THOMAS W. RUSSELL, HARTFORD: President Connecticut General Life Insurance Company.
Mr. Russell is a native of Greenfield, Mass., where he was born May 22, 1824. Educated in the district schools
of his native town and the adjoining town of Coleraine, with a supplementary academic course, he engaged in teaching
for a single winter. This calling, however, he forsook for mercantile business, following the latter for about
six years, or until 1852, when he entered upon what has proved his life work by soliciting insurance for the Charter
Oak Life Insurance Company of Hartford. After four years service as a local agent, incidental to his mercantile
business, he was made the general traveling agent for the same company, and in 1857 was chosen its vice president.
In 1864, Mr. Russell was induced to leave the Charter Oak Life Insurance Company and become nominally the actuary
of the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance. Company. In 1865, the legislature of Connecticut chartered the Connecticut
General Life Insurance Company, and Mr. Russell was induced to become its secretary. He subsequently became president
and active manager, having held the latter relations now for nearly a score of years. Under his control and advice
the original scope and plans of the company were radically changed, and it was long ago placed on an equal footing
with the best life companies of the country. One of the most competent insurance critics of the present day says
of President Russell that " he is perhaps as fine an example as there is in this country of the man who seeks
his contentment in the daily round of duty, satisfied if the end of the year finds the cause of his company advanced,
its business increasing and the death rate normal. He is one of the old workers in life insurance, who has a steady
faith in his business, an earnest desire to benefit all with whom he comes in contact, and who keeps about him
the clean and pure atmosphere of business honor." The healthy and prosperous condition of this company is
sufficient evidence of the ability and integrity of its management, of which the subject of this sketch is the
head and front.
Outside his business relations Mr. Russell is called upon to aid in social, civil, and religious work. He has been
a member of the general assembly of this state, was for a number of years connected with the Hartford city government,
is a director in several of the city corporations, an officer and active worker in Park Congregational Church,
and a director in the city missionary society. He is interested in and often called to assist in the administration
of the educational affairs of his city.
Illustrated Popular Biography
Compiled and Published by J. A. Spalding
Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co.
Hartford, Conn. 1891
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