Image is a compilation of several snapshots from WoodmenLife's history. Among them: black-and-white photos from the late-1800s, a group of people holding a U.S. flag, the WoodmenLife tower, and a group of people volunteering in their community.

Celebrating WoodmenLife’s 134th Birthday

Jun 6, 20246/6/2024

Home Office Happenings


Leadership Thoughts

Today is WoodmenLife’s 134th birthday! To celebrate, we are reflecting on our history and looking toward our future.

Since Joseph Cullen Root founded WoodmenLife in a small Omaha hotel room on June 6, 1890, we have helped countless families protect their financial futures. Our history shows our growth, resilience and ongoing commitment to family, community and country.

Looking Back Through the Decades

Here’s a look back through the decades at some of WoodmenLife’s incredible milestones.

  • WoodmenLife demonstrated its commitment to members by fulfilling our first death claim in 1891.
  • By 1898, we already had a membership base of more than 88,000 members.
  • On our 50th anniversary in 1940, WoodmenLife honored the occasion with a week-long celebration, including a parade, a service at founder Joseph Cullen Root’s gravesite and a special network radio program carried by more than 100 stations.
  • WoodmenLife launched its patriotic program in 1947, leading to the presentation of more than 3.5 million flags to nonprofit and community organizations.
  • The 30-story WoodmenLife Tower in Omaha, NE, was dedicated in 1969. To this day, it’s where WoodmenLife calls “home.”
  • In response to the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, WoodmenLife initiated a special tribute called “In Honor and Remembrance.”
  • We rolled out Woodmen Financial Services (WFS) in 2002 and Woodmen Insurance Agency (WIA) in 2004. Both are subsidiaries aimed at offering a wider range of products and services.
  • Our National Community Focus of fighting hunger was introduced in 2015. Since then, members of the WoodmenLife family have held food drives, planted community gardens and stuffed backpacks to feed those in need in their hometowns.
  • In 2017, we launched the WoodmenLife Focus Forward Scholarship® program. The program has awarded more than 5,000 scholarships worth $3.5 million. The WoodmenLife Focus Forward Scholarship program focuses on community involvement and patriotism, providing opportunities for students to pursue their higher education goals.

Image is a compilation of several snapshots from WoodmenLife's history. Included are a flag presentation, a check presentation, a family, and black-and-white photos.

Looking Forward to a Bright Future

We are proud of the work we’ve done so far and are crafting the framework to hit more milestones going forward.

As we look to the future of WoodmenLife, it’s crucial to recognize the pivotal areas that will drive our success in the coming years. We want to tell the WoodmenLife story through community service and volunteerism across the country.

“WoodmenLife members and associates are proud of what we do for our communities and for families across the county,” said President & CEO Denise McCauley.

“Our strategic priorities are focused on investments that will help us retain our current members and increase our membership,” she continued. “This growth will reinforce our commitment to helping our members and their families along the path to financial security and serving the communities in which they live.

“In addition, our members and Sales Force want choices as to how they interact with WoodmenLife. Given this, another focus is on enhancing our member and Representative experience to make it easier for them to do business with WoodmenLife. This includes continuing to add to our product offerings for new and existing members.”

Through these areas of focus, we are setting WoodmenLife up for growth, ensuring we will be here for another 130-plus years.

Thank You

We’re so proud of these milestones and accomplishments. But most of all, we’re proud of our WoodmenLife community, past and present, that has made our organization a uniquely great place to be for our members and associates.

To our members: Thank you for choosing WoodmenLife and allowing us to help you protect your financial future.

And to our associates: We are proud of the work you do and the truly great people you are.


Read More

WoodmenLife’s 2023 Annual Report: Building Our Tomorrow to Help Protect Yours

WoodmenLife Celebrates 2023 Award Winners at WeConnect

WoodmenLife President & CEO Denise McCauley Shares Vision for the Future



130 years strong shield with words 130 years strong with stars

We’ve been helping to protect the financial future of families like yours, making a difference in hometowns across America and honoring our country since 1890. As a not-for-profit life insurance company, we put money back into the community. We’re here when you need us most.

Learn More About WoodmenLife

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Securities are offered through Woodmen Financial Services, Inc., 1700 Farnam Street, Omaha, NE 68102, member FINRA/SIPC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society (collectively “WoodmenLife”). Securities other than the WoodmenLife Variable Annuity are issued by companies that are not affiliated with Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society.

Benefits are available to members. An individual becomes a member by joining our shared commitment to family, community and country, and by purchasing a WoodmenLife product. These fraternal benefits are not contractual, are subject to change and have specific eligibility requirements.

Some fraternal benefits include additional membership requirements including length of membership, number of qualifying members in household and/or a qualifying event.

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A+ Financial Rating

This company was issued a A+ (Superior) rating by the A.M. Best Company, click for additional details. WoodmenLife has been awarded a rating of A+ (Superior), the second highest ranking out of 15, for its financial strength and operating performance in 2022 by A.M. Best, an independent rating company that is nationally recognized for its objective reporting and rating of insurers.

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