Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Weekly Underwriter, Vol. 79, Nos. 1-25, (1908)

The Weekly Underwriter, Vol. 79, Nos. 1-25, (1908)

Vol. LXXIX. NEW YORK, SATURDAY, JULY 4, 1908. No. 1.

page 1

The discussion of the conflagration hazard of the city of New York has taken a sudden turn, and now, from the expression of apprehensions that defective construction, inordinate height of buildings and inadequate water supply may precipitate at any time a Chicago or San Francisco clean sweep, which will bankrupt the fire insurance capital of the world, opinion—among some experts—has flown to the other extreme of complacent optimism. It comes about by the successful test of the new salt water high pressure system in lower Manhattan this week. One day the pressure atthe pumping stations was let on. Twenty-four streams were working at once, and the roof of a twelve story building was reached with ease. There was water enough to overwhelm any given point, and keep it rushed indefinitely. The result of the test, according to Chief Croker, "precludes the possibility of any large conflagration in this city. With a concentration of pressure such as we had today we can control any blaze in a short time." This is truly reassuring, and should take all the nervousness out of the conservative old underwriters of the Fire Insurance Exchange and New York Board, and send them to their summer cottages with abiding peace in their hearts. A further remarkable change in the fire fighting conditions of the metropolis is prognosticated bythe experts. "The test will, I think," says Deputy Chief Loughman, "prove to be an end of the steam fire engine." Another deputy chief is quoted assaying: "The day of the steam engine will soon be past. The pumping stations will eventually supplant them, and will lead to the establishment of such stations throughout the city. The disadvantages of the engine are becoming every day more manifest. The delay in the fuel, the time lost in getting up steam and other delays all were causes of the spread of fires. With the pressure controlled by a turn of the hand flames will be more quickly extinguished."

Even the skyscraper is to be practically immune under the new system. Standpipes in buildings taller than twelve stories will make it possible that a fire in the top of one skyscraper ruay be fought from the roof of its nearest neighbor. This means that the safety of the forty-one story Singer Building may be assured by the sixty-two story Equitable Building. These are the days of wonders, and not the least among them isthe salvation of New York by its inexhaustible rivers, running at easy distance on both sides, and giving forth a deluge at the beck of the fire department chief. Underwriters should look into this.

page 2

Plans for a sixty-two story building, on the present site of its home office at 120 Broadway, New York, have been filed by the Equitable Life Assurance Society with Building Superintendent Murphy, of New York city. The plans were prepared by D. H. Burnham & Co., a firm of Chicago architects, and have been submitted to the building department for approval. How soon the structure will be built is a debatable question. The plans call for a building thirty-four stories high, or 489 feet, with a square tower of twenty-eight stories, which will be 420 feet high, making the building 909 feet in height. A flagpole, 150 feet high, will surmount the tower. The frontage on Broadway will be 167.1 feet; on Nassau, 152.3; on Pine, 304.2, and on Cedar street, 312.3 feet. The tower will be capped with a cupola. The facades are to be of brick and granite, with trimmings of terra cotta. Thedesign will be of the Renaissance type, presenting bays set between great pilasters of Corinthian and Doric pattern, the corners being offset with clustered columns. The bays will be elaborately decorated with carved work. The roof of the main building will be finished with cupolas several stories high, set around the base of the tower. The tower structure will be in two sections, one section extending from the thirty-fourth to the forty-ninth story. The main cupola extends four stories above this. There will be thirty-eight passenger elevators, eight of which will run to the tower extension. There will also be freight elevators. It took fifty-eight huge drawings to submit the building plans to the department. The cost will be $10,000,000. As the Singer Building is only 612 feet high and the far famed Metropolitan Life's tower only 695 feet, it will at once be seen what a monster it is purposed to construct. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, which is 984 feet above the ground, is the only building which will be higher. Thepresent Equitable Building was built in 1860, and at that time was one of the wonders of New York. It was remodeled and enlarged in 1886. The following statement was given out by President Morton in regard to the company's plans for the new skyscraper:

The plans for the new building to be erected on the site of the present Equitable Huilding have been worked out by Messrs. Daniel H. Hurnham & Co., architects, of Chicago. The society has not yet definitely settled when it will begin work on the new building, but there seems to be no reasonable doubt that as soon as certain important matters now pending ore settled the new construction will probably be commenced. It seems to be the consensus of opinion of those in authority at the Equitable that the lot on which the present building stands is too valuable to be without a modern structure.

page 11

Tributes to Grover Cleveland.


At a meeting of the finance committee of the board of directors of the Equitable Life Assurance Society held June 26, 1908, the following minute was adopted:The directors and officers of the Equitable Society learn of the death of Grover Cleveland with profound sorrow and regret.

To enlarge, here upon the public acts and private virtues of this truly great man would be superfluous. Our object is simply to record our sympathy for Mrs. Cleveland and her children, and to bear testimony to the value of the last great work in Mr. Cleveland's career—the results accomplished by him in behalf of American life insurance.

In consenting to serve as chairman of the board of trustees of the Equitable Society Mr. Cleveland exhibited his confidence not only in one but in all reputable life insurance companies throughout the country, thus removing apprehension from the minds of the people, and saving hundreds of thousands of investments made by them for the protection of widows, orphans, and aged persons.

If Mr. Cleveland's life could have been spared he would (as chairman of the Association of Life Insurance Presidents) have continued to render public service of great value to the cause of sound life insurance. But that having been denied, it is a gratifying reflection that death did not come until he had rounded out a work of value to the cause of sound life insurance in general, and in particular had done his influential part in reorganizing and placing the control of the affairs of this society in the hands of its representative policyholders throughout the country.And as a further tribute of respect it is ordered that the society's offices be closed at noon on the day of the funeral.

