In the early nineteen hundreds, John L. Davis supported his family by delivering laundry. His customers knew they could rely upon his dependable service, so when J.L. opened his insurance agency, those customers became his first insureds. In those days, the agency was located downtown on Gay Street. In 1919, J.L.'s son, Bill, came back from World War I and entered the agency, which was known as J.L. Davis and Son. In 1925, J.L. Jr. left his job at Jeffrey Manufacturing to join his father and brother in the family business. The name was changed to J.L. Davis and Sons. The agency moved to the Grand Theater Building on State Street, across from Capitol Square. When the business grew, Bill and J.L. Jr. divided the accounts. J.L. kept the original name, and Bill Davis moved his office upstairs in the Grand Theater Building. On June 1, 1938 Bill began the W.E. Davis Company. Both agencies prospered, the J.L. Davis Agency under the leadership of J.L.'s daughter, Ruth Davis Tisdall. In 1962, Bill Davis, who wanted to spend more and more time in Florida, took Ed Koetz, the claims adjuster for Ohio Casualty Insurance who serviced the agency, into the business. This gave Bill and his wife, Eydthe, the freedom to travel, and gave Ed the opportunity to purchase the agency gradually. When Bill died, it was decided to retain the company name in his honor.
"When I call my insurance agent, I talk to a person I know, who has talked with me before and knows me."The Agency moved to larger quarters on Livingston Avenue in 1968. German Village provided the business with a sense of history, which was especially appropriate for the agency. When more space was again required, the building at 147 Thurman Avenue, in the village, was purchased and remodeled. W.E. Davis Company moved there in 1975. The unique flavor of the original German residents was preserved in the new offices, since their values were much like those of the agency: honesty, integrity and hard work. Ed Koetz, assisted by his wife, Marilyn, carried on the original "family agency" concept established by J.L. Davis. This concept was further enhanced when John Koetz, Ed and Marilyn's son, graduated from college and joined the agency in 1977. The agency incorporated in 1990 under the name, W.E. Davis Insurance Agency, Inc. Like their predecessor, Ed and Marilyn Koetz retired from the agency in 1992 to spend more time traveling together. In November of 2005, the agency outgrew its quarters on Thurman Avenue and moved to its present location in the Brewery District. Once again, the company was able to keep its downtown heritage by moving just six blocks from the old location. John and his wife, Libby, continue to keep the family flavor in the agency. However, W.E. Davis Insurance Agency, Inc. has grown in size and includes many in house service associates and producers of insurance.