The History Of Our 15 Market Square Building

Every now and then your family may find time to sit down and look at old photos. At Wheelers, we finally decided it was time to look through all of our keepsakes and remind ourselves of the history this building and business holds. Once family owned, now an employee-owned business, there is so much life and history in our buildings and within our agency.

For those who don’t know of the history:

In 1864, W. J. Wheeler Insurance was first born. Henry Howard of South Paris and William J. Wheeler (the WJW!) partnered together to make this business blossom. Henry shortly passed, leaving the original W.J.W. to run the show. He continued to grow the agency by riding on horse and buggy around Maine to solicit new business… We love a good salesman, especially those that ride on a horse!

Years later, around 1898, Wheelers finally found our footing at 15 Market Square in South Paris. We paid rent for a whopping $12.50 a month… man, how times have changed. Since then, this building had held a laundromat, a piano shop, the local newspaper, and of course, W. J. Wheeler Insurance.  

 In 1952, we were clearly tired of the outrageous rent, (a little bit of sarcasm) and officially bought the entire building. With a little construction and adjustments, the building became solely ours.

A few years ago, this building flooded, causing us to revamp our office materials, flooring, etc. Over a year ago, we completely rebranded having to update all of the signage and logos plastered around the building. Recently, this agency was crazy enough to let their marketer paint the walls to our bright branded colors. Talk about change! Does anyone else love Becky and Crystal’s bright pink offices? I mean, who wouldn’t?

So much has happened within these buildings. There is so much life within these walls. We watched as Mike and Jeff Newsom transformed this family owned company and made it into one of the first employee-owned agencies in Maine. We have had our children and grandchildren causing mayhem by running through our offices and drawing on our windows, a puppy or two MAY have tinkled on the carpet (we all make mistakes), we have created so many great relationships with clients, and have had many team building memories at the infamous 15 Market Square.

As our current team packs up boxes and old artifacts that are downstairs: we reminisce, we learn, and we admire how far this building has come. We don’t take for granted all this business has brought us and our community. With every business comes learning curves, tough discussions, and hard decisions, but with our Wheelers team there truly isn’t anything we can’t accomplish together.

It’s been 124 years in this building, here’s to 124 more!