Just after the turn of the century in 1902, a young man by the name of Council Eugene Helmes began his career as an independent insurance agent, servicing the Greater Hazleton area.
In 1931, Council David Helmes, son of Council Eugene Helmes, joined the agency to begin his career, providing fire insurance and some automobile insurance (since there were very few automobiles in our area at that time). For many years and up until his retirement, he maintained his office in the Trader’s Bank Building on the southeast corner of Broad and Wyoming Streets.
In 1957, C.D. Helmes retired and sold the business to his daughter Esther and son-in-law Joseph M. Dougherty. Dougherty expanded the agency to include more commercial accounts, as well as expanding the property, casualty, and life business within the agency.
In 1971, Lewis W. Billig Agency was merged to create Billig-Helmes Insurance Associates bringing the agency’s headquarters to be located at Fourth and Alter Streets. As the business expanded and Mr. Dougherty turned 74, he decided to sell the agency to his son Eugene Dougherty.
Later that year, Eugene J. Acri, who was a sales manager for the Prudential Insurance Co., joined the agency as vice president and sales manager. During his 13-year tenure with the agency, Acri also expanded and increased the agency coverage of insurance, available throughout Northeast Pennsylvania.
During the growth period, Dougherty’s oldest daughter Donna Marie joined the agency in 1983, becoming the fifth generation of family ownership in the agency. Over the years, Donna Marie Barna, President, has taken numerous insurance courses and continues to expand the agency.
In February 2004, Dougherty relocated the business, Billig-Helmes Insurance, to its current location located at 200 West 21st St., Hazleton, PA.
Being an independent insurance agency, we work for the best interest of our clients. We represent several companies and continuously work to get the best possible coverage at the most economical prices.
The agency provides coverage for your home, auto, boat, motorcycle, personal liability, commercial, business, workers’ compensation, bonds and life, to mention a few.
The company, now celebrating its 115th anniversary, is committed to providing personalized service to its clients.
Donna Marie Barna, President
with a personal touch