Hagan Hamilton Turns 100

Hagan Hamilton’s “roots” go way back in Yamhill County and the company has been a prominent business in McMinnville and surrounding area for over 100 years.

The agency got its start in 1910 as a sole proprietorship known as the W.L. Warren Agency. It had become the Warren & Beeson Agency by 1921, and the Beeson & Baker Agency in the mid to late 1920’s.

Mr. Gordon Carey, a graduate of the University of Oregon, became a key player of the Beeson-Baker Agency when he moved to McMinnville in 1938. Mr. Carey’s early success and business sense resulted in the agency being re-named to the Gordon Carey Insurance Agency in 1942.

By 1953, Gordon Carey had built a very successful insurance agency located at the First Federal Savings and Loan building. He was also extremely active in business and civic circles in McMinnville. It came as a shock to the community when Mr. Carey suddenly passed away from a heart attack at the age of 42 on August 27, 1953.

At the time of his death, Gordon Carey had two prominent employees, Merrill Hagan and Mike Hamilton who functioned in key roles at the agency and continued to help grow the business. By 1961, both Mr. Hagan and Mr. Hamilton arranged to purchase the Gordon Carey agency and subsequently renamed the company to Hagan Hamilton Insurance Services located on the corner of 3rd & Evans.

After many successful years managing Hagan Hamilton, both Mr. Hagan and Mr. Hamilton retired in the late 1970’s. However, by 1980 there were 5 different owners, the country was in the middle of a severe recession and it was a time of uncertainty in the business community. Hagan Hamilton Insurance was not immune from the impacts of the harsh business environment and suffered economically from both the recession and the lack of strategic planning needed to endure the difficult times.

In 1984 Oregon Mutual Insurance Company purchased (saved) the agency and hired Mike Keyes (who is currently CEO for Oregon Mutual) as the General Manager to get things back “on track”. All of Hagan Hamilton’s branch offices were sold and several employees lost their jobs. It was during this time of crisis that Rick John was hired as a life & health and personal lines agent in 1981.

Dale Moore was one of the 5 previous owners that “survived” at the time Oregon Mutual bought the agency in 1984. Over the next several years, Rick and Dale became the top producers at Hagan Hamilton Insurance and distinguished themselves as true business professionals.

In 1991 a dialogue with Oregon Mutual began that resulted in Rick and Dale becoming the new partners/owners of Hagan Hamilton Insurance. Rick and Dale worked closely together, growing the business during the 90’s with an eventual agreement that Rick would become the sole owner of Hagan Hamilton Insurance when Dale retired in 2000.

Since 2000 Hagan Hamilton has purchased 5 agencies, grown to over 11,000 clients, has branch offices in Sheridan and Newberg and most importantly has 44 of the finest, most educated, client-focused insurance professionals in the industry. We are extremely proud of our staff.

It is hoped that this brief summary of Hagan Hamilton’s history and accomplishments has been beneficial for you. We also hope it causes you to have confidence and security knowing that Hagan Hamilton Insurance will make wise decisions and provide our clients with creative and pragmatic options to manage risk in a proactive manner and insure wisely and efficiently.

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