Western Life Insurance Co.
Formerly Montana Life Insurance Co.


Circa 1924 View of 404 Fuller Ave.

This familiar and handsome Greek Revivial building was built in 1923 by the Montana Life Insurance Co., which was founded in 1910. The exterior is finished in white terra cotta...

 

Architectural Detail, South Side, 2011


PHOTO BY KENNON BAIRD • CLICK ON IMAGE TO OPEN A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW


Under Construction, 1923


COURTESY OF KATHRYN FEHLIG • CLICK ON IMAGE TO OPEN A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW

The Montana Life building under construction, 1923. It was built by general contractors Frank Jacoby & Son.

The company was renamed "Western Life" in 1938 because it then represented a larger area than Montana, also selling insurance in California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and North Dakota. Its central office was in Helena until 1957, when it moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, following merger with the St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co.

This building housed the agency from 1923 to 1956, when it moved into a new building at 600 N. Park.



404 Fuller, 1938


COURTESY OF THE DAVID POOR COLLECTION • CLICK ON IMAGE TO OPEN A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW

Building renamed for Western Life

 


Company Seal



Western Life Company Picnic, ca. 1955

Lions Sunshine Camp, South of Elliston, Montana


COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD CLICK ON IMAGE TO OPEN A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW

 


New Headquarters in 1956


COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD

Western Life erected this familiar building on N. Park Avenue from 1954-1956. The excavation for the building was under supervision of George Jacoby of Helena Sand and Gravel. Reidesel Construction company of Billings was the general contractor. Sigvald L. Berg of Helena was the architect, and the Morrison- Maierele Engineering company were structural engineers.

The company vacated this location on August 17, 1961, moving to St. Paul, Minnesota. Forty-four Helena employess made the move with the company.


Full-page Independent Record newspaper ad for the open house at the new Western Life building, July 14 1956. Business had been transacted from the new building since June 17.

 

Branch office constructed on Park Ave. after the 1961 move to St. Paul.

In October of 1961, plans were announced for the construction of a Western Life branch office on North Park Ave., just north of the company's former building, which had been purchased by Mountain States Telephone. The new branch office was completed in the spring of 1962. The building still has a colorful Western Life logo tile imbedded near the front door.

 

600 N. Park, September 2012


PHOTO BY KENNON BAIRD

 

Western Life Logo Tile, 600 N. Park, 2012


PHOTO BY DAN STINSON