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TEXAS LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY

TEXAS LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY. The Texas Life Insurance Company, headquartered in Waco, offers life, accident, and health insurance. The firm, which calls itself the "Pioneer of the Southwest," was the first old line legal reserve life insurance company, with reserves established by Texas law, to be organized in the state and one of the oldest companies of its kind west of the Mississippi. The company was founded in Waco in 1901 by South Carolina native William D. Mayfield, who served as president until 1915, and his son, John D. Mayfield, and obtained the first charter issued by the state banking commission. Texas Life experienced rapid early growth, which slowed from the Great Depression until World War II, and resumed in the mid-1940s. With aggressive expansion in the 1970s, company assets of $7 million in 1943 grew to $110 million by 1981. Originally serving a rural clientele, the company's emphasis later shifted to Texas's urban population, and by 1982 the company operated in nine states. Its bluebonnet logo identifies it with Texas. Of Texas Life's first five presidents, four were members of the Mayfield family and active participants in Waco community life. William D. Mayfield (1901–15) was a school teacher and a captain in the Civil War. He published periodicals, including the Baptist Reflector and Mayfield's Happy Home, and owned a drug store and general store before entering the fields of banking and life insurance. John D. Mayfield (1915–44), attended the University of the South and the University of Texas, cofounded the National City Bank of Waco with his father in 1886, and served as a Waco Chamber of Commerce and Baylor Stadium Corporation director; William D. Mayfield (1944–59), was a director of the Waco Chamber of Commerce and United Fund, and John D. Mayfield III (1969–91) served on the board of the Lighthouse for the Blind and the Waco Business League. Paul F. Dickard was president from 1959 to 1969. Control remained in the family until 1987, after which Metropolitan Life Insurance Company acquired the firm for $60 million. In 1991 the company had over a billion dollars of life insurance in force.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Dayton Kelley, ed., The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1972). Patricia Ward Wallace, Waco: Texas Crossroad (Woodland Hills, California: Windsor Publications, 1983). Hugh Williamson, ed., The Story of Insurance in Texas (Dallas: John Moranz Associates, 1954).

Carl Moerbe and James McKinney

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Carl Moerbe and James McKinney, "TEXAS LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/djtyl), accessed April 19, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.