Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Universal Life Insurance Building/Universal Life Insurance Company

 
 
Universal LIfe Insurance Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Judith Barber, February 5, 2013
1. Universal LIfe Insurance Building Marker
Inscription. Universal Life Insurance Building
Designed by the African-American architectural firm of McKissack and McKissack and constructed in 1949, this building houses the national headquarters of the Universal Life Insurance Company. The Egyptian-Revival style of this building is an ongoing example of the interest that African Americans developed in the 1920s in 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)

Universal Life Insurance Company
(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. Dr. Walker’s 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.
 
Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission. (Marker Number 4E 131.)
 
Location. 35° 8.216′ N, 90° 2.757′ 
Universal Life Insurance Building Historic Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jimmie Tucker, April 2, 2009
2. Universal Life Insurance Building Historic Marker
W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is at the intersection of Linden Avenue (Tennessee Route 278) and South Danny Thomas Boulevard (Tennessee Route 1), on the right when traveling west on Linden Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 538 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Ave, Memphis TN 38126, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. It was a Struggle for Freedom For Dignity and For Equality (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Baptist Church / Mt. Olive CME Church (about 700 feet away); Phi Beta Sigma/Abram Langston Taylor (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mary Church Terrell (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Hunt-Phelan Home (approx. 0.2 miles away); Church Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); George W. Lee (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sara Roberta Church (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
 
Categories. African AmericansIndustry & Commerce
 
Universal LIfe Insurance Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Judith Barber, February 5, 2013
3. Universal LIfe Insurance Building Marker
Universal Life Insurance Building + Sign + Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jeremy Green, circa 2014
4. Universal Life Insurance Building + Sign + Marker
Universal LIfe Insurance Building image. Click for full size.
By Judith Barber, February 5, 2013
5. Universal LIfe Insurance Building
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 13, 2013, by Judith Barber of Marietta, Georgia. This page has been viewed 397 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on February 13, 2013, by Judith Barber of Marietta, Georgia.   2. submitted on April 20, 2015, by Jimmie Tucker of Memphis, Tennessee.   3. submitted on February 13, 2013, by Judith Barber of Marietta, Georgia.   4. submitted on April 20, 2015, by Jimmie Tucker of Memphis, Tennessee.   5. submitted on February 13, 2013, by Judith Barber of Marietta, Georgia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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