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State Farm celebrates 50 years with Fred Ettleman

by Fred Ettleman
WALSENBURG — I came home from the Vietnam War in March 1970, and I went to work for CFI Steel as a Mechanical Engineer. However, I was laid off in Aug. 1971.

So, on Nov. 15, 1971, I opened my State Farm Agency (as a scratch agent, no files assigned).  My first office was in my home one mile north of Rye.  One year later, in 1972, I opened an office on the southwest corner of the Colorado City Center.  I later moved my office to a building across from Hollydot Golf Course, which is now the Bank of the San Juans.  I had two full time employees including my wife, Carolyn.

In 1984, I had my current office in Colorado City constructed.  Samantha Reynolds is my Office Manager and Sarah Scott is my Office Representative, both fully licensed.

In 1994, I opened a second office in Walsenburg on Main Street with one full time employee, and then increased to two employees.  Lisa Cargal is my Executive Assistant in that office, with 23 years of experience in the agency.  Cheyanne Mitchell is my Office Representative, and both she and Lisa are fully licensed.
In 1997, I bought one of the oldest homes in Walsenburg at 320 West Hwy 160 and rehabbed it into my current office.

We sell and service auto, home, business, ranch, life, and health insurances, banking and mutual funds, and college savings plans.  My agency has over 1,700 households, 40% in the Greenhorn Valley, 40% in Huerfano and Las Animas Counties with the remaining 20% in Pueblo and the rest of Colorado.

State Farm Insurance Company is 100 years old this year.  Only 0.05% of companies survive 100 years and my agency’s 50 year anniversary is Nov. 15, 2021, and only 1% to 5% of businesses survive 50 years with the same owner.

Please come to our offices during the week of Nov. 15-19, to celebrate our anniversary.