Turn of the century America was a special place in time. America was bursting at the seams as industry and growth were fueled by the flood of immigrants searching for a better life in a new country.
Unfortunately, these new Americans did not always find the ideal life they had envisioned. They didn't speak the language, didn't immediately fit in, and often became the target of discrimination or fraud. But they had one thing going for themselves - they were not afraid to work.
And work they did! Large numbers of eastern European immigrants found themselves in the Rocky Mountains, working the mines, the smelters, and the blacksmith shops.
The work was both hard and dangerous. Many died. Many more were disabled. Either ignored or victimized by commercial insurers of the day, these hard working new Americans found another way to provide a small measure of financial security for themselves. It became common practice for groups of these immigrants to pass a hat, gathering contributions to aid the families of deceased or disabled mine workers.
From that humble tradition came the Western Slavonic Association.
In Denver, Colorado in October of 1908, Secretary of State Timothy O'Connor signed the original charter for The Zapadna Slovanska Zveza (Western Slavonic Association).
The slogan of this association was "Solid as the Rockies", and that has reflected our philosophy since 1908.
In 1958 membership in WSA was opened to all nationalities, all races, all families. Today, our membership hails from every state in the union, and are representative of many races and creeds. The one thing they share in common is their dedication to their loved ones and the desire to protect them in times of crisis.
In 1989 our corporate name changed to WSA Fraternal Life, but our focus remained constant. Even the new logo reflects our continued dedication to our members, their families, and the community.
In June 1995 we welcomed the members of Sociedad Protecion Mutua de Trabajodores Unidos (Mutual Society for United Workers) from Antonito, Colorado. The merger was completed in January 1996.
SPMDTU still maintains their lodges and conducts their own fraternal activities, while WSA administrates their insurance certificates.
Today, we continue the tradition begun in 1908, putting our members first. Methods of doing business, keeping records, and communicating have changed but our priorities remain the same. We remain Dedicated to Families!