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Vintage photo of Cleveland Square

Our History


The Brooks & Stafford Company History

Our Cleveland insurance roots can be traced back to 1849 when our founder opened the John G. Jennings Insurance and Real Estate Agency. After identifying a need for a fire and marine representative for his business, Jennings took Henry M. Brooks under his wings and turned him into a powerhouse insurance agent. The duo later formed Jennings & Brooks Insurance to serve their clients, which eventually evolved into the present-day Brooks & Stafford Company. 

Euclid Avenue - Cleveland, OH

Cleveland's Growth and the Rise of the Insurance Agency

Cleveland experienced massive growth in 1849 which became known as a pivotal year for development and historical impact. The city saw the rise of the Erie Canal as a primary means for shipping and industrial transportation. The first locomotive was also introduced along Cleveland's St. Clair to Superior Streets and another from Cincinnati to Cleveland. This new revolutionary mode of transportation helped the city emerge as an industrial powerhouse and mercantile epicenter.


Despite all of the explosive growth and innovation, Cleveland's industrial commerce needed financial backing to prosper. Local banks and insurance companies ultimately shouldered the responsibility for ensuring Cleveland's prosperity.


It wasn't long before The Society for Saving (Presently KeyBank) and the John G. Jennings Insurance and Real Estate Agency were formed in 1849 to provide the support the city required. Jennings’ company evolved into the present-day Brooks & Stafford Company.

The Early Days of The Brooks & Stafford Company

The John G. Jennings Insurance & Real Estate Agency was initially established to provide real estate and insurance services. As business began to thrive, Jennings hired assistant Henry M. Brooks to help. Jennings eventually dropped his real estate services to meet the demands of the Cleveland insurance marketplace.


Henry Brooks was made a full agent in 1867, and the firm was renamed Jennings & Brooks Insurance. Jennings & Brooks established a legacy of representing several highly reputable insurance carriers.


With an eye on growth, The Brooks-Wilbor-Parsons Co. met with the 0. M. Stafford Agency on November 22, 1921, to negotiate a successful merger. On January 1, 1922, the corporation changed its name to The Brooks & Stafford Company, and a historical formation was established.

Vintage photo of Brooks & Stafford insurance agents
Retro image of Brooks & Stafford insurance agents

Work with us

The Brooks & Stafford Company continues to excel by focusing on trust, integrity, and deep knowledge in the insurance industry. Just like our founders, we continue to offer world-class service with a small-town embrace. Our Cleveland insurance agency empowers our clients to protect their loved ones and personal assets, grow their businesses, and find peace of mind with Personal, Commercial, Life, and Health insurance needs.

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