Franklin Life Insurance Co.

Franklin Life Insurance Co.'s 1913 headquarters building, left; part of the 1964 Seventh Street Addition can be seen on the far right, along with the complex's iconic statue of Benjamin Franklin, whom the company styled the Apostle of Thrift. (SCHS photo)

Franklin Life Insurance Co.’s 1913 headquarters building, left; part of the 1964 Seventh Street Addition can be seen on the far right, along with the complex’s iconic statue of Benjamin Franklin, whom the company styled the Apostle of Thrift. (SCHS photo)

Founded in 1884, the Franklin Life Insurance Co. remained an important force in Springfield’s economy into the 21st century.

Franklin Life was founded  by a half-dozen central Illinois residents in 1884. They pledged to offer up to $3,000 in insurance to “all male persons who can pass a proper medical examination, between the ages of twenty-one and fifty-five.” Payouts were to be made by assessments on members. Henson Robinson was the first president.

The company continued steady but unspectacular growth over the next 50 years, reaching $100 million of insurance in force in 1920 under president George B. Stadden. However, when Charles E. Becker, a Texas insurance entrepreneur, took ownership in 1939, Franklin’s business began a rapid upswing.

Franklin lightFranklin Life had completed an imposing new headquarters at Sixth Street and Lawrence Avenue in 1913.  The Becker regime led to more expansion; major office buildings were completed in 1949 and then in 1964. The company also developed a Modernist apartment building intended partly for use by its executives, The Town House at 718 S. Seventh St.  (It is now condominiums.) Even the lightposts around the headquarters complex denoted it Franklin Square (and still did as of 2013).

The company also was one of the first private firms to adopt early computer technology. Franklin Life received the 15th Univac computer ever built.

Becker was succeeded as president by his close associate (and acquaintance from high school), Francis Budinger, in 1961 and then by George Hatmaker (1910-2003) in 1964. William Alley (1929-1996) became CEO in 1976. (Both Becker and Budinger were named Springfield First Citizens, Becker in 1965 and Budinger 10 years later.)

The Franklin lost its independence when it was purchased by American Brands in 1979. Consolidations continued — American General bought The Franklin for $1.2 billion in 1995, and the company became part of insurance giant AIG in 2001.

Employment dropped from 1,300 in 1991 to about 400 in 2008, when the company moved out of its signature headquarters. The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce listed American General as having 410 employees in Springfield in November 2012, which still left the company ranked as the city’s eighth-largest private employer.

The former Franklin complex was purchased by the state of Illinois and converted to headquarters for the Illinois State Police.

Franklin Life policy information: The following information comes from commenter Lonnie Dunn. Our thanks to him.

To those of you who hold Franklin Policies, I have read, and researched that the company which honors them is a spin off of AIG and they are in Houston.

Mailing Address: P O Box 1591
Houston TX 77251-1591
Office Number: (713)831-3174
Toll Free Number: (800)231-3655
Fax Number: (713)831-4345

Physical Address: 2727 Allen Pkwy Ste A
Houston TX 77019-2116

More information: “The Fabulous Franklin Story,” Francis O’Brien, 1970 (available at Lincoln Library, Springfield)bridge

Original content copyright Sangamon County Historical Society. You are free to republish this content as long as credit is given to the Society.

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70 Responses to Franklin Life Insurance Co.

  1. Jill Cloutier says:

    Please tell me how I can contact someone from TheFranklin Life Insurance Co. Thank you.
    Jill Cloutier

    • editor says:

      Ms. Cloutier: The Franklin has been merged, acquired, and divested several times over the years. I believe it’s still owned by AIG, whose web site lists a phone number for Franklin inquiries at 1-800-231-3655. Good luck.

    • My parents purchased individual policies for me, my siblings, and themselves in the late 1970s. The company was sold in the 80s i believe. I’m trying to track down company name snd how to redeem the value of the policy. Please help me!

      • editor says:

        Mr. Gaddy: Your question has been answered by another commenter, Lonny Dunn. Look below for older comments. You’ll see his advice. Good luck.

