P.J. Miller, left, and Patrick Field co-owners of Wallace & Turner, Inc., in their Springfield office Tuesday. Wallace & Turner, Inc. is celebrating 150 years in the insurance industry. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Insurance agency serving Clark, Champaign counties celebrates 150 years

A locally owned, independent insurance agency is celebrating 150 years of being in the Springfield and most recently the Urbana community.

“I couldn’t be more proud, Wallace & Turner, Inc. Partner Patrick Field said. “I’m a third generation here. It’s something I’m very proud of.”

Wallace & Turner, Inc. Partner P.J. Miller, a second generation employee said, “We’re thrilled that we are going to be able to celebrate our 150th year in operation.”

Wallace & Turner, Inc. traces their beginning to 1870 when Ira W. Wallace and L. B. Corry came from Leroy, Ohio to open a general insurance agency in Springfield called Wallace & Corry. Twenty-five years later, the partnership ended and Wallace founded Wallace & Company.

In the late 1800s to early 1900s, insurance was “very simplistic,” Field explained. Life insurance was common and as development continued, property insurance was created.

Miller added that there was also home and farm insurance.

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“Naturally Springfield was well known in the agricultural world because of the businesses that were started here that had agricultural ties,” Miller said. “So then it (insurance) basically developed in that way.”

Wallace & Company operated until 1961 when Harry M. Turner, founder of Turner Insurance Agency, purchased the agency and changed the name to Wallace & Turner, Inc.

“Fortunately, the Wallace & Turner folks way back then had the foresight to see that this was going to be a good business to have in Springfield,” Miller said.

He added, “As times progressed, Patrick’s father, John Field, who was instrumental in the continuation of Wallace & Turner, got together with my father, Dale Miller.”

Miller and Field worked with their fathers before working together.

Both partners said they were not planning to go into the insurance agency, but decided to give it a try when their dads gave them offers.

“It didn’t take me long to figure out I found something that I really liked,” Field said. “I like the people in the business and I like dealing with my clients.”

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In October 2019, the partners expanded Wallace & Turner, Inc. by opening a second office in Urbana. Between both locations, Miller said they have approximately 15,000 clients.

Miller said they are excited to celebrate 150 years, but due to the coronavirus pandemic they have postponed community celebration events.

During COVID-19, Wallace & Turner, Inc. has helped promote and assist local organizations by raising money for them, Miller said.

Field said he recalls his father saying, “Wallace & Turner is only going to do as well as the community Wallace & Turner is in is doing.”

With that in mind, Field said his goals are “individually and collectively with Wallace & Turner to do what we can to help the city of Springfield and Clark and Champaign Counties just be better communities.”

Miller said the company’s longevity and growth are the result of remaining “steadfast to their core values of integrity, financial stability and consistency in service.”

They both said their current and previous employees contributed greatly to their longevity.

“We are extremely proud of what we’ve done,” Field said. “We’re extremely proud of who we are today and we certainly look forward to continuing that.”

“We have all the abilities as a large insurance company, yet we have the capabilities of a small hometown insurance agency that’s now been here 150 years,” Miller said. “We want to continue on.”

Field added, “At the end of the day it’s about taking care of your clients.”

Wallace & Turner, Inc. has offices in Springfield, 30 Warder Street, Suite 200 and Urbana, 113 Scioto St.

For more information, visit www.wtins.com.

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