Vol. LXXIX. NEW YORK, SATURDAY, JULY 18, 1908. No. 3

page 38

An event of the past week was the sudden death by heart failure of Thomas D. Jordan, former controller of the Equitable Life Assurance Society. He was a resident of Englewood, N. J., and visited New York on Tuesday. After transacting some business he started for home and in the subway station fell dead. He was sixty-six years old. Mr Jordan entered the service of the Equitable Life as an office boy and rose through successive executive positions to the comptrollership. When the Armstrong Investigating Committee began to look into the affairs of the Equitable Life Mr. Jordan was subpoenaed to appear before the committee, but had left the State. He did not return until May of last year, when he voluntarily went before the grand jury and pleaded not guilty to eighteen indictments for forgery in the third degree and one for perjury. Most of the forgery indictments grew out of so called loans which Mr. Jordan, as controller of the Equitable, made to various employees of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. Trial was set down for next October and Mr. Jordan was released on $10,000 bail. It is claimed by Mr. Jordan's friends that he died from a broken heart. One of them said on Wednesday:

While technically he may have been guilty of some irregularity in handling the funds of the company, those who knew him best could never be convinced that he did other than what he believed to be his duty. He was a God fearing man, whose integrity was his greatest pride. When his superiors directed him to approve vouchers for expenditures, the nature of which he didn't know and could not question, he signed them, as any man similarly situated would do. His removal by President Morton and the indictments which followed hastened his end. While maintaining a cheerful appearance, his family and the army of friends who knew him, and who stood by him in his trouble, knew that his heart was breaking. They were not surprised at the news of his sudden death.

page 41

What is claimed to be the largest single life insurance policy ever issued in the State of Pennsylvania was placed this week by L. C. Woods, assistant manager of the Equitable Life Assurance Society's Pittsburgh branch. The policy was for $750,000 and carried a yearly premium of $26,000. It increased the total insurance carried by the assured to a round million dollars. E. L. Porter, of the Equitable staff, who died on July 4, was jointly interested with Mr. Woods in the case.

Vice President George T. Wilson, of the Equitable Life, returned from Europe on the steamer which arrived at New York on Wednesday.

The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the U. S.for the first six months of 1908 is 55% greater than that secured during the first six months of 1907. The prosperity which Equitable agents are enjoying is destined to increase, because—
Equitable policies are readily sold by reason of the endorsement of the State of New York and the Society's great financial strength.
Equitable death claims arc almost invariably the first to be paid, enabling the Equitable agent to secure what local business may result therefrom.
Equitable agents are furnished with better canvassing material than is supplied by any other company.
Equitable agents receive advantages and aid from their General Agents not usually accorded by other companies.
Equitable liberality and fair dealing toward policyholders and agents alike, make it the best Company to insure in and the best Company to represent.
Agents of character and ability desired.

For Particulars address:

GEORGE T. WILSON, 2nd Vice-President.
120 Broadway, New York


page 70

According to the Scientific American it would be impossible to erect a building in New York higher than 2,000 feet because the Building Code specifies that the maximum pressure beneath the footings on a rock bottom, if caisson foundations be used, shall not exceed 15 tons to the square foot, and because the code requires, further, that the steel skeleton shall be 12 inches thick for the last 75 feet of altitude, increasing 4 inches for each 60 feet below. The figures of weights and other calculations for such a tremendous tower, constructed on the general principles of the Singer Building, have been supplied by Mr. O. F. Semsch, chief engineer for Mr. Ernest Flagg, its designer. The building would rise to a height of 150 stories, and its cost would be $60,000,000. Its walls would be 12 inches thick at the top, at the bottom 12 feet, and they would withstand a wind pressure of 30 pounds per square foot all the way up. The Metropolitan Life tower rises 909 feet above the street level. Though a building of more than twice its height would stand firm beneath the accumulated weight, other considerations, in the opinion of the New York Times, than the indirect limits enjoined by the Building Code, such as the inevitable blockading of traffic in front, and the reluctance of tenants and their clients to ascend the equivalent of ten fifteen-story buildings placed atop each other, would have to be considered by men with $60,000,000 for building purposes to spare.

page 72

Largely through the efforts of Frank L. Levy, of New Orleans, the Life Underwriters' Association of Louisiana has been formed for the purpose of promoting the interests of life insurance in that State. The constitution and bylaws of the association closely resemble those of the Life Underwriters' Association of New York. The following are the officers: Frank L. Levy, Equitable Life, president; Louis P. Rice, Louisiana National Life, vice president; Edmond J. Jacquet, Equitable Life, secretary-treasurer. The following executive committee has been elected: C. C. Swayze, H. J. Sanders, G. G. Mcllardy, E. C. Schnable. The charter members represent all the regular life insurance companies transacting business in the State.


page 85

Several of the New York dailies started in this week to arouse public interest in the desire of Governor Hughes for re-election. These efforts consisted mainly in editorial statements that the people are surely for Hughes, and in the publication of communications to the same effect from personal or political friends of the Governor or from the "write-up-to-order" gentlemen of the editorial force. The Evening Post advocates calling a mass meeting to frighten the "bosses." Meanwhile the Republican party managers are sawing wood. They have ascertained that neither the President nor the candidate for President will assist the Governor in his aspirations, and they are taking measure of the strength of the sentiment in the party which will not vote for him. That there is some sentiment of that kind the organs of Mr. Hughes admit, but they claim that it will be overborne by the vote of independent Democrats who admire the Governor for his sturdy executive qualities and independence of the party machinery. Put could that vote be held if the opposition nominated a candidate of the type of Alton B. Parker or Martin VV. Littleton? It is the business of the professional party managers to study these points, and their opinion of the availability of a candidate is of more value that that of the unprofessional partisan of any particular man. There is a factor in the problem that none of the editorial advocates of Mr. Hughes have yet ventured to notice. The insurance vote must be reckoned with—that is, the vote of the citizens interested in the life insurance business and the army of life insurance policyholders in the State whose rights they conserve and whose ears they possess. This element in New York is large enough to decide any State election moderately close. It is not opposed to Mr. Hughes because it does not—in common with other elements—recognize his incorruptible character and integrity of purpose, but because it knows that so long as he is Governor insurance is hopelessly bound by the fetters of improvident and destructive legislation. He cannot see his mistake and he will not accept the counsel of others manifestly better qualified than himself to judge of the results of the insurance lawmaking of 1906. To vote for him is to postpone indefinitely the relief from intolerable burdens so far as he can prevent it. This, we believe, is the very general feeling among life insurance men in New York, and it must be taken into account by those party officials whose business is to secure the election of their party candidates. The conviction is opportunely voiced this week by thepresident of the New York Life insurance company in his homecoming address to its field force. Mr. Kingsley always has the courage of his convictions, and, unawed by present or prospective power in the Executive, he says that he feels "some degree of compassion for the small minded men who, in the exercise of a little brief authority, and under a leadership whose knowledge can hardly be called broad or sympathetic, lately struck a paralyzing blow at an institution which has done as much as any other, of any kind, to widen the reach of human sympathy and increase the sum of human comfort."