  2. Pat Shaw says:

    Could you please name the seven Sangamon County residents in 1884 founders for me. I had cousins that worked there in 1890 to 1901 or 1902. One Robert C Roseberry as a supr. and his brother Thomas C Roseberry was an attorney but both worked for Franklin Life Assoc. and are listed in the city directory for a few years.
    Thank you

    • editor says:

      Ms. Shaw: The number seven comes from The Fabulous Franklin Story, which I had checked out of the library and long since returned. The problem is that old newspaper files, to which I do have immediate access, indicate the actual number of organizers apparently was either six or nine, and not all were from Sangamon County.

      The list of officers when the company was “permanently” organized in July 1884 were: Henson Robinson, E.S. Johnson, A.D. Sanders, Dr. B.M. Griffith and R.L. McGuire, all of Springfield, and H.D. Day of Moweaqua. A list of organizers published that March also included the names of John Oberly of Bloomington, James Miller of Caseyville and H.C. Feltman of Salem.

      Hope this helps you, though it just confuses me. I’ll get hold of The Fabulous Franklin Story again to doublecheck its list.

      Thanks for reading.

      • editor says:

        Ms. Shaw: Here’s an update. After doing some more research in Illinois State Journal files, it’s even clearer that the organizers of Franklin Life, however many they were, were not all from Sangamon County. I’ve made that sentence a lot more general in the main entry.

        Regarding your cousins, they are first mentioned in a March 2, 1887, Journal story about a reorganization of both Franklin Life and the Springfield Mutual Life Association, in which Springfield Mutual disappears and Franklin Life becomes the sole entity. That story reports that T.C. Roseberry had been named the secretary of Franklin and a member of the board of directors. R.C. Roseberry was the company’s superintendent of agencies.

        T.C. is mentioned only one time in The Fabulous Franklin Story, on page 6 and then for only a paragraph, but I thought you’d find it interesting. (R.C. isn’t mentioned at all.)

        “A new and important actor to appear on the scene at this time was T.C. Roseberry, who in September 1886 was elected Secretary and General Manager. He was a distinct addition to the organization at that time. An insurance man of considerable experience, Mr. Roseberry began to surround himself with businessmen of the highest type in the community.”

        Both men remained with Franklin Life until 1901, by which time T.C. was vice president and R.C. secretary. However, they both retired at the end of 1901 and moved to California. As you probably know — but other readers may not — T.C. died in 1913 and R.C. in 1927. The Illinois State Register published a short obituary for T.C., but I found no mention of R.C.’s death in local papers. They are buried in the Los Angeles area.

        I’ll send you a separate email with a short profile of T.C. that was published by the Register in 1892.

        Once again, thanks for reading.

        • Pat Shaw says:

          Mike,
          Thank you so much for the information, I suspected as much but was not sure. They had some personal family deaths in the late 1800’s and found information in the city directory about them. They are sons of my gg-grandfather’s sister Mary Ann Stewart Roseberry. I knew from research about them moving to California, so the information you have given me is very helpful. Hope to find T C’s obit!
          Pat Shaw

  3. Mike Lutze says:

    I had the marvelous opportunity to be shown the UNIVAC system that was still in production at the time, including being allowed to enter the small passageway into the system to marvel at the glow of innumerable vacuum tubes. I believe this would have been in the late ’60s early ’70s.

    Does anyone know when the system was taken out of service and what became of it?

  4. wreyes786@HOTMAIL.ES says:

    I have one calendar this company
    Front 1955

    • William D Thomas, Sr says:

      Any Fanklites out there? I have a batch of The Franklin Field Magazines from the 1970’s. Anyone want them?

      Maybe you know William d Thomas Sr out of Pennsylvania?

      Maybe your family or you are in the Franklin Fields I have. I took the ones of my grandparents. This company has meant a lot to me over the decades.

      My grandfather mostly retired by the time I was born. But I do recall him going to work once or twice back in the early 1980’s. Now I own their house! I know of stories of the street being loaded with caddy’s and Lincoln’s on both sides! See he was a regional manager and did trainings. I think of Franklin Life, the home office, and the eniac as the family I never met. So many proud memories of people succeeding of various color and gender.

      • editor says:

        Thanks for reading, Mr. Thomas.

