Heritage Server > Our People > Stephen Dallas Ives

"Stephen Dallas Ives was born at Meriden, [Connecticut,] in 1844, the year that Polk and Dallas were elected president and vice president of the United States, and was named after the latter, who was a personal friend of his father.

"At the first call of President Lincoln in 1861 for 75,000 troops to quell the rebellion, Stephen D. Ives, then at Chicago, responded, and enlisted in the original Ellsworth Zouaves, whose colonel was the first federal officer killed in the rebellion, being shot while tearing down a confederate flag during the march of his regiment through Alexandria, Virginia, on its way to the front.

"Mr. Ives served honorably through the war, returning at its close to Meriden, where he engaged in business, and later as a commercial traveler came to California, and in February 1882, entered the service of the Fireman’s Fund as special agent.

"In those days the agents were few and the field of special agent was broad and Mr. Ives would sometimes start out in summer clothes for a trip to Arizona and Texas, changing them for buffalo skins in North Dakota and Montana, and end up six months later in oil skins in Oregon; but wherever he went, his gentle manner, dry humor and sterling common sense made his coming welcome, and his visit useful to the local agent.

"When this company acquired the Home Fire and Marine Insurance Co. in 1892, he became secretary, and later vice president of that company, and, following the conflagration of 1906, gave up all field duty, being engaged solely in home office work.

"Stephen Ives was also the president of Fire Underwriters Association of the Pacific. He died at Oakland, October 25, 1912."

Quoted from Fireman’s Fund Archives [04-03-01-001-0123-0815]


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