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Biography of Isaac Fenton Talbott

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Isaac Fenton Talbott, of McPherson, is president of the Farmers Alliance Insurance Company, with headquarters in that city. He had been identified with this organization nearly thirty years.

The Farmers Alliance Insurance Company is perhaps the largest and most notable of the co-operative financial enterprises that were the outgrowth of the economic unrest of the ’80s and early ’90s. The company was organized in 1887 on the co-operative plan. It writes both fire and tornado insurance, and is now one of the largest of the state’s financial institutions. It had insurance in force in every one of the 105 counties of the state and had agents and representatives in each county. As a mutual company it is one of the largest and had one of the best records shown in the annals of such companies in America. The company now had about $75,000,000 insurance in force and a membership of over 45,000. Its board of directors number fifteen.

I. F. Talbott was born January 28, 1853, on a farm in Morgan County, Ohio. His parents, William and Margaret (Stubbs) Talbott, were also natives of Ohio. Mr. Talbott grew up on a farm, had the atmosphere of rural surroundings, and had always kept in close touch with rural interests. He was educated in the public schools of Morgan County and at a business college in Zanesville, Ohio. Before coming to Kansas he farmed, raised stock and taught school.

Mr. Talbott had been a resident of Kansas since 1887. In that year he bought land in McPherson County a few miles west of the City of McPherson, and for several years gave most of his time and energy to the operation of his farm. In 1888, the year after he came to Kansas, he became identified with the Farmers Alliance Insurance Company, at first as an auditor and director, and was successively promoted from one responsibility to another until in 1898 the directors chose him as president. In January, 1915, the company through its directors presented him with a beautiful gold medal in appreciation for efficient service.

Mr. Talbott had had many other interests so far as they were not inconsistent with his devotion to the insurance company. He served as mayor of McPherson one term of two years in 1909-10, having been elected on the citizens ticket, though he is personally a republican. He had always done what he could to promote the best interests of his local community.

Mr. Talbott was married January 28, 1872, at Malta, Ohio, to Miss Louisa J. McCarty. Her parents, Richard O. and Louise McCarty, were natives of Virginia. Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Talbott, three sons and six daughters: William Clare; Anna; Iva; Jessie; Ethel M.; Walter O.; Elsie, deceased; Orton L.; and Inez Vivian, deceased. Mr. Talbott is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is an elder in the Christian Church.

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