page 86

Plans for the sixty-two story structure of the Equitable Life Assurance Society in New York, filed with the Building Department June 29, were approved by Building Superintendent Murphy on Thursday. He said that the proposed edifice would conform to all requirements of the code and that no exigencies of public policy forbade its construction. As the giant skyscraper would exceed anything that had come under the supervision ofthe department, the plans had been referred to Jarnes P. Whiskeman, of Cornell University; Max Feldman, a Columbia School of Mines graduate, both of Chief Engineer Roth's division, and to William J. Dolan, of the department's sanitary engineers. The architects, D. H. Burnham & Co., of Chicago, sent here an architect and a sanitary engineer to confer with the department experts. The following are the details of construction:

To meet improvements suggested by the examiners twelve additional drawings were submitted by the Chicago men. Then the plans were approved, with the agreement that the wind bracing of the lofty structure shall be greater than at first provided, that additional staircases shall he installed, and that each double line of stairs shall be enclosed in fireproof partitions, fitted with iron doors. The additional stairs, partitions and doors will take the place of outside fire escapes. The structure will cover the entire block bounded by Broadway, Pine, Cedar and Nassau streets. Its floors will be in the segmental fireproof arch pattern of steel and iron, filled with concrete and other fireproofing. An auxiliary fire apparatus will provide standpipes from cellar to roof, with exterior Siamese connections. Each floor will have a line of hose with nozzles, wrenches, fire axes and fire fighting apparatus readily accessible. At least one elevator will be kept in readiness for the use of firemen both night and day. A separate water supply plant will connect with the standpipes so that use of the fire hose will not affect the regular water supply, which will come from city mains. It will be stored in two steel tanks, each 10 feet high and 13 feet in diameter, one on the thirty-fourth floor and one on the roof. An auxiliary filtering plant will purify all water for tenants. The plumbing plant will be the largest in the world. It will provide nine large house sewers, nine house drains, six lines of soil pipes, twenty-four lines of waste pipes with sewage ejectors, twenty-eight lines of vent pipes, seven separate inlets for fresh air—literally miles of piping.

page 93

Death of Edward W. Scott, Former President of the Provident Savings Life.
Edward W. Scott, president of the Provident Savings Life Assurance Society from December, 1896, to January, 1906, and previously one of the vice presidents of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, died suddenly from an attack of apoplexy at his home in Asbury Park. N. J., on last Sunday, August 2. He was for many years one of the most widely known and esteemed executives in the life insurance business, and particularly celebrated in connection with successful agency work.

He was a native of Lockport, N. Y., where he was born October 7, 1846. His first appointment in the insurance business was with the Equitable Life in 1872 in the office of the superintendent of agents, and his efficiency was so approved that two years later he was promoted to the head of the department. Here his constructive abilities were made apparent. In 1884 he was appointed third vice president, and in 1893 he became the foreign vice president. In the latter capacity Mr. Scott traveled almost continuously in foreign countries upon the company's business, and for some time sojourned in this connection in Australia.

In 1896 he was offered the presidency of the Provident Savings and accepted that position. When after nine years' service he resigned, in consequence of the acquirement of a majority of the stock of the company by Timothy L. Woodruff and his associates, he was made chairman of the board of directors. He retired from this position, however, some time ago. Mr. Scott was much beloved by a large circle of friends. He was president of the Colonial Club of New York in 1892-3. He leaves a wife and four sons, one of them being Dr. Edward A. Scott, of Asbury Park. The funeral services were held at that place on Wednesday.

New York, August 1, 1908.To the Public:
We desire to invite attention to certain features of the work of the National Board of Fire Underwriters which touch the public interest in common with our own, and suggest the fullest cooperation from all concerned. The total property loss in the United States for 1907 is reported as $199,383,300, while for the past five years the destruction of values by fire in the United States has amounted to $1,257,716,955, or an average of over $251,000,000. No country, however rich, can suffer such enormous losses without seriously impairing its prosperity. In addition to other services rendered by the board, our constitution emphasizes the importance of adequate water supplies, with improved systems of distribution, efficient organization and modern equipment of fire departments, the adoption of the building code of the board providing for improved and safe methods of construction, as well as other fire protective measures, with a view to reducing the increasing fire waste.

With the purpose of aiding municipal authorities the National Board has in its employ competent hydraulic, fire department and electrical engineers and insurance experts of high standing in their professions, for the purposes of investigating existing conditions and presenting model buildinglaws, thus endeavoring to minimize losses by fire throughout the country.