        • Todd says:

          My father was a home office executive from 1966-1992, and lived in the Franklin’s building across the street for a few mos when he first arrived! I have many fond memories of HQ and my father’s office. Todd, Washington, DC

  5. Ed LaPinskas says:

    I was an agent for Franklin Life ( 1981 – 86 ). Had an annuity and some term ins. Their products were competitive and rock solid. Too bad they got ‘gobbled up’ by the BAILOUT gang. Sadly, a part of Americana past, now. I don’t know if my son has the coin bank he was given on our trip to the old home office back in ’84. It was a bust of Ben himself.

    • editor says:

      Mr. LaPinskas: I think a lot of former Franklin employees, like you, have great memories of working there. Thanks for reading, and thanks very much for commenting.

    • Monica O. says:

      We recently started going through my mom’s things and found 2 of these coin banks. We wondered where she would have gotten these from. Mystery solved! Thank you for your post. :)

  6. Randy Brice says:

    I was an agent with Franklin from 1974-1999. Great company, great people, and great memories.

  7. Vickie Storm says:

    I was employed by Franklin Life from 1980 to 2000. This company was an example, in many respects, of how a company becomes a family. We had a credit union, a cafeteria, a nurse on hand, doctors and lawyers with whom we could consult and many social events. We honored our sales associates. Employees worked hard, were loyal and stayed for many, many years. Family members worked at the company, partly because they were one of Springfield’s largest employers and partly because they were a great company. Bill Alley was an intelligent, personable, tough leader who went on to run American Brands. After being purchased by American General, Franklin Life executed the first lay-off of employees (about 10% of the workforce) after a 100+ year history. The culture that had been so carefully and lovingly cultivated for a century, began to change after that. There is so much history about Franklin Life – the details of the original building, the mission statement, the products, the way lives were changed for the better . . . but most of all, Franklin Life was the essence of the people who worked there. Thank you for your article.

    • editor says:

      Ms. Storm: Thanks for your thoughtful comment. This kind of dialogue is one of the things we hoped to inspire when we started SangamonLink.

    • Randy Brice says:

      Vickie’s statement sums it up, and I remember her as a great Home Office professional who was dedicated to The Franklin and the sales associates (I was one of them). It was a great association – Home Office & Sales Associates. Unfortunately, times change. But the memories remain.

  8. Dan Price says:

    I was an agent with Franklin. Great company.

  9. Edwina & Lisa McIntyre says:

    I am trying to research “National – Ben Franklin Life Insurance Corp. one of The Continental Insurance Companies” policy for my mother that my father had purchased. Is there a claims number or information number to start me in the right direction?

    Thank you
    Lisa McIntyre
    for Edwina McIntyre

    • editor says:

      Ms. McIntire: Unfortunately, National-Ben Franklin Life Insurance is a totally different company, unrelated to Springfield’s Franklin Life. (A lot of insurance companies once used a variation of the name “Franklin” because founding father Benjamin Franklin founded some insurance companies of his own.) National-Ben Franklin seems to have operated under that name from 1909 to 1983. It then became Commercial Life Insurance Co., which in turn merged into UNUM Life Insurance Co. of America.

      The Idaho Department of Insurance has some contact information on its web site:
      http://www.doi.idaho.gov/insurance/InsurerDetail.aspx?COA=919

      Your home state Department of Insurance probably can also put you in contact with UNUM.

      Good luck. Sorry we can’t be more help.

  10. richard s rubin says:

    I found an old life insurance policy taken out on me by my mother in 1954 issued ny Franklin life insurance company-policy 1274428-is there any value to this policy? It has a $1000 face value and it was issued june 10,1954

    • editor says:

      Richard: Thanks for reading. All we can do is direct you to a “Frequently Asked Questions” page maintained by the Illinois Department of Insurance. Here is the department’s answer to a question about determining the status of an old life insurance policy:

      “The Department of Insurance can tell you what happened to the original company. If, for example, it was purchased by another company, we can provide the name, address and phone number of the new company. If you are unable to determine if your policy has been assumed by the new company, contact our Department in writing or by e-mail. We will then contact the succeeding carrier to see if we can determine what happened to the policy.”

      In the case of Franklin Life, it was taken over by AIG in 2001. Your best bet is to ask the Department of Insurance how to contact AIG. Good luck.

