The story of American General began in 1925 when the Texas Commission of Appeals made a historic ruling that enabled insurance companies to underwrite both property and casualty insurance. Founder Gus S. Wortham, had a vision for such a company.
With financing in hand - provided by investment banker J.W. Link, Sr., Judge James A. Elkins, and entrepreneur Jesse H. Jones - Wortham began the task of naming his new company. Early suggestions - such as Lone Star, Trinity, and Magnolia Insurance Company - were too regional and didn't include the words "general insurance" to indicate the company would sell both property and casualty insurance.
Then one day, Wortham's friend and associate Carl Aderman stopped by with the answer. Taking off his hat and pointing to the George Washington insignia on the label, Aderman said, "Here's a general for you, Mr. Wortham, the first American general." The search for a name - and a symbol - were over.
,br>On May 7, 1926, Wortham and Elkins braved a torrential storm on a train ride to Austin. There, they filed a charter for the new company. The next day, a yellow envelope was delivered to Wortham's associates in Houston. Signed by Judge Elkins, four words said it all: "The baby is born."
Common Stock, issued in the 1930’s
Printed by the Hamilton Bank Note Company
8” (h) x 12” (w)
This certificate has horizontal and vertical fold lines, punch hole cancels in the signature areas and body, some toning and edge faults from age.