The condition of the water supply and fire fighting facilities and character of construction of buildings of a city is one of great importance to all concerned in the welfare and prosperity of the community, especially to its business interests and its property owning citizens. The actual conditions are reported as found without prejudice by these experts, whose daily occupation gives them exceptional qualifications as judges of such matters. Many instances might be cited as examples of imperfect and even highly dangerous conditions, and it is, we think, as much the duty of theinsuring public as that of the fire underwriters to prevent, if possible, a recurrence of disasters similar to those of Chi-cago, Boston, Jacksonville, Paterson. Baltimore, San Francisco and Chelsea.

According to the figures tabulated by the committee on statistics of the National Board of Eire Underwriters, as per reports from the United States consulates, the fire loss per capita in six European countries was an average of $0.33. In the United States, as a whole, the average per capita loss for five years ending December 31, 1907, was $3.02.

The result in thirty foreign cities gave a per capita loss of $o.6r, as against $3.10 in the five years' average of 252 cities in the United States.

Taking the number of fires to each 1,000 population in the same cities, our committee on statistics found it to be 4.05 in the American cities, as against 0.86 for those of Europe, showing also that in point of frequency fires here are far in excess of those abroad. Practically all fires are confined to the buildings or place of origin in the European cities, while such is far from being the case in the United States, due largely to a low standard of construction.

Thus it would appear from all the statistics available that the per capita loss in the United States is appallingly greater than in any other country, whether the comparison be by cities or by countries.
During the past four years over 125 of the more important cities have been investigated, and the reports have been supplied to municipal authorities, property owners and civic organizations, and as a result many improvements have been obtained.

If in the future the insuring public will use their influence to secure proper building laws, such as are outlined by the National Board building code, more efficient water supply and better fire department equipment, the destruction of property by fire would be materially decreased and the cost of insurance to property owners thereby lessened. Money thus expended in such improvements would advantageously affect the welfare and prosperity of the entire community.Co-operation in this work is earnestly invited.

National Board Of Fire Underwriters,
J. Montgomery Hare, President.

Mr. William Triggs, who for many years was general manager in the United Kingdom for the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, has been appointed chief superintendent (lite department) for Great Britain and Ireland for the General Accident Fire and Life Assurance Corporation, with headquarters at Perth.


page 145

The findings by Commissioner Hand upon the charges filed against District Attorney Jerome by a minority stockholders' committee of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company constitute also a vindication of George W. Perkins, Charles S. Fairchild and the officers of the Equitable Life Assurance Society in the matters in which they were brought to bar by the grand jury. In the cases of the two first named it will be remembered that the jury accompanied their presentment with a memorandum, declaring that they had been "constrained'' by the district attorney to find the indictments, but nevertheless wished "to record their conviction that in doing the acts charged the defendants were solely influenced by the desire to benefit the policyholders of the New York Life insurance company, and neither did nor could in any way personally profit from the acts done." In view of this damper upon his efforts the district attorney had a hopeless case to take into court, and so it resulted, for Justice Dowling, in allowing the cases to be appealed, held that there was no evidence of "felonious intent." Commissioner Hand could hardly sustain a charge against District Attorney Jerome of negligence in trying to convict the defendants, under the circumstances. Indeed his report to the Governor not only excuses the district attorney, as we have said, but it declares the insurance people whom lie failed to put in jail innocent of wrongdoing. As to the charges that Mr. Jerome neglected to prosecute the Equitable and Mutual Life officials for larceny in connection with syndicate operations, the report says:

The district attorney and his assistant came to the conclusion that as to such of the syndicates in which allotments were made to Hyde and associates, no crime was committed by Hyde or any of his associates, or any of the other officers of the Equitable Life in taking for themselves a part of such allotment; nor was any crime committed where such allotments were made to Hyde and associates, by failing to give to the Equitable Life any share in such allotments, because the allotment having been made to Hyde and associates, these men had a right to retain all or any part of such allotment for themselves. As to that part of the seventh charge relating to Andrew Hamilton, Andy Field, President McCurdy and his son, and his son-in-law, there is evidently no specification, and the allegation is hardly tangible or issuable sufficiently to be the basis of any investigation. These matters were, however, investigated by the district attorney.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court still has the appealed cases of the insurance officers in its keeping, but in view of the reversal in thecase of Dr. Gillette there remains small uncertainty as to the ultimate result.

page 149

What constitutes the "burning of a building" in an accident policy was recently passed upon by the New York Supreme Court in a case in which the Preferred Accident issued a policy to James J. Houlihan in which his sister, Mrs. J. B. Manning, was named as the beneficiary. She died as a result of fire in her room, surviving only two days after the accident. The company declined settlement and the motion of the defendant prevailed in the action in the lower court, for a direction of a verdict in its favor on the ground that the plaintiff had failed to prove that there was "a burning of the building." The case was carried up by Houlihan, and the Appellate Division has decided in his favor, claiming that any ambiguous language in the policy must be construed in favor of the assured. As the court points out, the evidence establishes the fact that the bed clothes and mattresses of the bed upon which Mrs. Manning slept were burned; that her night clothes hanging in the room were burned; that the door was blistered; that the matting and rugs were covered with soot and water; that the room was filled with smoke; that the lire therein was seen from the basement; that it required a number of pitchers of water to put out the flames, and as a result two days thereafter Mrs. Manning died. The court says:

What this policy means is the insurance against accident caused by fire on a building. The room was on fire; its various articles were on fire in the room, and the room was in a building. It cannot be that a building must be entirely burned down in order to enable an insured to recover. It must be that what was attempted to be guarded against was injury to the insured resulting from fire while in a building. * # If walking 70 rods upon the sidewalk of a village street is to be construed as traveling in a public conveyance for the transportation of passengers, it would seem to follow that a death caused by the burning of the contents of a room in a building may fairly be construed to be caused by the burning of a building. Death by accidental fire in a building was the crucial test of the defendant's liability, not whether more or less the building itself was actually consumed.