  11. Lonny Dunn says:

    My father, Thomas S. Dunn was employed by FLICO from the late 60’s through the 80’s all of the fine calibre men and women who worked with him and for him had a great impact upon my character. He was an Executive Sales Director, first in New England, and then in the Deep South. The company was an old line insurer, with personalized service, and they had a system of recruiting agents with deep ties to the communities they served. For instance, in Vermont, Jack Durrett was President of Ducks Unlimited, Seab Hillis in Alabama eventually became a “Super Agent” with men employed across 6 states. The company focused it’s efforts on Cash Value policies, and long term savings, and financial stability.

    To those of you who hold Franklin Policies, I have read, and researched that the company which honors them is a spin off of AIG and they are in Houston.

    Mailing Address: P O Box 1591
    Houston TX 77251-1591
    Office Number: (713)831-3174
    Toll Free Number: (800)231-3655
    Fax Number: (713)831-4345

    Physical Address: 2727 Allen Pkwy Ste A
    Houston TX 77019-2116

  12. Michelle Walden says:

    My great grandfather was Charles Becker and my grandfather was Paul Becker..I am inquring on the roles in which they had in the Franklin Life Insurance Company…

    • editor says:

      Ms. Walden: I’m also replying to you via email. Here’s what I said there:

      This isn’t a simple request. There were at least two Charles Beckers, and there may have been more than one Paul as well. Here are the ones I can identify so far:

      — Charles Everett Becker: Took over Franklin Life in the 1940s and grew its business dramatically. Died in 1968.
      — Charles Fulton Becker: son of Charles E., worked at Franklin Life for more than 50 years, retiring in 1988 as senior vice president of finance. Died in 2003.
      — Norval Paul Becker (known as Paul, at least in Springfield): Brother of Charles E., was secretary of agencies for Franklin Life for some period in 1940s and ’50s. (He may have had other roles too; I can’t tell from my quick research.) Died in 1996.

      According to Findagrave.com, Charles E. had no children named Paul. So I’m guessing your great-grandfather was Charles Fulton and that he had a son named Paul. Do I have that right?

      I’m posting your request and my reply in the hopes that some of the former Franklin employees who read SangamonLink can help you.

      Otherwise, your best bet to find out more about the roles at Franklin of any of the Beckers is to get hold of a copy of “The Fabulous Franklin Story: the History of the Franklin Life Insurance Company 1884-1970,” by Francis O’Brien (1970).

      Good luck, and thanks for reading.

      • Linda Ruth Becker Paulen says:

        To further elaborate on Paul Becker. He was my father. As well as Being a part of the FRANKLIN LIFE he also created the Springfield Theatre Guild on Lawrence Avenue. He raised money to build this theatre by selling Insurance policies to investors. The Great Bob Hope broke ground with the shovel while my father held me in his arms. I still have in my possession the newspaper article. I believe it was 1966 Walt Disney came to Springfield to look at The Sitting Ben Franklin which use to sit in front of the Franklin on 6th street. This visit was because he was thinking of the Hall of Presidents for Disney World to see how he could get Ben Franklin to stand up. Sincerely, Linda R.Becker Paulen.

  13. Amanda says:

    I have found a 12k gold filled pen with this logo on it along with a pic of franklin. Can someone tell me about it?

    • Lonny Dunn says:

      My dad gave many of those away, mostly to his Managers and Sales Directors, a key component of the Franklin Story.

      That gold pen would represent a fairly large accomplishment in the life of the person who received it; probably just as important a milestone in the recipients underwriting a given amount of Insurance. For instance, it meant maybe that Team Builder having hired 25 new agents in a year, or written $5Million worth of Insurance in fiscal quarter. AND YES! Those numbers were possible at The Franklin, because of the unique and stable way the Company had of building it’s organization.

      The Company had what was called TAP, Trainee Associate Program. It would target rock solid citizens nationwide, agents who were men of character and quality even BEFORE they got into TAP. Schoolteachers might work for one Manager, another might have great success by hiring retired police officers. Obviously, they wanted to recruit, hire, and train new people who had large roledexs, and often who had bought a policy already from the Franklin.

      It was the TAP Program that Franklin grew it’s HUGE, 5,000 + sales force of first: Area Manager, Network Manager, Sales Manager, Sales Executive. And let me tell you, selling Insurance isn’t necessarily glamorous, but it did provide a stable and long term income for life, should a person wish to grow with and within the system.

