Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

Lucius Demarius  Drewry

Lucius Demarius Drewry[1]

Male 1861 - 1929  (67 years)

Personal Information    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Lucius Demarius Drewry 
    Lucius Demarius Drewry (1861-1929)
    Lucius Demarius Drewry (1861-1929)
    Born 9 May 1861  Delta, Clay, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Died 12 Feb 1929  Volusia County, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Buried Oak Hill Cemetery, Griffin, Spalding, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 

      Prominent even among the most prominent of the life insurance general agents of the United States is Mr. Lucius D. Drewry, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, State Agent for the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company of Newark, New Jersey, for the States of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi, and Assistant to Vice-President Pearson in the home office of the company. Although a young man, scarcely yet thirty-five, he is one of the most conspicuous workers in insurance fields in this country. His whole life is flavored with a tinge of interesting romance, and even now, as young as he is, he delights in recalling the little barefoot village boy, in whose young mind was working the germ of that ambition that has blossomed and ripened into such magnificent fruit.

      By the accidents of war Mr. Drewry was born in Randolph County, Alabama, May 9, 1861, but he claims Griffin, Spalding County, Georgia, as the home of his nativity and youth. Through his mother, who was before marriage Miss Jennie Putnam, he is a direct descendant of General Israel Putnam, and is said to bear a striking resemblance to that old hero. His paternal great-grandfather, Major Humphrey Drewry, of Virginia, was also a conspicuous figure in the Revolutionary War. His grandfather, Edwin, second son of Major Drewry, migrated to Hancock County, Georgia, and his father, Mr. Demarius Drewry, with other members of the family finally settled in Griffin and Spalding County, Georgia. His father's people have always been an industrious, agricultural people, and the mingling of the more cavalier English blood with the sturdy Scotch in their veins gave them keen perceptive faculties united with energy and endurance. He is the youngest of three sons; the elder, Mr. E. M. Drewry, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is General Agent for the AEtna Life, and the second son, Mr. I. N. Drewry, is engaged in business in Griffin, Georgia.

      It is one of the regrets of Mr. Drewry's life that he was denied a collegiate education, but reared during the trying period just after the war, when the Southern planter found himself wrecked in fortune, his advantages were necessarily limited. His education consisted only of a grammar course at the Sam Bailey Male Institute at Griffin, Georgia; but, endowed with strong natural capacities, his contact with the world has long since supplied any defects of education. His early experiences may be shortly summed up as those of the majority of irrepressible and combative spirits, including a full quota of hard knocks. He facetiously says that he had no distinguishing traits as to tastes and habits, except an overweening love for pretty girls and an ardent desire to become a business man.

      Leaving school at the age of fourteen he at once embarked in a business venture, borrowing s 25.00 and opening a cigar stand, his purpose being to make money. Four months later he purchased the cigar and tobacco privileges of the "Middle Georgia Stock and Fair Association," and obtaining a letter of credit from his father, he purchased a stock of goods on credit, and prepared to realize his dream of being a business man. At the end of the first meet, he had paid all expenses and had a balance of s700. Various other enterprises engaged this youthful adventurer, and, Midas-like, everything he touched turned to gold. At the age of seventeen, Mr. Drewry put his capital of several thousand dollars into a mercantile business, closing out his interest after two years to enter the insurance business. On March 31, 1881, he accepted a position as clerk in the fire insurance office of his uncle, Mr. Israel Putnam, in Atlanta, Georgia, and there he found his destiny, for insurance men, like poets, are born and not made. Realizing his wonderful capacity for soliciting insurance, two years later, he resigned his position and entered on his future work of life insurance. He contracted with the Atlanta agent of the Northwestern Mutual, and a little later went on the road as special. Within a year he was given the title of "Superintendent of Agents for North Georgia and East Tennessee," without increase of pay, however, which position he held until October 1, 1887, when he was appointed State Agent for the Mutual Benefit for Middle and East Tennessee. Thus, at the early age of twenty-six, after only four years' work, he was made a General Agent. So successful has he been, his territory has been increased from time to time, and while from the first he gave his company a good business, for the last four years he has given them a larger volume of business than any other agent in their service in the United States. And this, notwithstanding the fact that in point of insurable population his territory is 65 per cent less than some others, and in point of wealth his field is decidedly inferior, the towns being small and the country generally more sparsely settled, rendering it difficult to secure both business and agents.

      That the officers of the company duly appreciate his work and ability there can be no question. Only recently they found it necessary to have more help among the officials; Mr. Drewry was offered the position of Assistant to Vice-President Pearson, his duty being principally Superintendent of Agents throughout the United States. This promotion was significant, not only as a recognition of merit, but because of the fact that he is the first Southern man to be offered an official position by any of the great life companies. His acceptance of the place necessitates his living the greater portion of his time in New York City. In what estimate he is held by his confreres in this and other companies was shown when at the meeting of the National Association of Life Underwriters at Philadelphia, October, 1895, he was unanimously elected Secretary of that august body. This was a greater compliment, in that, wishing to have a Southern member among its officers, he was chosen as the most prominent representative of the South.

    Person ID I3140  Dickinson
    Last Modified 25 Jan 2017 

    Father Demarius Drewry,   b. 7 Jun 1833, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Feb 1899, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Jennie E Putnam,   b. 16 Jun 1837, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Aug 1878, Griffin, Spalding, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 41 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Family ID F0894  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Anna Clara Gray,   b. 14 Jun 1867, Griffin, Spalding, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jul 1946, Los Angeles County, California Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 18 Nov 1886  Spalding County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Last Modified 25 Jan 2017 
    Family ID F5452  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S360] The Underwriter, Life and Casualty: Historical and Biographical, (Chicago: Fidelity Publishing Company, 1896), 144ff.

    2. [S360] The Underwriter, Life and Casualty: Historical and Biographical, (Chicago: Fidelity Publishing Company, 1896), 144; book digitized by Google at <>.

    3. [S015808] Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 [database on-line], (Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004).

    4. [S336457] Georgia, Marriage Records From Select Counties, 1828-1978, (Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013).