Page 177:

The Commissioner objects to the projected new office building of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, and says that it will not be built with the policyholders' money, although how the action of the company is to be prevented he does not inform the reader. He says:

Public opinion has no doubt great influence when brought to bear in favor of or against any proposed action; hence the present demand for publicity. Not always is it known in advance what a corporation intends to do, and the restraint in those cases comes from a fear that public opinion will condemn if a wrong course of action is taken. Sometimes, perhaps, cautious corporations put out "feelers" to test public opinion upon any proposed project of doubtful benefit. It is probably not far out of the way so to regard the report that the Equitable Life is to erect a home office building of thirty-four stories, with a tower of twenty-eight stories in addition, making a building over 000 feet high. In fact, in a letter regarding the subject. President Morton says that it is not yet decided that the company will erect a new building at all, but if it does conclude to do so, it will erect one that will yield the greatest rate of income to the society.

The policyholders of the company, and legislators for that matter, if they have any responsibility in the premises, can say whether they desire to have ten or fifteen millions of the company's funds used in an experiment of this kind, in view of the not happy experience of the company in its building ventures; or, on the other hand, would prefer to have the directors first try the experiment of a building of this sort with their own money rather than with the money of someone else where they will not be the sole sufferers if the experiment fails. Unless the project can be carried out by the use of money not belonging to the persons responsible for executing it, there will he no such building erected at present.


A meeting was held on Wednesday of this week at the Lawyers' Club in the Equitable Building, in New York city, which was attended by representatives of fifteen companies writing liability insurance, who were interested in some concerted action being taken by the companies to enforce the collection of liability a.nd other insurance premiums. As a result resolutions were drawn up to take effect September 15 to cancel all policies not paid for within sixty days. Edson S. Lott, of the United States Casualty, was chairman of the meeting, and Chauncey S. S. Miller, of theCasualty Company of America, secretary. A committee, consisting of William J. Gardner, of the .Etna Life; Edmund Dwight, of the Employers' Liability, and George E. Taylor, of the New Amsterdam Casualty, was selected to present the matter to the local representatives of companies not atthe meeting. The agreement, having been signed by the fifteen companies present, will be mailed to the 8,000 brokers in the city. The system will be extended to all companies writing classes of insurance other than fire, marine and life. The resolutions were as follows:
The undersigned in behalf of their respective companies have adopted the following rules in regard to the payment of premiums which will become effective as to all policies placed on or after September 15 by or through ^the New York offices of their respective companies: 1. All premiums shall be due upon the delivery of the policy, and if not paid by the 10th of the second month following the month in which the insurance takes effect, notice of cancellation as required by the respective policies shall be sent to the assured direct not later than the 12th of the said second month, or ifthe 12th falls on Sunday or a holiday, then the next working day, and if the premiums be not paid within five days following the service of such notice the policies shall be cancelled and notice that they have been cancelled shall be sent to the assured direct. 2. Additional premiums charger! under indorsements on current policies shall be treated in the same manner as if they were original premiums, and will subject the entire policy to cancellation for non-payment within the time prescribed in Rule 1. 3. Additional premiums which may become due on liability policies, after theexpiration of the policies, arc due immediately upon the adjustment of the account. If not paid by the 10th day of the month following such adjustment of account, they will be dealt with by each of the undersigned companies in accordance with their respective rules.


The Equitable Life Assurance Society ofthe U. S.for the first six months of 1908 is 55% greater than that secured during the first six months of 1907. The prosperity whichEquitable agents are enjoying is destined to increase, because—
Equitable policies arc readily sold by reason of the endorsement of the State of New York and the Society's great financial strength.
Equitable death claims are almost invariablythe first to be paid, enabling the Equitableagent to secure what local business may result therefrom.
Equitable agents are furnished with better canvassing material than is supplied by any other company.
Equitable agents receive advantages and aid from their General Agents not usually accorded by other companies.
Equitable liberality and fair dealing toward policyholders and agents alike, make it the best Company to insure in and the best Company to represent.
Agents of character and ability desired.

For Particulars address:

GEORGE T. WILSON, 2nd Vice-President.
120 Broadway, New York

The third million dollar life insurance transaction in the history of the business was completed in New York this week when Frank T. Heffelfinger, president, and Frederick B. Wells, vice president, of F. H. Peavey & Co., Inc., of Minneapolis, Minn., owners of the largest grain elevator system in the world, took out $1,000,000 in life insurance, payable to the corporation. Five hundred thousand dollars was written on each man's life. Warren M. Horner, general agent for Minnesota of the Provident Life and Trust of Philadelphia, had charge of placing the business. The Provident Life and Trust wrote its limit of $75,000 on each life, and the balance of the insurance was placed by Mr. Horner in the Equitable Life Assurance Society through W. J. Keating, its Minneapolis representative.

Mr. J. C. Van Blarcum, president of the National Bank of Commerce at St. Louis, who died recently, had a policy for $50,000 in the Equitable, and one for the same amount in the Aetna.


The Life Underwriters' Association of St. Louis has appointed the following committee to investigate rebate charges against six different men: J. P. Phelan. general agent of the Equitable; George E. Black, general agent of the Mutual Benefit Life, and J. J. Kelly, general agent of the State Mutual Life. The anti-rebate campaign will be pushed with energy.

If You Are Confidentthat you can sell life insurance if allied with the right Company issuing the right kind of a policy, and are not satisfied with the success you have attained in the past, try an Equitable contract. You will at once discover—
1st: That the State indorsement of the Standard Policy convinces the most skeptical applicant that its provisions are absolutely in his interest.
2d: That when it is further demonstrated that the Equitable is the strongest Company in existence, the average man will prefer it to any other.
2d: That the prompt payment of all just death claims by the Equitable (which is the chief function of any life insurance company) will enable you to secure business which might otherwise >go elsewhere.
Equitable representatives are making money.

