Clients First Insurance officially opened for business on August 1, 2017 when Joe Dodd purchased part of All-Star Insurance. The actual origins of Clients First Insurance go much further back, in fact Clients First Insurance traces our history back to October of 1946.
That’s when Bill Farmer and Joe Harper opened Harper and Farmer Insurance Company in Gilmer, Texas. It was the culmination of a friendship that started as students at Gilmer High School. After graduation, both young men entered the Navy on the same day, January 18, 1943.
After going through boot camp together, the two friends were separated when they received their ship assignments. During the war their paths crossed frequently, as both saw action in numerous engagements throughout the South Pacific.
Upon returning home to Gilmer, Texas the two friends formed a partnership to sell life and hospitalization insurance from an office in the Arnold Motor Company building.
After Harper left the agency, Farmer moved the office to the east side of the square in downtown Gilmer and operated as Farmer Insurance Agency until 1954 when J.H. Stropp joined the agency as a partner. The Farmer-Stropp Insurance Agency moved that same year to a building located on the southeast corner of the square.
Bill Farmer Insurance circa 1950
In April of 1957 the name changed to the J.H. Stropp Insurance Agency when Bill Farmer sold his interest in the firm to Stropp in April of 1957.
In June of 1959 Mr. Stropp’s nephew, Tom Davis joined the newly named Stropp and Davis Insurance Agency as a partner. Mr. Davis eventually purchased his uncle’s interest in the agency from the Stropp family after Mr. Stropp died in 1971 and renamed it the East Texas Insurance Agency.
In December of 2009 First National Bank of Gilmer formed a wholly owned corporation named East Texas Insurance Group for the purpose of purchasing the agency. The purchase closed in June of 2010 and Mr. Dodd was named President of the agency in October of 2010. Mr. Davis retired in June of 2011 after 52 years with the agency.
In August 2011 the corporation's name was changed to All-Star Insurance Group to better reflect the agency's customer base and to position the agency to compete outside of the East Texas region.
The December, 2013 acquisition of Hogue Insurance Agency in Quitman allowed the agency to expand to the West.
When First National Bank decided to sell All-Star Insurance, Dodd purchased the Gilmer and Quitman client base and changed the name to Clients First Insurance.
Dodd moved the Gilmer office into the newly renovated Strand Building on the southeast corner of the square next to the building that housed the agency for more than 60 years.
In August 2018 Clients First Insurance moved it’s Quitman office to the north side of the building at 713 South Main Street, where Hogue Insurance once occupied the south end of the building from 2006 until 2014.