Researched by Michael J. Caylor, Jr.
Church Mutual Insurance Company is celebrating a banner year as the company saw a 25% growth in assets and a 22% gain in policy holders’ surplus, of which totaled almost $9 million. Company President Dieter H. Nickel stated not only is the company seeing substantial growth but they have also broken ground on their new Home Office headquarters located on Merrill’s far northeast side which is scheduled to be ready for occupancy by mid-summer.
The nine members of the board of directors of the Merrill Golf Club have voted unanimously to contract with a Woodruff based architect for a new club house at the O’Day Street facility. The membership of the club voted 128-40 on March 9 in favor of constructing the new clubhouse. It replaces a building that is no longer in use. The present structure has been described as a remodeled barn and has been used by the club since 1926. One of the proposal committee members, Jim O’Day, noted that the new facility has been designed in the original style related to the origins of golf – which originated in Scotland. Inside of the facility there will be a dining area with 24 seats and 48 more in the cocktail lounge which will have a “conversation pit.” The clubhouse will be open year round six days a week and dining and lounge areas will be open to the public. Other facilities such as the golf course, exercise rooms, billiard parlor, and tennis courts will be restricted to members only. Club President Jerry Voigt noted this is the only such facility in the area and he looks forward to the exercise and billiard room. Construction begins in June and should finish by November.
In news briefs: Norm Saxby, president of the Northwoods CB Club, is asking users to use channel 1 instead of channel 10. Local law enforcement is using channel 9 for CB users to report emergencies and when others are using channel 10 this creates a blead over onto channel 9 creating problems for deputies who are monitoring that channel. An ad on page eight is seeking bartenders for a new tavern in Merrill in the former Union Hall. The ad does not explain what an “Ali Baba” is though and what can be found there. The City Hall Relocation Committee has finished up their floor plans for the city hall when the city moves its offices in the soon to be former Church Mutual building. On the first floor you will find the Mayor, City Attorney, Clerk, Treasurer, Building Inspector, Personnel Director and Council Chambers. Second floor will be Job Service, Transit and Park and Rec. In the basement will be the water utility and Drop in Center. Britt Mathwich has taken over the family business, Champ’s Family Restaurant on Merrill’s north side. Britt has run the 24-hour service restaurant for about a year now. He plans on adding a variety of steaks to the menu and will also serve fine wines and beer.
Speaking of good food, here is what is up on the Entertainment page: Club Modern has its seafood buffet on Friday serving until 10:30 p.m. On Friday at Lincoln Lanes, a live tape session for future TV broadcast will feature music from Jerry Goetsch and his Orchestra. Riverside Club now has a noon time buffet. Dave’s Kountry Kitchen special of the month is all-you-can-eat shrimp dinner for $2.95. At Arnold’s Drive Inn they are wearing the green, and you can get a shamrock sundae for .29 and a fish plate for $1.19. Hour Place on West Main Street has a St. Patrick’s Day dance Saturday which will feature Finn Power. (Not sure why you have a Finnish band for a St. Patrick’s Day event) Hinz’s Cork and Dyne is having a St. Patrick’s Day party on Thursday, free green beer! At the Cosmo, if you have a taste for terror, “Carrie” is waiting for you to take her to the prom.
Church Mutual Insurance Company President and Chairman Dieter H. Nickel reports that a quiet storm front and increases in investments in stocks and bonds are boosting the bottom line, this in what he calls a rebuilding year. Church Mutual saw a large increase in claims the last few years thanks to natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes, something Nickel said can be expected when you insure such a large variety of buildings in 30 states. Church Mutual did incur more than 25,000 new claims during the year including 34 with property losses in excess of $100,000 each. Those 34 claims resulted in nearly $16 million in payments. Four of those major losses were $1 million dollar plus fires, the largest of which resulted in a $1.6 million dollar claim. For the most part Nickel indicated he is very positive of the company’s future.
Don Taylor, Chairman of the Board of Merrill Manufacturing, is announcing a major economic investment in his company. The company has its roots in the community dating back to 1916 and it will now invest in excess of $1 million in new machinery for its South Genesee Street facility. It is expected with the increase in production and update to “State of the Art” in the industry, Merrill Manufacturing will add on 10 employees.
His name was Rev. Herman Dalb, a name pretty much lost to history, but one day in a small store front on Main Street he wrote a policy in the German language under the header of Wisconsin Church Mutual Fire Insurance Association. That name would be shortened to Church Mutual and now 100 years later that name is a leader in the nation when it comes to insuring houses of worship, schools, camps, bible colleges, denominational offices and long-term care facilities covering 2,891 religious institutions and 11,835 families in 41 states. At the chair is Dieter H. Nickel, the sixth president in the company’s history. Nickel is aware of the history and is planning for the future as he sees his company open offices in Connecticut and New Jersey; it is Nickel’s goal to have a presence in all 50 states and a half a billion dollars in assets before he retires as chair. Church Mutual remains at the top of their game this past year, maintaining the A+ bond rating for the 44th consecutive year.
With an early Easter this year the Spring Spectacular sales event is going on throughout town. Bargains can be found at: Central Carpet where prices are cut up to 50% store wide. Snyder Drug Store where you get a lucky egg with a prize with each purchase. At Consumers Co-Op they have all their fertilizer on sales, no bull! Howland’s Ace Hardware has up to 25% off MTD yard equipment. Courtside Furniture has living room sets for $1,199. Short’s 5&10 has all your Easter candy and baskets too! Just Kids will let you pick an Easter Egg where you will find a coupon for savings up to 40% off. Caylor’s says to cover your floors with Aladdin Carpet, prices start at $7.77 a square yard. Thelma’s and the Guy’s Shop have winter wear up to 75% off. Lincoln Jewelry Company has 35% off store wide. On the West side, Ben Franklin has red tag specials throughout the store, Flair has a sale on all of their hair care products, Gruett’s Appliance has a close out sale on Maytag appliances, Al’s Furniture is having a recliner sale, Eddie’s Bake Shop will give you 13 doughnuts and 15 cookies to the dozen, and Miller Home Furnishings has Lazy Boy recliners starting at $299.