Carson’s State Agent and Transfer turns 100 today
Carson City’s oldest incorporating service, State Agent and Transfer Syndicate Inc., turns 100 today, and in some ways this family-run business hasn’t changed.
Attorneys C.H.E. Hardin and P.B. Ellis began the business as an adjunct to their legal practice April 9, 1903, and it remained in the family until 1958, when District Judge Frank Gregory bought it for his father, John, to keep him busy after retirement.
Carson City resident Betty Brogan bought Transfer Syndicate Inc. with her husband in 1981 to provide her with a little “pin” money. Her son, Jed Block, now handles day-to-day operations and Brogan handles the payroll and special projects.
“Right now, the best thing about having this business is working with Jed. He’s taken over. He’s a natural salesman,” she said with a smile. “I was here every day until six or eight months ago, except when I was traveling with my husband.”
As she talked, Brogan, 72, stood in the middle of her son’s office, a small room filled with an expansive desk, two computers and reams of papers, books and binders.
Originally from Scarsdale, N.Y., Brogan received her bachelor’s degree in math from Vassar College in 1952. She was a statistician when she moved here for a “quickie” divorce in 1961 and never left.
She remarried in 1962 and the business was a $5,000 investment between Brogan and her second husband, E. M. Block.
Nevada’s beneficial business climate attracts corporations and businesses looking for lighter tax burdens. State Agent and Transfer acts as an agent for companies wanting to register in Nevada.
For a few years, it was only a passing interest for Brogan. The company had 23 clients in 1981. Now, that figure hovers around 4,500.
Jed Block was all business Tuesday, dressed in a neat dark suit and talking on the phone to government officials.
A graduate of the University of Pacific in Stockton, Calif., Block joined the company six years ago. He said to slow the company’s growth, rates were increased from $100 to $125, but that failed to stop the influx.
“I had no idea it would come to this,” Brogan said. “This used to be something I did in my spare time.”
Brogan discovered the potential of computers in the mid to late 1980s and saw an opportunity to expand her business, primarily through word of mouth.
“I started doing some advertising,” she said. “And I had fun, communicating with clients on the phone.”
By that time, Brogan had married Carson High School teacher Bob Brogan.
“My husband called me an outrageous flirt, but I think my customers were reassured,” she said. “When I talked to them, I didn’t sound like an attorney. My business grew to the point that I needed help.”
Outside attorneys sought Brogan’s services and the business continually grew until 1994, when she moved it out of her home and into downtown offices — just blocks from where the original business started.
Four employees now hover over computers and phones in the small bungalow located across the street from the Secretary of State’s Office.
The business has been at the corner of Curry and Musser streets for two years.
To celebrate the company’s first 100 years, a small, invitation-only reception is planned.