Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Co. collection
Scope and Contents
File Cabinet 1, Drawer 1: company brochures and pamphlets; clippings and other material on anniversaries and company buildings; biographical files; exhibit material, including many photographs; and videotapes of speeches by Robert Van Fossan
File Cabinet 1, Drawer 2: material on new building at 520 Broad St., including correspondence on opening ceremonies; biographical files and photos: John S. Thomson, Milford Vieser, and Mildred F. Stone
File Cabinet 1, Drawer 3: exhibit materials, including original documents such as an Executuve Committee report of 1845; binder of material on construction of Military Park parking garage; files on construction and dedication of 520 Broad St.
File Cabinet 1, Drawer 4: annual reports; company publications; scrapbook on centennial celebration; 2 scrapbooks on 520 Broad St.; audiotapes and record of Paul Stillman speaking on the company's decision to remain in Newark (1954)
File Cabinet 2, Drawer 1: multiple copies of charters, annual reports, and other company publications; special 250th Anniversary issue of "The Pelican" (1916)
File Cabinet 2, Drawer 2: exhibit materials, including original historic documents and photographs; Mildred Stone correspondence; early ledgers and company publications
File Cabinet 2, Drawer 3: historical materials, including large format portraits of officers (some by F. Bachrach); memorial scrapbook for MBLI Vice-President Bloomfield J. Miller (ca. 1849-1905)
File Cabinet 2, Drawer 4: exhibit materials; folder of Bachrach portraits of President John S. Thomson
File Cabinet 2, Drawer 5: clippings; newsletters; Christmas cards; ledger, 1845-1849; "Heritage Room" materials; autographed copy of sheet music of company song, "My Girls, My Men," by J. P. O'Fake, 1943
File Cabinet 3, Drawer 1: extensive files on MBLI buildings at 191 Market St., 300 Broadway, and 520 Broad St.; original historic photo of interior with staff at the "Marble Building," 750 Broad St.; file of photographs of the "Heritage Room" at 520 Broad St., including a mural By E. Whitefield depicting Newark in 1847
File Cabinet 3, Drawer 2: General Files, C to I, including files on Charter Day, Christmas Cards, Civil War and MBLI, Crash of 1929, Gold Rush, and Heritage Room
File Cabinet 3, Drawer 3: General Files, M to P, including files on company history and buildings, and on Newark history in general; chronological files,1846-1958; photo labeled "Spanish-American War Crowds," a street scene with trolleys and crowds in front of the Newark Theater; copy of an early photo showing Jelliff's furniture shop, 301 Broad St.
File Cabinet 3, Drawer 4: biographical files on officers; files of photos, including celebration of 100th anniversary in 1945
File Cabinet 3, Drawer 5: General Files, Q to Z, including files on World Wars I and II and "War with Spain; binders of press releases and other documents (1932-1945); typescript of "Since 1854"
File Cabinet 4, Drawer 1: mounted color photographs of Newark 300th Anniversary parade; 2 VHS tapes of WNET coverage of death of MBLI President Robert Van Fossan (1989)
File Cabinet 4, Drawer 4: material on 520 Broad St., including correspondence, reports, publicity, and a file on "Labor Problems, regarding a strike of Operating Engineers Local 25 at the building in 1956
File Cabinet 4, Drawer 5: files on 520 Broad St., including correspondence on dedication; material on history of MBLI buildings in Newark
Three boxes contain oversize photographs (portraits, groups, events, aerial views of Newark, etc.), reproductions of documents, newspapers pages, decorative color prints, and artifacts (mostly awards).
- 1845 - 2001
- Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company (Organization)
Conditions Governing Use
Biographical / Historical
The opening of Mutual Benefit's new headquarters building at 520 Broad St. in 1957 signaled its commitment to maintaining its base in Newark. Eventually the company's operations expanded beyond life insurance, and it became a major developer of commercial property. In 1966, for example, Finance Committee Chairman Milford A. Vieser presided at the dedication of a 20-story office building at 550 Broad St.; it was the sixth building Mutual Benefit had financed in the area within ten years, and Board Chairman W. Paul Stillman announced plans for yet another building nearby. By 1991, after losses in an overheated real estate market, the Mutual Benefit was seized by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, and was liquidated and dissolved in June 2001.
This collection consists mostly of material compiled by Mildred F. Stone, the company's first woman executive, who was also its historian. Stone wrote the centennial history of Mutual Benefit Life, "Since 1854" (Rutgers University Press, 1957). She oversaw anniversary celebrations, including the lavish "Charter Day Celebration" of January 31, 1945, and selected material for display in the Company's "Heritage Room" at 520 Broad Street.
10 Linear Feet (Linear feet unknown - 4 file cabinets and 3 boxes.)
Language of Materials
- Business -- New Jersey -- Newark
- Bylaws (administrative records)
- Corporations -- New Jersey -- Newark
- Financial records
- Insurance companies -- New Jersey -- Newark
- Letters (correspondence)
- Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company
- Newark (N.J.) -- History -- 19th century
- Newark (N.J.) -- History -- 20th century
- No finding aid, text from Newark Archives Project nap.rutgers.edu
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
Part of the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center, Newark Public Library Repository
Newark Public Library
5 Washington St.
Newark NJ 07102 United States