      So yes, that Pen is real gold plated the round (ish) bust of Ben Franklin was extremely unique, but watch out! Those would break off if used daily. Some agents won quite a few pens for accomplishments, and would had the Client his/her pen when signing for a New Policy! That showed the guys they were training that they HAD enough of them to be able to hand the pen to the client, and still have others on display back at his office.

      It could be purchased from the Home Office in Springfield Illinois. I won a set of the Pencil AND Pen, presented in a wooden display box for a nationwide TAP contest. I think I was in the Top Ten nationally.

      Parker has it’s own 130 year old story, with the byline: “You can always make a better pen”.

      So you see? The pens alone were great conversation starters, and old pros would use them as a way to sell more insurance.

  14. Sylvia Slayton says:

    I am doing research for a co-worker for a policy on The Franklin Life Insurance Co out of Springfield, Illinois. His wife’s ex-husband had the policy and she was named Beneficiary. The policy was issued on July 11, 1959 and the expiry date was July 11, 2000. the policy number: 1851526. He is trying to find out if it was ever cashed out or if it has any value to it to cash out. I have the original policy. Any help on how to find out would be greatly appreciated.
    thanks

    • editor says:

      Ms. Slayton: Please look about four comments below yours, where Lonny Dunn has researched exactly your question and provided contact information that should help you find the answers you need. Good luck.

  15. Joseph Uskert , Jr says:

    I would like to know about an insurance policy no 2147429 holder Joseph Uskert ,Jr.

    • editor says:

      Mr. Uskert: If you scroll up about a half-dozen comments, you’ll see one from Lonny Dunn that will point you in the right direction. Thanks for reading.

  16. Lorie Raschick says:

    My husband and I purchased a insurance in 1994 and the policy number is 5670608. How can I get information. The name on the policy is Anthony Raschick.

    • editor says:

      Ms. Raschick: A previous commenter, Lonny Dunn, provided information that should help. Take a look at his comment, which is about 10 comments above this one. Thanks for reading.

  17. Keating says:

    Do you know if Mr william Alley has a
    Family member in okla or Tx that is in
    the financial service business that is getting
    ready to Run for US congress or US sen
    Very honest no BS kind on Man . I suspect
    we will here more about this man . I didn’t
    know if this was the same relationship to
    William Alley . Some very strong power
    brokers from Texas and oklahoms

  18. Susan Graham says:

    Nobody can find our policy although we got a letter stating it had matured. Nice customer service. NOT

    • Lonny Dunn says:

      Matured means it was paid up, that no more premiums were due, and the policy therefore BY LAW was given a specific timeline per state, usually 3 to 10 days. IT HAS TO PAY THE BENEFICIARY CLAIM. A matured policy simply means that no more premiums are due.

      Having said that, it’s up to the Beneficiary to Claim the money after the Policy Holder passed.

      this can be a challenge, since the Company was purchased eventually by another holding company and the eventually a company owned by AIG. This shows the strengths of the Policies written by the Franklin Life Insurance Co of Springfield, Illinois, known for it’s strong financial cash value policies. If you located the company that is Servicing this policy, and they know it’s “matured” then they must also know where to notify and get in touch with “Claims” Dept.

  19. Chris says:

    Can anybody tell me about a button the Franklin Life Insurance Co issued in 1972 that reads: “President’s Campaign / Oct. 30 / ’72 / Dec. 1 / Franklin Life Insurance Co.”

    Any help will be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    • editor says:

      Chris: The button refers to an insurance sales incentive program. Franklin salesmen would have been eligible for various rewards for meeting specified sales targets during the “president’s campaign.” The dates presumably are the start and end of the incentive period. I couldn’t find anything specific about the Franklin’s 1972 president’s campaign (the search is complicated because the keywords keep turning up stories about President Nixon’s 1972 election campaign). But my guess is your button was one given out at a meeting held to rev up Franklin salesmen at the start of the campaign. Thanks for reading.

      • Lon Dunn says:

        That’s too funny! I I actually did laugh out loud and snickered through my nose simultaneously!!

        Edited:. Nixon 72!!!?? Just a real knee slapper.

        You do a marvelous job and this thread has provided me years of enjoyment…. It’s good to have roots fashion by such men and women of character!!

        And you are carrying on that tradition by being such an editor of character!!

        God Bless and Prosper

  20. Mark Beckley says:

    Was a Franklin agent for more then 20 years. Great company I achieved a number of their sales clubs and attended many conventions. Lots a good memories.