For information regarding an agency, address

GEORGE T. WILSON, 2d Vice-president
The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States


page 247

The San Francisco Coast Review is solicitous as to the fate of one Gage E. Tarbell, who was quite conspicuous in the life insurance business some years ago. It should know that Mr. Tarbell is now a prosperous real estate broker and hustles in the advertisement departments of the daily newspapers in the old, old way. Our contemporary says:

We hear nothing these days of the erstwhile famous Gage Tarbell. This man, remarkable for untiring energy and extreme ingenuity, formerly traveled about the country in a special car, with a retinue of friends and with an amanuensis who was paid $10,000 salary. His salary was $60,000. Tarbell was a jollier, a driver, a thundering after dinner speaker, an expert director of banquets and a personal writer himself. When in California, during his last visit, he helped whoop things up at several public dinners which brought together hundreds of agents to be hypnotized and Tarbellized. At the swellest banquet the "climax was capped" by the unexpected presentation to Mr. Tarbell. after his stirring talk, of a handsome silver-gold service. It was announced this was the gift of admiring field men who had been greatly benefited by inoculation with the virus Tarbellitis. Mr. Tarbell was properly affected and responded in broken New York accents. We have since been told that he was not so surprised by this handsome gift as he professed to be. Our cruel informer says that not only did Mr. Tarbell know all about the costly service, but that he himself had paid practically all the cost thereof.

Following out the policy of the new management of disposing of the company's buildings in the various large cities of the country which as real estate investments have not been generally profitable, the Equitable Life Assurance Society has sold its Denver building for $1,400,000 to William Barth. When the reappraisement of the company's real estate holdings was made some time ago the Denver building was valued at $1,150,000, so it will be seen that the company secured a good price for the structure. Already the St. Louis building has been leased for ninety-nine years at a good figure, and the Memphis and Des Moines buildings have likewise been disposed of to advantage. The Des Moines building was sold to the Equitable Life of Des Moines, which is using it for a home office. The Equitable also sold this week its entire holdings of the stock of the First National Bank of Chicago, consisting of 250 shares, at $400 per share, which transaction swelled the surplus account of the society by $1,000,000. This stock cost the company originally $305 per share.


page 274

Nineteen indictments for forgery and perjury against Thomas D. Jordan, the comptroller of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, who died in the summer, were dismissed yesterday by Judge Rosalsky, of General Sessions. The indictments were based on year end transactions.


The Equitable Life held an agency celebration in Louisville this week. Among the home office officials in attendance were George T. Wilson, second vice president; William Alexander, secretary, and W. E. Taylor and W. N. Eddleston, of the agency department.

page 316

The "Indescribable Havoc" Wrought to the Domestic Companies by the New York Life Insurance Legislation.

The New York Times prints an interview had with President Kingsley, of the New York Life insurance company, on the effects of the Armstrong legislation on the New York State life insurance companies, in which he speaks of the "destructive principle" involved in Section 96 of the insurance law as having wrought "indescribable havoc" with them. The following are extracts from these interesting expressions of Mr. Kingsley-s opinion on this legislation:

"You may have noticed in the published accounts of the sale of stock control of the Washington Life to representatives of the Pittsburg Life and Trust Company," continued Mr. Kingsley, "that it is said while the two companies will be kept separate both will use the same agencies, thePittsburg company, being run on the mutual plan, will supply participating insurance, and the Washington Life, being a stock company, will supply nonparticipating policies. The agents will thus be able to offer both styles of insurance. In other words, the former custom of nearly all New York companies, which was forbidden by the Armstrong laws, is so desirable that two companies are to be operated as one in order to obtain it." * *

"You will note," Mr. Kingsley continued, "that the small companies are the first to suffer from this ill advised legislation, just as the large companies predicted would be the case. The Legislature attempted to handicap the large companies, and by grossly partial legislation did so with respect to new business and surplus. But when it came to limitation of expenses they were obliged to enact one rule for all. But you can't make unequal thingsequal by legislation—the weak continue to be weak and the strong continue to be strong. The Legislature could set a limit to the new business ofthe large companies, but it could not by any legislative jugglery make the small companies large or strong. This is what the Superintendent says ofthe bearing of the law on the small companies (page 31):

"'The limitation of expenses for new business, together with the foregoing obstacles (limitation as to policy forms), have been matter of complaints from representatives of the lesser domestic life insurance companies as a heavy handicap in sustaining their corporate existence, and as blocking the organization of new companies which, it is asserted, could not under the strict regulations pay their way until a volume of business sufficiently large to meet deficiencies has been acquired.'""You spoke just now of the limitation on new business," said the reporter. "Has that played any part in decreasing the amount of business done?"
"The Superintendent says not, or appears to say so, but on that point I beg to differ. He says on page 24: 'The limitation of the amount of new business that may be written during the year by a life insurance company has not been brought to the attention of this department except through comments of the press and private information. No company, apparently, has felt restraint from Section 96 to the present time.'

"What was the use of complaining to the department? The law was plain and no ruling was required—the companies simply had to keep within the limit, and laid their plans accordingly. I speak for the New York Life. During the four years ending with 1905—the year of the investigation—its new business exceeded $1,200,000,000, being over $296,000,000 in the latter year. The new law was enacted early in 1906 and took effect January I, 1907. Naturally the officers of the company did not wish to go to jail, and they took instant measures to limit production. In 1905 we had 208 branch offices in North America and over 7,000 agents. We began the consolidation of branch offices at once, and now we have less than 100, and only about 3,500 agents.

