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Universal Life Insurance Building -- 4E 131 -- Memphis TN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 35° 08.222 W 090° 02.759
15S E 769149 N 3892234
Quick Description: State historical marker for the Universal Life Insurance Building in East Memphis
Location: Tennessee, United States
Date Posted: 4/12/2019 12:35:14 PM
Waymark Code: WM10C8Y
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Titansfan
Views: 1

Long Description:
This state historic marker stands the corner of Danny Thomas Boulevard and Doctor Martin Luther King Avenue in East Memphis. It commemorates the history of the Universal Life Insurance Company, which was founded during the Jim Crow era by 3 family members. The company eventually grew to be the fourth largest African-American owned life insurance company United States, and the landmark building that housed the company headquarters served as an important social center and segregated Memphis for African-American citizens.

The historical marker reads as follows:

"4E 131

UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY

Designed by the African-American architectural firm McKissack and McKissack and constructed in 1949, this building houses the national headquarters of the Universal Life Insurance Company. The Egyptian revival style this building is an ongoing example of the interest that African-Americans developed in the 19 twenties an Egyptian art. During the era of racial segregation it was one of the few places where Blacks could gather for their civic and social affairs.

(Continued on other side)
(continued from other side)

Founded in 1923 by Dr. J. E. Walker, with co-founders A. W. Willis, Sr., and M. W. Bonner, this family business grew to be the fourth largest African-American owned life insurance company in the United States. Doctor Walters son, A. Maceo Walker, continued the business from 1952 until 1983. He was succeeded by his daughter, Patricia Walker Shaw, who ran it until her death in 1985. Descendants of all three families made significant contributions to the company's growth.

Tennessee historical commission"
Marker Name: Universal Life Insurance Company

Marker Location: City

Type of Marker: Building

Marker Number: 4E 131

Group(s) Responsible for placing Marker:
Tennessee historical commission


Visit Instructions:
At minimum, your visit must consist of a picture of the marker itself or anything referenced on the marker plus additional information you may have learned about the waymark topic. (You and your GPS receiver do not need to be in the picture, but can.)
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Benchmark Blasterz visited Universal Life Insurance Building -- 4E 131 -- Memphis TN 3/9/2019 Benchmark Blasterz visited it