  21. My father was a VP at the Franklin in the fifties. We loved living in Springfield during the halcyon days of the company. The home office was an imposing structure to
    me as a kid in single digits, as were places like Washington Park and restaurants like Herman’s and Stevie’s Latin Village. I owe a debt to
    The Knights of Columbus, who taught me to swim in the church pool across the street from Franklin’s home office. Thanks!

  22. Mary S Pelham says:

    My husband, John D. Pelham, was with the Franklin for over 40 years. He was a Regional Manager in Tampa, FL and loved his time with The Franklin but he loved the Franklin Family!!! While all of us grieved over the loss of The Franklin Family structure with the field associate being highly respected, we are so very fortunate to have had the experience of wonderful memories to keep forever!!! The Franklin was and always will be one in a million!!!!

  23. Chris O'Brien says:

    My grandfather was Francis J. O’Brien, author of The Fabulous Franklin Story – what a good story it was. Corporations don’t operate this way anymore and haven’t for a long time.
    Wondering if anyone happens to know Franklin’s stock symbol and even stock prices from late 60’s and early 70’s. Family accountant now needs cost basis requiring stock price from that time frame in order to work out a tax issue. Hard to believe I now need info from that long ago. Any info would be highly appreciated.

  24. steve patton says:

    Stock symbol was FLIF and it traded over the counter..

  25. steve patton says:

    Chris,
    The State Journal Register quoted Franklin daily as my former firm, Dixon Bretscher Noonan would give them the closing price daily.
    You might check the SJR during the needed time frame to find a quote.

  26. Laura A. Alkofer says:

    Who should I contact about the Franklin Life I purchased several years ago. I need to see if there is still money in my account. I have the number of my account and the little book that has record of deposits.I want to list holdings for my children so they know what I have .

    • editor says:

      Ms. Alkofer: A lot of people have asked the same question, and a previous commenter, Lonnie Dunn, provided the following information.

      To those of you who hold Franklin Policies, I have read, and researched that the company which honors them is a spin off of AIG and they are in Houston.

      Mailing Address: P O Box 1591
      Houston TX 77251-1591
      Office Number: (713)831-3174
      Toll Free Number: (800)231-3655
      Fax Number: (713)831-4345

      Physical Address: 2727 Allen Pkwy Ste A
      Houston TX 77019-2116

      Thanks to your inquiry, I’ve added Mr Dunn’s information to the main body of the Franklin Life entry.

  27. Colleen Brady says:

    Hello, My father (Bob Brady) worked in the print shop for Franklin Life. He did a 4-color run on an old web press. He had to make four passes thru the printer with exacting registration. The picture turned out wonderfully. He framed it and gave it to the president of the company. It hung in his office for many years.
    I spent many Sundays with him at the shop on 11th st while he worked overtime. At age 16 , my first job was at Franklin Life. My aunt also spent her working career with the company.
    I would love to have that printing. Can you suggest someone to contact in Springfield to see if it is still around. Thanks
    Colleen

  28. Donna Lee K. Burnham says:

    Hello, my name is Donna Lee K. Burnham. My mother, Minnie Teshima, bought a policy for my former husband, Michael A. Burnham, on November 15, 1982. Policy number 4797556, Date of Birth Feb 16, 1958. I am the owner of this Policy and wanted to surrender the Policy. I have contacted American General and they have tried to research this policy but, is not able to find this Policy. I have my own policy that I surrendered ten years ago. I know this is an old policy but, wouldn’t they at least have some kind of record to let me know whether my mother stopped payment or something…? They have nothing…it’s a little baffling. I waited thirty minutes and another thirty minutes on the phone until someone was able to help me. Any response will be appreciated.

  29. Elizabeth says:

    From a previous post:

    To those of you who hold Franklin Policies, I have read, and researched that the company which honors them is a spin off of AIG and they are in Houston.

    Mailing Address: P O Box 1591
    Houston TX 77251-1591
    Office Number: (713)831-3174
    Toll Free Number: (800)231-3655
    Fax Number: (713)831-4345

    Physical Address: 2727 Allen Pkwy Ste A
    Houston TX 77019-2116

  30. Theresa Floyd says:

    Back in 1986 Freedom Savings and Loan Terminated the pension plan and transferred it to Franklin Life Insurance as an annuity I called AGI and they have no record of this can you tell me where to go from here.

