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Duncan Insurance

1119 Main Street was a popular lunch stop among railroad workers in the early 1900s. The building was located along Locust Street, which the city moved to its current location and renamed as Park Street. Main Street was shifted south after the Fire of 1897 and its width partially increased to 100 feet. Following this new configuration of downtown, new storefronts were constructed at the turn of the century—a sign of increasing economic activity in the region. The former lunch stop became a bakery before 1906. There was no building on the site in 1911.

A new strip of storefronts were constructed by 1922, and these included the future office for Duncan Insurance. However, Fuller L. E. Agency first occupied the space. The company was established in 1922 by Lester Elwood Spenser, who served as the owner and operator until 1951. His son, Horton Elwood Fuller, took over through 1958, when his brother Lynn Elliott Fuller became a co-owner. In 1964, Lynn Elliott assumed full management of the company, and his son Lynn Elwood Fuller served as the owner until 1983 when the business was sold to Danny Duncan. This office location has been a constant in downtown Commerce through population growth, economic shifts, desegregation, and the expansion of A&M-Commerce.

Owners Danny and Janet Duncan have long been involved in the Commerce community. In addition to their business presence, the couple participated in multiple committees with many being connected to A&M-Commerce where they both received their bachelors and masters’ degrees. Janet served on the University Alumni Committee and was also on the board for Women in Need, a safe house for those suffering from domestic violence. Danny graduated from Commerce High School in 1963 as class president and lead editor of Tiger Tips, a weekly publication run by the students. In 1985, he traveled to Washington D.C. with fellow SRMWD (Sulfur River Municipal Water District) board members to discuss the Cooper Lake Dam project, which was completed in 1991. In 2020, he was a candidate for the Texas Legislature, president of the Highway 24 Association, and a deacon at First Presbyterian. Danny and Janet Duncan are currently on the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and continue to operate their insurance offices in Commerce, Greenville, and Cooper. As alumni, their continued involvement in the Texas A&M University Commerce community serves as bridge between ‘town’ and ‘gown.'


Street View
Street View The storefront of Duncan Insurance maintains its historic look, representing the continuity of this business as an staple of downtown Commerce. Source: Date: November 5, 2009
The Duncan Insurance Team
The Duncan Insurance Team Owners Danny (middle) and Janet Duncan (top left) and their team (Teresita, top right, and April, bottom left). Jennifer (on the bottom right) is one of two Duncan’s to follow her parent’s footsteps. Her brother, David, operates the Greenville branch of Duncan insurance. Source: Facebook, November 5, 2009, Date: November 5, 2009
Advertisement This advertisement—featured in "The Commerce Journal" on January 17, 1990—reflects the diverse types of protection that the Duncan Insurance Agency provides as well as their business expansion into Cooper, TX. Source: Advertisement for The Duncan Insurance Agency, 01/17/1990, Commerce Journal, Community History Archive of the Commerce Public Library. Date: January 17, 1990
Janet and Danny Duncan
Janet and Danny Duncan Source: Commerce Journal, January 1, 1990 Date: 1990
South Main St. c. 1990s
South Main St. c. 1990s Source: Commerce Public Library Date: c1990s



Abigail Rae Croft , “Duncan Insurance,” East Texas History, accessed June 20, 2024,