Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Mckown Strong Backer of Education during Career

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Mckown Strong Backer of Education during Career

Article excerpt

insurance agent, David R. McKown was a teacher.

McKown's continued emphasis in support of education while an insurance agent has led to his selection as recipient of the Journal Record Insurance Industry Service Award for 1988.

McKown got started in the insurance business during the summer of 1920, when he renewed an acquaintance with G.F. Newell, the former Grady County superintendant of schools.

Newell had given McKown his first teaching assignment in 1914 as a teacher in Herold, Okla., four miles north of Pocasset. In the intervening years before their reacquaintance, McKown had been in the field artillery corps of the U.S. Army during World War I and had received a degree in geology from the University of Oklahoma. By 1920, Newell was in the life insurance business and persuaded McKown to work for him that summer in Chickasha.

In January 1939, McKown left the life insurance business to form the Dave R. McKown Co. in Oklahoma City to sell property, casualty and surety insurance, targetting businesses.

That same year, McKown was elected to the Oklahoma City Board of Education. Early in his six-year tenure on the board, he led the abandonment of the old system of awarding insurance contracts through political patronage. A new committee of insurance agents was installed to award insurance contracts from the board.

As president of the state association of property and casualty insurance agents in 1949, he assisted in founding the annual insurance school at the University of Oklahoma.

McKown's firm was a commercial insurance agency from the start, servicing contractors and writing surety bonds, he said. The firm was able to target potential customers by learning when their existing insurance expired, he said.

He could point to two reasons why companies wanted to deal with him rather than other agents. One was the friendship he developed with his customers, the other was an intelligent approach and knowledge of the business.

"And in particular, an understanding of the hazards or the risks that that particular business has," McKown said.

Knowledge of the rating practices of the insurance companies helped, he said. When a firm improved the structure of its factories, it would be eligible for lower rates, he said. Additionally, some of the companies that McKown represented were interested in developing their business in certain lines, and would offer lower rates to attract those commercial accounts.

In 1954, McKown formed a partnership with Bill McWilliams, a relationship that lasted until McKown's retirement in 1971. …

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