The Holmes-Taylor Building (The Richmond Beneficial Insurance Co.)

Location: 214 E Davis Street, Culpeper, VA

The Richmond Beneficial Insurance Co. Leads them all

January 4, 1902
The Planet praises the all-black Richmond Beneficial Insurance Company for its growth and acceptance, after overcoming prejudices in the business world.1 Typically, a beneficial organization paid out sick dues and burial benefits to its members. The organizations might also donate money to organizations that served the African American community and to individuals in need. Also, they would set up scholarships at Virginia Union University and honored individuals and businesses in the area for their community service.2

Andrew Earl Taylor

  • In 1957, Andrew Earl Taylor began his life insurance career as an agent with Richmond Beneficial Life Insurance Company.
  • He was a life member of the Life Underwriters Honorary Society of the National Insurance Association.
  • In 1961, he was promoted to manager of the Norfolk district of Richmond Beneficial Life Insurance Company, which merged with Universal Life Insurance Company in 1965.

John Alfred Holmes Sr.

  • In 1948 John Alfred Holmes Sr. became pastor for Mt. Olive (Olivet) Baptist and was Andrew Taylor's pastor, and Rev. Holmes desired for the insurance company to hire him. After Andrew took the insurance exams and passed, he began working for Richmond Beneficial Life with Rev. Holmes.
  • Partner with Andrew Taylor to purchase the building as a local office under the ownership of J. A. Holmes et ux and Andrew E. Taylor et ux. Upon Andrew Taylor’s death, Thomas Holmes, son of Rev. Holmes purchased the Andrew Taylor Family’s interest.
  • The building at 214 East Davis Street remains in the Holmes family.

1“The Richmond Beneficial Insurance Co. Leads them all,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed September 7, 2022,

2VCU James Branch Cabell Library, Astoria Beneficial Club and Richmond Beneficial Insurance records,, accessed on October 20, 2022