Follow the yellow brick road … or the beautifully paved drive leading to Central Mutual Insurance Company headquarters.
Working in customer service, I get a lot of phone calls that include questions about Central’s Home Office. More specifically, our hometown – Van Wert. A couple of the most common questions include:
- Where is Van Wert? (A little over two hours away from Columbus, Ohio. The closest major city is Fort Wayne, Indiana.)
- How do you spell that? Is that one or two words? (Two words: V-a-n W-e-r-t.)
- What’s the weather like there? (Lately, it’s been too hot! But it really depends on the day. Ohio weather is very unpredictable.)
So, here is everything you need to know about the city of Van Wert.
Van Wert is located in northwest Ohio, near the Indiana border, with a population of just over 10,000 people. The town itself is only around eight square miles, so many of us that work in Central’s Home Office commute from outside of Van Wert city limits. Like most of the towns nearby, Van Wert was named after a soldier from the Revolutionary War. Van Wert was named after Isaac Van Wart, who helped to capture John Andre and Benedict Arnold!
- Van Wert is home to the first county library in the U.S. – the Brumback Library.
- Central’s Home Office has been in Van Wert since 1876.
- The town has hosted an annual Peony Festival since 1902.
- There was a time when Van Wert was the only place in the world that was producing a special kind of cheese. It was called Liederkranz, and it was a favorite of famous poets W.H Auden and T.S. Elliot.
- Albert Halfhill, the father of the tuna packing industry, grew up near Van Wert. He revolutionized the process of preparing and packaging tuna, which he called the “chicken of the sea.”
- Walter Hinton, one of the first pilots to make a transatlantic flight, also hails from Van Wert.
Dorothy and Toto’s journey to Emerald City may have looked slightly different than a trip through Van Wert, but one thing is for sure; Van Wert is full of big-hearted people that are waiting to welcome you to our community. For opportunities to join the Central family and to place your roots in Van Wert, check out the many employment opportunities available at Central and a quick glimpse of the place we call home.
“Van Wert – Growing Opportunity” – Video courtesy of Dark Horse Productions and Van Wert County Chamber of Commerce.
History of Van Wert: A Brief Peek at the Past and Why We are Called Van Wert. Retrieved from visitvanwert.org
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