"As you can readily imagine, many men could not earn a living under the new commission scale and they quit the business. Others left us and went to other companies. Many cashiers, clerks and other employees were of necessity arbitrarily dismissed. If life insurance agents had belonged to a trades union there would have been such fireworks as would haw compelled the public to sit up and take notice, but most people look at it in this way—so much less spent for commissions—so much more for policyholders. But the insurance wasn't written—that's the point —and that's the loss to the community. Here was the New York Life, for example, with all the facilities for writing and taking care of $300,000,000 of new business a year. It had done it for four years. Now it is limited to half that amount. Do the smaller companies of the State do the other half? Not at all. They have hard work to live. One has failed and one has reinsured since the investigation; the stockholders of two others have had to put up money to make good an impairment of their capital stock. * *

"It seems very difficult," continued Mr. Kingsley, "for the press really to understand and correctly state the situation. For example, take your editorial in a recent issue of the Times. You said among other things: 'The New York companies will again receive all the business their merits entitle them to.' Ypu overlook the fact that it isn't a question of merit. Section 96 of the insurance law has eliminated all question of merit. Under that sectionthe new business of the active companies of this State in the year 1904 was $1,076,734,921, or $375,000,000 more than the amount which they could write now in any calendar year if every company wrote its full quota. What may be called the going concerns of this State are the Equitable,Germania, Home, Manhattan, Metropolitan, Mutual, New York Life, United States and Washington.

"If all these companies had written the entire amount which the law allowed in 1907 the total would have been $707,000,000 As a matter of fact no company wrote the limit of the law. No company dared to do so. And not only that, but the menace of that limitation, with other things, wrought indescribable havoc with the agency organization. But, if they had written the maximum, after deducting the terminations through death, maturity, surrender, purchase, lapse, etc., they could have gained only $191,000,000 in outstanding insurance during the year. The companies of other States actually gained $245,000,000, or $54,000,000 more than the maximum amount now possible to New York companies under Section 96. The Times should remember that the outside companies are not limited at all in the volume of their production. New York companies are cruelly limited. It isn't a question of merit. The question is—and the facts in the report of the Superintendent of Insurance of this State eloquently support the inquiry —shall the un-American, reactionary and destructive principle involved in Section 96 be allowed to remain on the statute books of this State?"


Philadelphia agents of the Equitable Life Assurance Societywere tendered a testimonial dinner on Tuesday by President Paul Morton and Vice President George T. Wilson in behalf of the company to show appreciation for the wonderful record of the Philadelphia agents for the last ten months, when
$8,000,000 was written. E. P. Langley, Philadelphia manager, presided at the dinner, which was held at the Bellevue-Strat ford. The following spoke in addition to President Morton and Vice President Wilson: W. E. Taylor, superintendent of the Eastern States: W. E. Wilkinson, chief medical inspector; Dr. Franklin M. Wells; G. F. Brophy, superintendent, and th; following Philadelphia representatives: A. H. Graham, W. L. Megary, E. O. Mosier, Jacob Weil and M. M. Tate. Seventy diners attended.

Memorial addresses in honor of the late Grover Cleveland
will be a feature of the first morning's session of the forthcoming annual meeting of the Association of Life Insurance Presidents. President Paul Morton, of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, and Dr. John H*. Finley, president of the College of the City of New York, both of whom were personal friends of the late statesman, will deliver addresses in his memory.

The point that a son has an insurable interest in the life of his mother was decided in the affirmative by the Kentucky Court of Appeals a few days ago in the case of Joe Woods et al. vs. the Equitable Life Assurance Society. The policy involved was for $10,000, and the insured died intestate.The decision reversed the judgment of the Shelby Circuit Court.

The examination of the Equitable Life Assurance Society by the New York Insurance Department is still in progress, and will not be completed for some time.


page 385

In his interesting "message from the South and West" to the representatives of the great Eastern life insurance companies assembled at the meeting of the Association of Life Insurance Presidents this week, Mr. Samuel Boswell Smith, as the official representative of the young Southern and Western companies—now some fifty in number as associated in the American Life Convention—advances a reason why legislation favored by the larger companies in his section cannot be secured and that undesired legislation cannot be prevented. He attributes the failure to the antagonism existing between the local companies and the working force in that field of the non-resident companies. He admits that the local companies do appeal to local pride and to local sentiment; that they do seek to arouse prejudice and possibly passion ''against the great and wonderful successes of theEastern companies." These attacks—which have been accentuated by the Armstrong investigation—are met by the agents of the Eastern companies with attacks on the integrity and solvency of the methods and management of the newer companies. More than all else, the counter-attacks are not confined to competition in the field, but are carried by the outlanders into the local legislatures by the introduction of bills to injurethe resident companies. Hence "suicidal legislative fights among the life insurance interests" on the very floors of the various legislatures. Mr. Smith acquits the managers of the great companies of inspiring this policy of aggression, but claims that it is a systematically devised course of their general agents in the Southern and Western field. As the local insurance interests naturally have the stronger influence with their legislatures they are able in the long run to kill legislation inimical to themselves and promote that which is injurious to their more powerful competitors. Hence Mr. Smith's conclusion that if the Association of Life Insurance Presidents and the companies which it represents desire to enter upon a campaign for tax reform in the South and West with hope of success they must call off the war on the local companies of those fields. In other words, the whole business must present a united front. Unquestionably this counsel should be well weighed. It seems to us, however, that it would be too much to expect that certain methods of competition between the older and larger and younger and smaller companies in that part of the country can be wholly abandoned. It is the essence of the plea of the former that they are the stronger, with all that that implies, and of the latter that they are the home institutions and have the right to protection and preference against the foreigners. While this contention may continue only evil can come to the whole business by using the legislature as an instrument of competition, and it should cease.

