Jim Newhouse has signed a letter of intent with Parsons-based Wood-Dulohery Insurance to sell his M&M Insurance after 50 years in business.
“Everything will be the same,” he says.
So the same, he says, “I’ll even still be here.”
The 85-year-old says it’s time to sell, though.
“Don’t you think that’s time?” he says.
“I can’t even turn on a computer,” says the folksy Newhouse. “I hate them things.”
M&M Insurance is in the attention-getting building with cars in its second-floor windows at 1700 E. Douglas. The building was built in 1930 for a Studebaker dealership. Newhouse rotates four vintage automobiles – Model As, not Studebakers – in the windows and has car photos in other parts of the building.
“I remember coming in here during the war, the Great War, and buying car parts for my car at the Western Auto,” Newhouse says.
He bought the building from Lancelot’s.
“Lancelot’s was a store that you women love,” Newhouse says.
The store sold such things as jewelry and knickknacks.
Newhouse inquired about buying the building in 1999 but told a manager he didn’t think he needed 22,000 square feet.
“She said, ‘Honey, we thought the same thing, and we filled it up in six months.’”
Bob Wood, president of Wood-Dulohery, says his firm has the same mix of commercial and personal insurance as M&M.
“M&M is set up the same way we are in that respect.”
Wood says his company uses the same carriers and procedures as well.
“It was just a real good, complementary agency to the agency we have now,” he says. “We’re really excited to be joining the Wichita business community.”
The deal should close in October or November.
“I’m really thankful to Jim Newhouse,” Wood says.
Newhouse says he’s pleased to sell to Wood-Dulohery.
“They’re good people.”
As for the cars?
“Oh, I’m gonna keep them. I know that,” Newhouse says.
He may keep them in the windows, though.
“Depending on what Bob wants to do.”