Firm History – Timeline

1736: James Oglethorpe dispatched troops led by Noble Jones to create a settlement up the river from Savannah. Oglethorpe named the town Augusta.

1739: Road construction began to connect Augusta and Savannah.

1785: Augusta served as the state capital for 10 years.

1835: The city of Aiken, South Carolina was founded and named after William Aiken, the President of the South Carolina Railroad.

1847: The Augusta Canal began construction.

1867: William (“Will”) Hale Barrett was born to a family that had lived in Augusta for several generations. He obtained a degree in Philosophy at The University of Georgia. He was admitted into the Bar in 1887 and returned to Augusta where he read law in the Office of Major J.C.C. Major Black, a Civil War Veteran. In addition to reading law with Major Black, Will Barrett taught public school and served as the principal of Central Grammar School for 2 years.

1872: Henderson & Salley was established in Aiken by Daniel Sullivan Henderson, a prominent South Carolina lawyer and a member of the South Carolina State Senate.

1885: James (Jim) Merriwether Hull was born in Augusta. He graduated from Richmond Academy. He graduated from the University of Georgia and then studied law at the University of Virginia.

1887: Will Barrett was admitted to the Bar at the age of 20. He practiced law with Major Black and served as a Judge for the Recorder’s Court of the City.

1894: George Barrett, the son of Will Barrett, was born. He earned an AB degree from the University of Georgia and then received his law degree from Harvard Law School.

1907: Jim Hull was asked by the well-established Cumming Law Firm in Augusta to leave law school at the University of Virginia, return home, join the firm and take the bar exam. The firm was changed to Cumming and Hull. Jim Hull practiced at Cumming and Hull until 1916.

1914: The Augusta Rotary was established. Jim Hull was a founding member and served as the first President.

1916: Will Barrett attended the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in Washington, DC. Former Augustan, Joseph R. Lamar, was then a justice of the United States Supreme Court. This appointment came his way based on his acquaintance with President Taft when Taft spent time at his “Little White House” in Augusta following his election. Justice Lamar invited Augusta lawyers to be his guests in Washington during that meeting. During their visit, Will Barrett and another Augusta lawyer Jim Hull discussed forming their own partnership. When Barrett and Hull returned to Augusta, they established the law firm of Barrett and Hull.

1916: Organized by Thomas and Louise Hitchcock, the 1st annual Aiken Horse Show took place and continues to present day.

1917: George Barrett was admitted to the bar and joined the practice of Barrett and Hull.

1918: Will Barrett’s home and law office were destroyed in the Great Augusta Fire. He served as Chairman of the relief committee that was established to help those less fortunate who had suffered greatly from that disaster. When the City later presented him with a gift of appreciation, his voice trembled as he said in acknowledgment, “I would rather hand this on to my son than any other inheritance.”

1919: Robert Claude Norman was born. He attended law school at the University of Georgia. He was admitted into the Bar in 1941. He entered into the United States Naval Reserve and served until 1945 with his ultimate rank being lieutenant commander. After serving his country, he practiced law with the firm for the entirety of his career. He was the author of the legislation creating the Augusta Canal Authority and served as its first chairman.

1921: Daniel Sullivan Henderson passed away. [description of law career/accomplishments]

1922: Will Barrett left the practice when he was appointed Judge of the United States District Court – Augusta’s first federal judge. It is said that Judge Barrett’s character made him not only an eminent jurist, but a beloved one as well. He was fair and understanding which inevitably led him to temper justice with mercy in every judicial act he committed.

1922: The name of the law firm was changed to Hull and Barrett to signify that George Barrett would continue to practice with the firm as Will Barrett assumed the bench.

1928: Major Black died, leaving a life interest in his substantial home on Greene Street to his sisters. He left the remainder to the Barretts and Hull Law Firm. That home is now gone and the lot is occupied by The Richmond County State Court Judges. Major Black’s Portrait hangs in one of the conference rooms at Hull Barrett, PC.

1929: William Hale (“Hale”) Barrett was born to George Barrett.

1930: The Aiken Steeplechase Association was founded.

1934: The Augusta National Golf Club held the first Augusta National Invitational Tournament now known as The Masters Tournament.

1936: Julian B. Salley, Jr. was admitted to the Bar and continued to practice law throughout his life with only a brief interruption to serve his country in World War II.

1939: The Aiken Rotary Club was established thanks to the sponsorship of the Augusta Rotary Club.

1939: The Hitchcock Foundation was established and received a woodland donation of approximately 1,191 acres. Today, it is known as the Hitchcock Woods Foundation and has acquired a total of 2,100 acres through donations and purchases.

1942: Judge Barrett past away at the age of 75, having served as the District Court Judge for 20 years. His excellent reputation as a judge expanded beyond the district, and he was called upon many times to preside over cases in New York, New Orleans, Atlanta, Florida and Texas. Typical of the administration in which Judge Barrett was held was this statement from a letter by a Department of Justice lawyer in Washington, DC to Judge Barrett’s son: “He was one of the best of all the federal judges. I can say this gracefully because I’ve never won a case before his court, and I never had one decided wrong against me… In my 20 years of practice before the Federal Judiciary, I have never known a judge who even approached your father in the disposition of business before the court.”

1942: George Barrett passed away. He was a founder of the Kiwanis Club in Augusta and organized an Augusta Newsletter to be disseminated to active military personnel from Augusta.

