In the late nineteenth century many small local insurance companies were formed. The Fox River valley had several; Aid Association for Lutherans of Appleton, Oshkosh's Wisconsin National Life Insurance and The Fraternal Reserve Association and in Neenah there was The Equitable Fraternal Union which was founded in 1897. All these companies would eventuality build large, impressive home office buildings. The first to do so was The Equitable Fraternal Union of Neenah. The fast growing company quickly out grew its' original office space and in 1908 turned to William Waters to design the “Home Office”. A lot on the corner of Commercial and Doty Streets was acquired and by September of 1909 the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern reported on the nearly completed edifice, replete with a fine engraving of the building.
The favored style of the time for building of that nature was neoclassical. It was a style which projected strength and longevity and the Equitable Reserve building seems to have been the bell weather for structures to follow, such as; The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance building in Milwaukee or the Wisconsin National Life Insurance building in Oshkosh. The Equitable Reserve building was built of limestone and was three stories high and measured 68' x 102' with the front entrance on Commercial Street. Above the front door was a colonnade of six ionic pillars supporting the frieze and cornice. Atop the cornice was a parapet with decorative escutcheons at the corners and a pediment at the center. In a history of Neenah published in 1958, architect Henry Auler described the building as…”one of the few remaining buildings of classical design that is true to the Greek method of construction. It too is an example of what is expressed in the Parthenon in Athens, Greece.” The building remains to this day unaltered and looking as it did the day it was finished.