Loyal Mystic Legion of America



The Loyal Mystic Legion of America was founded February 24, 1892, when articles of incorporation were filed by some of Hastings' leading citizens, including James B. Heartwell.

The headquarters of the fraternal insurance organization, pictured here, was completed in 1901 on the corner of Second Street and Burlington Avenue. Its structural trimmings consisted of marble, granite, and pressed brick. Rich oak adorned the interior, framing ornamental windows of beveled glass. The foyer greeted visitors with mosaic tile flooring with the name of the order worked into it in full color.

The first and second floors housed the supreme offices and various workings of the fraternal association. Attorneys, an osteopathic specialist and the British Medical Institute occupied the third floor. The basement was home to Ed Watkin's printing and book bindery plant and the Daily Republican, a newspaper which was consolidated with the Hastings Daily Tribune in 1915.

The Loyal Mystic Legion claimed 8,000 members at the turn of the century. By 1916, over $1,000,000 had been paid to beneficiaries, and more than $100,000 was invested in securities and farmland. On June 12, 1916, the organization merged with the American Insurance Union of Columbus, Ohio. The building was subsequently sold to John Kipp, a successful cigar maker, and became known as the Kipp Building. In 1962, the building was replaced by a J.C. Penney store.