1946: Post war, veterans “struggled with unemployment, housing shortages, and an endless run-around when seeking information on or assistance with obtaining veterans benefits.” John Bell Towill was a founder of the Independent League for Good Government to help extinguish city and county abuse of veteran benefits. He “mounted energetic registration campaigns” and was able to register 20,000 voters to help with the cause. “Local businessmen joined in, allowing employees to take off entire days in order to register; moreover, the League of Women Voters, the Augusta Women’s Club, Typographical Union Local #41, and the rabbi of the Adas Yeshuron Synagogue all promised their support and cooperation.” Defining the Peace: World War II Veterans, and the Remaking of Southern Political Tradition, Jennifer E. Brooks.

1948: U.S. Army moved the Signal Training Center and Military Police School to Camp Gordon, now Fort Gordon.

1948: Clarks Hill Reservoir was created by the dam and provided the city with a supply of hydroelectric power.

1949: ?

1950: Plans for the Savannah River Plant were announced as President Truman asked the DuPont Company to oversee the construction and operation of the nuclear weapons facility which brought thousands of new residents to the Central Savannah River Area.

1955: Hale Barrett graduated with a law degree from the University of Georgia. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University. He was the grandson of the firm’s founder and was among those who drafted Georgia’s modern corporate code.

1957: Jim Hull was honored by the Augusta Bar Association for his 50 years of practice. Former Judge Ed Fulcher said the following: “He is a man of charming personality, but his presence and companionship give more than pleasure. His vigorous intellect, his virile qualities as an advocate, and his magnificent discernment of legal principles give inspiration, courage, and incentive to be better lawyers, better citizens and better men.”

1961: The Aiken campus of the University of South Carolina was established.

1964: Elmore Sullivan Henderson passed away. [description]

1968: P. Findley Henderson passed away, the last of the Henderson family connected to Hull Barrett, PC.   [description]

1974: Hale Barrett was the first Augusta lawyer to file a class action. He filed on behalf of the shareholders of a local business who alleged they were forced to sell at a grossly inadequate price. The lawsuit was successful.

1975: Jim Hull, at the age of 90, passed away. He was a founding member of the Augusta Rotary Club, he started and served as First Chairman of the Rotary’s Educational Scholarship Fund, now known as The Hull Fund, served as president of the Georgia-Carolina Council of Boy Scouts, served as president of the YMCA when its new building on Broad Street was constructed, president of the First Community Chest (the predecessor to the current United Way), Senior Warden of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, President of the University of Georgia Alumni Society and a Member of its chapter of the Gridiron Secret Society, and served as First Lieutenant during World War I and was Chairman of the USO activities for Augusta during World War II.

1976: The old Aiken County Hospital was closed and the new Aiken Community Hospital, now Aiken Regional Medical Center was opened.

1977: Julian Willingham was appointed Administrative Law Judge for the Georgia Workers Compensation Board and served in that capacity for ten years. Prior to his appointment, he served four years in the military as an officer (Captain) during World War II, including service in India and the Mediterranean, and was recalled to service in 1951 in the JAG Corps at the Pentagon. He practiced law with the firm for 30 years.

1977: The Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum was founded.

1980: Bernard J. Mulherin, Sr., who headed the real estate practice at the firm from 1960-1980, became a Superior Court judge. He also served as an Army officer and later an FBI special agent.

1996: A consolidated government was formed by the City of Augusta and Richmond County, forming Augusta-Richmond County. David Hudson was a principal drafter of the legal provisions in the new charter.

1997: Neal Dickert, who has returned and is practicing with the firm today, served as Superior Court judge from 1997-2007.

1999: The firm was growing and many clients required legal representation in Aiken, South Carolina and the surrounding area. With the help of Julian B. Salley, Jr., Hull, Towill, Norman and Barrett merged with the Aiken firm of Henderson & Salley. With the merger, the firm became Hull, Towill, Norman, Barrett & Salley with two locations serving the Augusta and Aiken communities.

2004: Hull Barrett renovated and expanded the Aiken offices.

2005: Julian Salley passed away. [description of law career]

2006: Susan Barrett was appointed United States Bankruptcy Court Judge for the Southern District of Georgia.

2008: The David E. Hudson Open Government Award was created by The Georgia Press Association to annually honor journalists that work to keep government meetings open.

2009: President Obama executed the appointment of Edward J. Tarver to become the new U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. He received unanimous consent from the Senate and was responsible for a district covering 43 counties, stretching from Thurmond Lake to the Florida border with offices in Augusta, Savannah, Statesboro, Brunswick, Dublin and Waycross. Ed worked at Hull Barrett from 1992-2009 and practiced in the area of general civil litigation, trial practice with an emphasis on employment discrimination law, and public finance law.

2009: Hull, Towill, Norman, Barrett & Salley changed its name to Hull Barrett to honor the past and future of the firm. With Columbia County, Georgia being one of the fastest growing areas in Georgia, Hull Barrett announced it opened a third office in Evans, Georgia to better serve West Augusta and Columbia County.

2009: James M. Holly has been named the new chief of staff in the South Carolina Office of Comptroller General under Richard Eckstrom, CPA. James practiced at Hull Barrett in the areas of government, regulatory, land use planning, and commercial transactional law.

2013: Alana Kyriakakis currently serves as University Counsel at Southern Polytechnic State University. Alana worked at Hull Barrett from 2004-2010 where she practiced in the areas of general civil litigation with emphasis in employment litigation, governmental liability, civil rights litigation and constitutional law.

2013: Hale Barrett passed away. He had over 50 years of experience in business and commercial transactions. One of the best known companies for whom Hale served as General Counsel was The Sea Pines Company which developed Hilton Head and other properties along the East coast and Puerto Rico and was founded by Charles Fraiser, once an associate at Hull Barrett. The other well-known client was Morris Communications as it acquired newspapers in Georgia, Florida, Texas, Alaska and the Midwest.