1860. That’s the year Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th President of the United States, the Pony Express began its first run, and Charles Dickens published the first installment of Great Expectations. It’s also the year Walsh Duffield Companies, Inc. was founded by James Mooney.
Back then, Buffalo was growing quickly as an immigrant-filled city; in fact, Mooney himself emigrated from Ireland to the Queen City when he was just 12. While he was always proud of his native country, he also had great faith in his new hometown. Add to that a keen business sense and knowledge of real estate and insurance, and James Mooney and Bro. was born.
Like many families back then, James had eight children; the youngest was Geraldine Mooney, who married John N. Walsh. At the turn of the century, the Mooney beginnings blended into ownership by several early members of the Walsh family, including John. While it was a difficult time as the U.S. was lurching towards the depression, the company survived challenging odds under the watchful eyes of the Walsh family.
Eventually renamed the John N. Walsh Company, John spent 55 years at the helm of the firm and was devoted to its growth and development. In fact, under his leadership, the company boasted an impressive roster of clients that included Marine Midland Bank, John W. Cowper, Siegfried Construction Co, Inc., Wildroot & Co., and Buffalo Housewrecking.
In the 1940s, after serving in the military during World War II, John’s sons, John Jr. (Jack) and Edward, joined the business, which had four employees at that time. As automobiles, workers compensation, and product liability added new levels of risk for clients, the brothers saw an opportunity to offer new lines of insurance. Both Jack and Ed were tireless in their efforts to grow the business through wise acquisitions, including that of the Norman Duffield Agency in 1955, and expanding lines of insurance.
In the 1970s, the current generation of owners – cousins John III (Jack), Michael, Theodore (Barney), and Edward Jr. (Ted) Walsh – joined the family firm. Sean P. Keenan (Ted's son-in-law) joined the firm in 2006 beginning a 5th generation of family leadership. Building upon the many accomplishments of their fathers, they’ve ushered in a new era of growth and success at Walsh Duffield. Today, the company employs 80 associates, is in the top 2% of U.S. insurance agencies based on size, and serves thousands of individual and business clients across Western New York and the U.S.
Though more than 150 years have passed since our founding, the core values of James Mooney, and John, Jack, and Ed Walsh are the heartbeat of our company. We continue to strive to help our clients through smart insurance solutions, and are proud of our reputation as problem solvers, philanthropists, and leaders in our community.