The Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company was founded in 1868 Initially the company offered life and endowment policies and
began investing in community improvements. In 1885, the company began offering accident insurance, and in March 1906 it consolidated
with Los Angeles-based Conservative Life.
The collection consists of records related to the activities, history and real estate investment interests of the Pacific
Mutual Life Insurance Company. Among the development projects represented in the collection, the most extensive amount of
material relates Pacific Mutual’s design, construction and opening of the Norwalk Square shopping center in the early 1950s
in Southern California.
The Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company, founded in 1868 in Sacramento, California, as a stock company, had Leland Stanford
(1824-1893), Central Pacific railroad magnate and former California governor, serve as its first President from 1868-1876.
Initially the company offered life and endowment policies and began investing in community improvements, and by the end of
its first year Pacific Mutual had five hundred life insurance policy owners and had paid its first death benefit. In 1885,
the company began offering accident insurance, and in March 1906 it consolidated with Los Angeles-based Conservative Life.
The company’s first home office, located in Sacramento on Second Street near the corner of J Street, was in use until 1881,
when Pacific Mutual moved its headquarters to San Francisco. After the destruction of their landmark building at Montgomery
and Sacramento Streets from the 1906 earthquake and fire which had just opened thirteen years before, the board of directors
voted to move the company headquarters south to Los Angeles. Their new home office, located near Pershing Square in downtown
Los Angeles, opened in 1908 and remained the company’s headquarters until they moved south to their current location in Newport
Beach, California, in 1972.