Heritage Server > Our People > Bernard Faymonville


Mr. Bernard Faymonville was born outside of Chicago, Illinois, on March 24, 1860, and spent his childhood on the family farm. He began his career in a real estate and insurance broker’s office in Chicago in 1874. In 1877, he migrated to California and took up his residence at Fresno, where he established an insurance agency that represented, at one time, forty-three companies, constituting one of the largest local agencies in the state.

In 1882 he accepted the position of special agent and adjuster of the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company for the Pacific Coast field, at the same time moving to San Francisco. He continued in the position of special agent until July 1887, when he was elected assistant secretary. In 1893 he was elected second vice-president of the company, advancing to vice-president in 1900.

When the San Francisco Earthquake and Conflagration occurred in 1906, Faymonville was travelling in China. Upon receiving news of the disaster via wire, he fought and begged his way aboard a ship, and arrived back in San Francisco in time to assist the Fireman’s Fund. After the San Francisco Conflagration, Faymonville was chosen as a member of the Taylor Board of Supervisors.

During his career, he was also named president of the Board of Fire Underwriters of the Pacific, of the Underwriters’ Fire Patrol of San Francisco and of the Underwriters’ Inspection Bureau. Mr. Faymonville became president of Fireman’s Fund in 1914 and served in that position until his retirement in 1917. Although he retained his directorate after retirement, he was advised by his physician to spend at least six months a year "in travel, rest and play."

Bernard Faymonville died on November 11, 1918 while playing golf with William J. Dutton. His obituary noted that Mr. Faymonville "was a man greatly beloved, possessing a generous heart and a kindly and affectionate disposition. His face was always wreathed with smiles, and the cordiality of his nature was apparent in everything he did."

Text taken from Insurance and Investment News, 1914, p. 127, Bernard Faymonville Obituary, [01-03-00-004-0001, 01-29], "The Underwriters Report- November 14, 1918" [01-03-00-004-0003, 01-29]


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