page 386

In the New York Supreme Court on Friday last Justice Bischoff granted an injunction in favor of James Hazen Hyde and others restraining the Equitable Life Assurance Society, the Mercantile Trust Company and George V. Turner from proceeding with suits in which it is sought to recover $2,000,000, representing an investment in 1894 by the Equitable in the stock of the Western National Bank. The point involved was whether a committee appointed by the Equitable Life to guarantee a note given to take up a loan of the Western National Bank, in which the Equitable was interested, should be held liable personally, or whether the liability was directly against the Equitable. The committee was composed of Henry B. Hyde, Louis Fitzgerald, William N. Coler, Jr., Marcellus Hartley and John E. Searles. Henry B. Hyde, being dead, his wife and James Hazen Hyde, his son, represent his interests. It appears that in 1894 the Western National Bank owned certain claims amounting to $661,291, growing out of loans to John W. Young and others. The Comptroller of the Currency considered the bank's capital impaired by these loans and ordered the amount made good. The Equitable Life, as majority stockholder in the Western National, got the Mercantile Trust Company to advance the money to take up the claims. The Mercantile Trust did this, loaning the money to George Turner, an employee, for the use of the Equitable. The transactions were extended so that the amount involved had grown to more than $2,000,000 when suit for recovery was finally brought. Turner, being used in the transaction merely as an employee, the Equitable Life instructed the committee named, which comprised its own board of directors, to guarantee the note which Turner gave to the Mercantile for the loan. In turn, the Equitable agreed to indemnify its committee in case of loss. In summing up the conclusions of the court Justice Bischoff says:

Since Hyde's death the personnel of the society's board of directors has materially changed, and the persons now in charge of the society's affairs question the validity of the agreement to indemnify the guarantors.

While admitting that the loan may have been an unwise one, Justice Bischoff nevertheless fails to see how the guarantors can be held in an action at law, intimating that the distinctly liable person or corporation is the Equitable Life itself. He says:

That under such circumstances a court of equity will interfere, by requiring the principal debtor to pay the debt and thus cause the guarantors to be exonerated, and for that purpose will enjoin the creditor from proceeding against the guarantors primarily, security being given to protect the former against loss from delay, is well settled by principle and authority.

page 389

At the annual meeting this week the policyholders of the Equitable Life Assurance Society re-elected the following directors: Frank S. Witherbee, Abraham Brittin, Edwin W. Robertson, Daniel A. Tompkins, Charles H. Zennder, Charles E. Littlefield and Jacob G. Schmidlapp. To fill vacancies these were elected: Jay Morton, of Chicago, brother of President Paul Morton; Alfonso F. De Navarro, of New York, son of Jose F. De Navarro, the only remaining member of the original board of directors, and Robert Mather, of New York, president of the Rock Island Company.


Page 413

Bids for the construction of the projected sixty-four story new home office structure of the Equitable Life Assurance Society were received this week from the Thompson-Starrett Company and George A. Fuller Company. The bids were opened, and the directors will act on them December 17. Work on the building, which will rise 909 feet, will cover a period of two years. Although the Equitable officers did not intend to start it until May, 1910, it is said the new plan is to get tenants out of the old building next May and clear the site at once. All will depend on the action of the directors at the December 17 meeting.
Taxation Discussion at Meeting of Association of Life Insurance Presidents—Joint Committee Appointed to Apply Remedy.

The second day's conference on taxation under the auspices of the Association of Life Insurance Presidents was successful in continuing the interest shown on the opening day. There was a large amount of discussion of the subject from various viewpoints, as was only to be expected when it is considered what a broad representation of companies was there.

At the close of the morning's session a resolution submitted by President Paul Morton, of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, was passed, providing that the remedy be applied by a committee composed of the executive committee of the American Life Convention, the Canadian Life Officers' Association and the executive committee of the Association of Life Insurance Presidents, who shall take up the matter jointly. Mr. Morton's resolution as adopted was as follows:

page 418

At the close of the morning session President Morton, of the Equitable Life, introduced the resolution previously referred to which placed the remedy for existing conditions in the hands of a joint committee of the various life organizations. Adjournment was then taken for lunch.


page 427

Plans for the construction of the new home office building of the Equitable Life Assurance Society are apparently as much up in the air as the topmost story will be if the projected building is ever completed. A statement was made this week by President Paul Morton in regard to the matter, in which he said:

Nothing definite has been decided; in fact, no conclusion has been reached that a new building will be undertaken. The present building is not modern; was erected before the days of steel construction, and does not produce the income that the site on which it is located justifies, and in a way the property might be considered as unimproved because it could probably be sold for a higher figure if the building were not standing on it. What the society will do in the matter is problematical. The question is having the most careful consideration from every standpoint, and to that end preliminary bids have been requested from various contractors for the purpose of checking off the architect's estimates, and definitely determining the cost at which responsible contractors will undertake the construction of such a building. This will enable the officers of the society to prepare a prospectus for a new building plan, which will in due time be submitted to the board of directors for its consideration. Nothing will be attempted in the way of a new building that will not in every way reflect credit upon the city, and be a source of additional income and security to the policyholders. The building will be no higher than good business judgment determines.

The testimony before the Tariff Committee of Congress, which recently brought out from William Whitman, of Boston, president of the Arlington Mills, the statement that he gave Mr. North, clerk of the Senate Finance Committee, $5,000, "because his salary had not been large," calls to mind that this same Mr. Whitman was chairman of a very indignant Boston investigating committee of Equitable policyholders shortly after the"revelations" occurred. It might have been desirable that the tender regard for the ethical proprieties which agitated him in those days of storm and stress should have extended also to transactions in which the welfare of the industries represented by him was concerned.

Mr. Theodore T. Johnson, second vice president of the Washington Life of New York, who had charge of the agency field under both the old and new managements, has resigned from the company to become an inspector of agencies for the Equitable Life Assurance Society, with headquarters in New York city. Mr. Johnson will serve under Second Vice President Wilson, who has charge of the Eastern division of the agency field.

Mr. Silas C. McFarland, of Marshalltown, la.. Consul General at Berlin, who committed suicide recently, carried $14,000 of life insurance, of which $6,000 was in the Bankers Life of Des Moines, $5,000 in the Northwestern Mutual, and $3,000 in the Equitable of Iowa.

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