Local insurance firm’s roots run deep

McAuliffe

The story of Insurance Services of Augusta begins with Frederick Milledge Lockhart.

 

A longtime civic leader, he was a charter member of the Augusta Rotary Club in 1914, a trustee of First Baptist Church and a director in Augusta’s old Merchants Bank.

Born in 1874, he was the son of prominent Augusta attorney Frederick Tutt Lockhart. After graduating from the University of Georgia in 1895, he became a reporter for the Augusta Herald and for a short time in 1898 lived in New York City to further pursue his reporting career.

By 1899 Lockhart had returned to Augusta to work for Lee and Bothwell, a wholesale grocer co-founded by a relative of his mother’s. It is said to be Augusta’s first wholesale business.

In 1902 Lockhart married, and that same year founded Lockhart and Co., a real estate firm that by 1904 was also brokering insurance policies.

In 1911 Lockhart partnered with Arthur Wilton Lucky Sr. and Paul Dunbar, and the business re-incorporated as Lockhart, Lucky and Co. In 1919 it became Milledge Lockhart and Co., and the following year changed to Lockhart, Hatch and Co. to reflect a new partnership with businessman J. Milo Hatch.

But in late 1922 Hatch started his own real-estate firm, and his interest in Lockhart’s company was bought out by the man with whom Lockhart would have his longest-lasting business partnership – Alvin Moore McAuliffe.

Like his new partner, McAuliffe involved himself heavily in local affairs. He was a trustee of University Hospital and a director of the old Georgia Railroad Bank and Trust. He emerged as such a strong leader in bringing St. Joseph Hospital (now University Hospital Summerville) to Augusta in 1952 that Pope Pius XII knighted McAuliffe into the prestigious Order of St. Gregory.

His most lasting legacy might be his plan in 1939 to aggressively market the Masters Tournament to locals.

McAuliffe founded the Business Man’s Masters Tournament Association just two weeks before the ‘39 tourney.

Ticket sales picked up so much that year and in 1940 that longtime Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Cliff Roberts, in his 1976 book, credited McAuliffe’s group for the Masters’ enduring success.

For more than 26 years, Lockhart, McAuliffe and Co. operated as one of Augusta’s leading realty companies and insurance carriers. After Lockhart’s death in 1949, the company quietly changed its name to McAuliffe Realty Co.

In 1967 it was one of the first tenants of what was then the new Georgia Railroad Bank Building at 699 Broad St.

In 1972 Insurance Services of Augusta began operating as a division of McAuliffe Realty, with Berry W. McIntyre as president. J. Richard Blanchard succeeded McIntyre in the 1980s, and David Goodbread succeeded Blanchard in 2008.

 

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