Federated Insurance Company. Then, in 1984 a significant acquisition/merger occurred with "Red" MacLean and the 37 year old MacLean Agency; thus bringing 70 years of additional experience to an already experienced agency. In 1987, Dave Weisenburger joined the staff specializing in the expansion of our Oil Jobber program. Dave's prior work experience with a major oil company proved to be invaluable in this effort.
In 1989, the Agency acquired long time insurance agents; Bill Schueller of the Schueller Agency and Ev Brossard of the United Agency each bringing an additional 30 years of experience and service to Central Michigan insured's. The Schueller Agency in particular brought the General Agency into another substantial market with its rich history of farm business. This unique and formidable market helped to continue to round out our total service agency. In 1993, John Olson joined the agency after spending several years in executive management positions with Auto Owners Insurance Company.
The Agency's sales and Administrative Staff of Agents and qualified Account Executives have grown from four in 1983 to our current 40 in 2015. We recognize that every person in the agency plays an integral role in our success. Our Administrative Staff is invaluable to our efforts. They all continue working hard at improving themselves as individuals as well as their knowledge of insurance through continuing education. As hard as it can be sometimes, they give the extra effort to provide the "ONE CALL SERVICE" that is the Agency's commitment to our customers.
Throughout the years, the General Agency has gained the endorsement of numerous associations and continues to work within these business arrangements. Today, the General Agency Company has established itself as a premier "one stop" insurance center; focusing on all lines of insurance including commercial property and casualty and special lines, personal lines, group benefits, individual life, health, long term care and estate planning as well as insurance consulting.Above all, we are a professional insurance agency. We strive to provide the highest quality insurance services at a reasonable price, always doing so with respect and professionalism.
We work hard at the General Agency Company, but we also recognize the importance of family and play. We hope you enjoy being associated with our company.
Click here to view our 100 Year Historical Booklet