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Avery Insurance, Inc. Records

Identifier: RG_187-UA

The records date from 1889 to 1948 and occupy 9.75 linear feet.

Account ledgers and packets of correspondence created by the Avery Insurance Company (under a number of different names) were discovered on the otherwise empty second floor of the building at 515 West Market that housed Avery Savings & Loan Association until demolition in August 1980. The insurance company had occupied that site from 1924 to 1966. Both companies were offshoots of B. F. Avery & Sons, one of the foremost manufacturers of plows and other farm implements in the United States.

Accounting records in various formats from 1889 to 1936 comprise the first series. There are no years for which some kind of account has not survived. The decision to keep the cash books (which are summarized elsewhere) was made because they neatly bracket the Stock Market Crash and document some of the effects of the Depression on an important Louisville insurance company's clients. Among the policyholders ledger cards retained in the sample are the Avery Building & Loan and B. F. Avery & Sons records for 1922 to 1942. Earlier accounts also include these major clients.

The correspondence series consists of two subseries. Documenting some of the company's activities in the 1930s are 2.5 linear feet of correspondence of W.H. Williamson, the Kentucky agent for one of Avery's important insurance companies, Caledonian of Scotland. Williamson traveled the state from a base in the Avery office, but his salary was paid by Caledonian. Another 2.5 feet of general correspondence (mostly with Caledonian, Sun, London, Queen and a few other companies whose policies Avery sold) sheds light on the activities of the company in the 1940s.


  • 1889-1948


Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in the Avery Insurance, Inc. Records have been transferred to the University of Louisville.


9.75 linear feet

Biographical / Historical

? 1884
Mr. John Young personally stated that he started to work for firm this year- firm Slaughter, Vance, do not date that far back.
Jan 1891
First Certificate issued , of . Avery afterward became a member.
Oct 1889 to Feb 1893
Slaughter, Vance & Irwin.
Feb 1893 to Oct 1894
Slaughter, Irwin & Young.
Nov 1894 to Mar 1899
Avery, Irwin & Young.
(Jan 1895
Samuel L. Avery joined firm of Avery, Irwin & , and Certificate of membership was issued.)
May 1895
Avery, Irwin & Young leased #708 Columbia Building and firm retained that office until June 1924.
Apl 1899 to July 1900
Avery, Irwin & Co.
Aug 1900 to July 1901
Avery, Irwin & Meriwether.
Aug 1901 to Dec 1902
S. L. Avery & Co. (Samuel L. Avery alone).
Jan 1903 to June 1906
Avery Sherley (Samuel L. Avery & John C. Sherley).
Jun 1906
John C. Sherley withdrew from firm.
Jul 1906 to Jan 1907
Samuel L. Avery & Co. (Samuel L. Avery alone).
Jan 1907
A. G. Renau Sr. admitted as member of firm.
Feb 1907
(2/27/07) Samuel L. died after long illness.
Mar 1907
Samuel L. Avery & Co. (Estate of Samuel L. Avery and A. G. Renau, Sr. conducted the business.
Jan 1908
A. G. Renau Sr. operated alone.
Mar 1910
. M. Vaughan was admitted into firm.
Sep 1919
W. M. Vaughan died.
Dec. 1919
A. G. Renau Sr. purchased . . Vaughan(s interest and operated alone.
Jan 1920
A. G. Renau Sr. admitted his son, W.Irwin Renau, to firm.
May 1920
A. G. Renau Sr. & W. Irwin Renau admitted . T. Sweeney into experimental membership for one year, 1/3 each.
Apl 1921
W. T. Sweeney withdrew.
May 1921
A. G. Renau Sr. and . Irwin Renau again composed firm, with 2/3 and 1/3 interests respectively.
Jun 1924
Moved from #708 Columbia Building to #201-2-3 Avery Building, #515 W. Market Street.
Jan 1926
A. G. Renau Sr. and . Irwin Renau, interest each, operated under name of Samuel L. Avery & Co., name in existence since July 1906.
Dec. 2-1935
A. G. Renau died, after several months illness;
William Irwin Renau died. His widow, Doeothy H. took over
Donald I. Renau, their son, joined the firm
Company was incorporated
Company moved from Market Street above Avery Savings to Starks Building


Avery Insurance, Inc. Records
Archives Staff; machine-readable finding aid modified by Michele Lai-Fook
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752