By Andy Calvert
G. W. Mountcastle Agency, Inc. was established in 1890 by George W. Mountcastle, one of Lexington’s founding fathers. Mountcastle came to Lexington from Jefferson City, Tenn. at the age of 18 as the bookkeeper for the Bank of Lexington and rose up the ranks to become president of the bank. As a part of the bank’s function in making loans to customers, he saw the need to insure those loans and started the G. W. Mountcastle Agency to provide that service to bank customers and the public.
George W. Mountcastle helped start or had a hand in bringing many businesses to Lexington during the early 1900s. A few notable businesses included Lexington Light and Power Company in 1894, Lexington Telephone Company in 1896 and Erlanger Cotton Mill in 1914. Mountcastle remained in the banking business through the Bank of Lexington’s merger with the Commercial Bank of Lexington. The agency continued to be operated by his son Charles Mountcastle, who hired Robert Satterfield to run the agency in the 1940s. Satterfield had an insurance background from his days as an adjuster with the Bituminous Insurance Company.
The agency continued to grow, and in the early 1960s Jack Calvert and Eddie Allred were hired as agents and worked out of the office at 18 S. Main St. The ownership of the agency began to change from Satterfield to Calvert and Allred, and in 1975 the current location was built at 307 W. Center St. The agency began to expand, and by the mid 1980s the entire building was filled with 25 employees.
Calvert and Allred remained in the agency until their retirement in February 1999. Current owners are Andy Calvert, Walt Rouse, Chris Call and Pete Schantz, and the agency now has 27 employees, with 21 in Lexington and six in Winston Salem. In 2003, the agency became a partner agency in the Keystone Insurers Group. The partnership with Keystone brings together a wide array of products and services for their customers.
The Mountcastle Agency has always been active in the community through donations of money, time and talent to many civic and charitable organizations. In order to remain a progressive and viable agency, Mountcastle made investments in technology much earlier than their peers, and will be making further investments in 2015 better to serve their customers.
One important investment has been to bring in young and talented employees to ensure continued future success. This milestone could not have been achieved without the hard work of both past and present employees and the loyal relationships they have had with many generations of families and businesses in the community.
The principles of community development that George W. Mountcastle brought to Lexington continue to be a motivating factor in the operation of Mountcastle Insurance today and for the future. Mountcastle Insurance has been blessed to be a part of Lexington and Davidson County and its partners are grateful to the community for helping them reach 125 years of service.