  31. Michael DIGIOVANNI says:

    Regarding The Franklin Life Insurance Company.

    Please contact me, Michael Anthony DiGiovanni . I can be reached at 602.642.9383 or michaed1007@gmail.com
    Thanks
    Michael D.

  32. Ray Vink says:

    Reading the comments about the gold Franklin pens reminded me to look in my brief case. Yep – my gold Cross Pen & Pencil set with the round Franklin emblems is still there. My first job in Data Processing (they didn’t call it IT back then, it was still DP) was with FLIC in 1970. We still had two UNIVAC IIs with vacuum tubes back then. along with the workhorse UNIVAC III and just the beginnings of IBM computers creeping in. Systems Analyst Trainees were paid $550 a month back in 1970. Franklin couldn’t do business in New York (unique insurance laws) so we acquired a subsidiary and named it Franklin United. I was part of the team that merged the two computer systems. Got the nickname as ‘The Wizard of FU’ (FU = Franklin United) for that, and a pen and pencil set as well.

  33. Lon Dunn says:

    H I was the one who talked about the gold pens. I really love the comment on this thread from the guy whose grandfather was in the corporate training facility and saw all those Lincolns and Cadillacs parked on both sides of the road, that was truly inspirational.

    When you found your cross pen and pencil set for us who grew up as Franklin family, that is living proof that the Franklin family will never really die even though the building is now the home office of Illinois State Police.

    My dad, Thomas S. Dunn Sr. was a southerner from Arkansas who happened to land in New Hampshire in about 1968 where he got a job in his late twenties, as in investigator for Sun Life out of Canada. After one year he somehow parlayed Franklin to make him the executive sales director / Vermont New Hampshire and Maine!!!!!!!!!

    I can tell you, that my dad ran everything by the book. He had 200! That’s right 200 guys in the TAP program (trainee associate program). That’s how you started out with Franklin life and you got your license. You could even get cash advance on monthly payments — they would advance you six months to put money in the pocket of these trainees.

    Kenneth Dodge was also a colonel in the New Hampshire air national guard and flu on weekends. We went to the First Baptist Church with him in Manchester New Hampshire, that is where my dad’s office was across from the mammoth Mills for about 30 years.

    He then relocated and took over Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana, which really didn’t have too many aggressive salesman most of them were old timers who sold whole Life policies as quasi investments where people could get a cash value out of them.

    I know I can never sum up forty years with Franklin life in a few short paragraphs but I hope this triggers memories for a lot of people.

    Lon Dunn, Northern Virginia

  34. Lon Dunn says:

    I’d be happy to see if you have something from the mid-70s probably 73 through 75 my dad was appointed the ESD executive sales director of Vermont New Hampshire and Maine!

    His name was Thomas S Dunn sadly he passed away from cancer when my son was only 6 weeks old and I had to travel from New England down to baton rouge Louisiana for his funeral.

    Thomas Dunn was a celebrated speaker for the Franklin. He was humorous, polished, and successful and use the TAP program very successfully to build a huge organization in what most people would see as an unforgivable and impossible region.

    I don’t know if you are willing to look him up? But if so I would be willing to pay for postage and insurance of such an historical issue.

    He set a lot of records in his early years and really went after it growing exponentially, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that every accomplishment they put in that magazine. I don’t remember reading it much as a boy and I would go downstairs and mostly play with the Ben Franklin manx lockboxes hands and of course my dad had a laughing machine on his desk! I used to press that button over and over again and pretty much drive him crazy but it made me laugh so that was good enough for him.

    Hope you see some issues with Tom Dunn, or Thomas S Dunn!! That would be marvelous, thank you!

  35. Nick Penning says:

    I particularly remember the closely manicured lawn that surrounded the headquarters building, and always wondering, “How do they keep it so perfect-looking, all the time? When I was with Channel 20 in the 70s, I did a story on Franklin and interviewed the CEO, who, after I put my equipment away, pulled open the doors of a large closet filled with a huge array of neckties and asked me to pick one out for myself. As a reporter, I didn’t want to accept any gift from an interview subject, but he was so insistent and finally gave me one that I gave to news director, Don Hickman. What a strange experience that was!

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