Charles Denison Dunlop

Biography of Charles Denison Dunlop

Recognized for many years as one of the leading fire insurance experts of the country, Charles D. Dunlop, of Providence, was long one of the prominent business men of the city and took a leading part in the development of the underwriting business. From 1883 until 1929 he was engaged in fire insurance and during this period of almost half a century became as well known on the Pacific slope as he was in the business center here. The name was synonymous with fire adjustment and his reputation as an underwriter expert was second to none in the land. Also, he bore a character of stainless record, had a multitude of loyal friends, was a sound and active churchman and a vibrant citizen whose interest in all civic activities was as sincere as that which he gave his private business enterprises.

Born January 18, 1863, in Lexington, Missouri, he was a son of the late Right Reverend George Kelly Dunlop, Protestant Episcopal Bishop of New Mexico and Arizona, whose death occurred March 12, 1888. It was in Denver, Colorado, that Charles D. Dunlop entered business, beginning in insurance in 1883 and later becoming special agent in that city with the Commercial Union Insurance Company. In 1891, he became associated there with the Providence-Washington Insurance Company of Providence, Rhode Island, and in 1895 was appointed western manager, with headquarters at Chicago. In 1904 he became vice-president of the company and president in 1922. He was also president of the Anchor Insurance Company. He took a prominent part in the councils of the Western Union and other insurance companies and was very active on behalf of the National Fire Underwriters and the Eastern Underwriters associations. In 1905 he assisted in the organization of the General Adjustment Bureau and for sixteen years was president of that organization, resigning in 1927. He was a director in the Providence-Washington and Anchor Insurance companies and in the Blackstone Canal National Bank, Factory Insurance Association Building Corporation of Hartford, Fire Reassurance Company of New York, First Reinsurance Company of Hartford, General Adjustment Bureau, Globe Underwriters’ Exchange, Incorporated, of Hartford; Lincoln Fire Insurance Company of New York; and the Rossia Insurance Company of America. For many years he served as a vestryman of St. Stephen’s Protestant Church of Providence. He was a member of the Agawam Hunt, Hope, Squantum, Turks Head, and Rhode Island Country clubs, being a charter member, vice-president, and member of the board of governors of the last-named club. He was also a member of the Rhode Island Historical Society and of the Society of Colonial Wars. He died January 4, 1929. Charles D. Dunlop married Rosemary C. Conwell, of Indiana. Their children were: Dorothy; Jean C., now Mrs. George Beresford Checkland, Danbury, New Castle on the Tyne, England; Mildred; Marian; and Eleanor, who married Malcolm Leach, of Taunton, Massachusetts, and they are the parents of Charles Denison Leach and Rosemary Conwell Leach.

Mr. Dunlop achieved such a high reputation as a business man and citizen and did so much for the progress of the insurance interests, that his name is permanently enrolled on the records of Rhode Island. He had innumerable friends and his loss has been keenly felt and sincerely mourned, for he occupied a place that will be difficult to fill.

Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.

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