AMESBURY — Mary Bettencourt was just 16 years old when she walked into C.B. Peterson Insurance’s office and signed her first auto insurance policy with Carlisle “Skip” Peterson.
“My mother was adamant that I needed insurance,” Bettencourt said. “So I walked down to Elm Street from my home on Pearl Street and signed my first policy.”
That was in 1947.
For more than 70 years, Bettencourt said she has stuck with the same family to manage her insurance needs.
Because of her loyalty, she was feted as a guest of honor as she joined with Peterson’s grandson, Matt Sherrill, now the owner of Gould Insurance, as he cut the ribbon July 16 for the company’s new office at 41 Sparhawk St.
“My grandfather started selling insurance in 1932 out of an office in Market Square,” Sherrill said in a press release. “I often wonder if he ever expected it would last this long.”
Sherrill began working at his family’s C.B. Peterson Insurance office full time in 1984. When his father retired in 1990, Sherrill bought the business and took over as the agency’s owner.
“It was a little scary, to be honest,” he said in the release. “I was the third generation running the business, and I felt I had a lot to live up to.”
Sherrill’s family had a long relationship with the Gould family of Amesbury, with Sherrill’s grandfather initially having his Market Square office across the hall from Edward Gould, with both selling insurance. Like Peterson, Gould built his office into a bustling agency.
In 1995, Sherrill approached Bud Gould – Edward’s son – about selling to Gould. Gould agreed, and two of Amesbury’s oldest insurance agencies joined.
Gould brought Sherrill onboard to assist with the transition and support further growth.
“I cared about the people my family had been serving for decades,” Sherrill said. “Amesbury was my home, and I loved that I had the opportunity to continue working here and staying a part of the community.”
In 2013, Sherrill took over as manager of the agency and by 2016, he found himself yet again as the owner of one of Amesbury’s oldest insurance agencies when the Gould family sold the office to Sherrill.
In 2020, another opportunity presented itself.
“We had been in Market Square for decades, but always leasing our space,” Sherrill said. “When Amesbury Dental Associates moved offices, they placed their 41 Sparhawk Road building up for sale. I couldn’t have thought of a better place for our office.”
Sherrill purchased the building and moved Gould Insurance to the new location, offering on-site parking and ample space for staff and clients.
For more information: www.GouldInsurance.com.