Iroquois Title History

This Company and its predecessors have been serving the title needs of those individuals and companies dealing with real estate in Iroquois County, Illinois, since 1863. Iroquois County Title and Trust Company was founded in 1902 when the companies of several small abstracters were bought and a corporation was formed. In 1978 the trust department was sold to Watseka First National Bank and Iroquois Title Company began its existence.

Since the incorporation of Iroquois County Title and Trust Company, there have been five presidents of the companies. F. L. Hooper was its first. J. O. Bailey served from 1920 to 1953 when William N. Cavitt took control. Virgil J. Gaines began his tenure in 1972 until turning over the reins to Wayne A. Lehmann in 1991. All the while there have been many loyal and dedicated employees who have contributed to the continued success. This corporate culture has served the ownership, staff and community well. It is the ongoing goal of Iroquois Title Company to maintain the high degree of expertise and integrity to ensure the Company’s future success.

Facilitating the transfer of title to real estate has been an ever-evolving procedure. Throughout the 1800’s and most of the 1900’s abstracts were used exclusively as a form of title evidence. An abstract is a history of the chain of title to a tract of real estate. It lists each event individually as they are recorded in the public records. An attorney examined the abstract then rendered an opinion as to the condition of the title. Local practices often dictated what was acceptable to buyers and lenders.

As society became more mobile and lenders became more regional and national, there arose a need for a more standardized procedure for completing the real estate transactions. Thus began the wide spread use of title insurance. Abstracts became the exception and title insurance the rule. In this type of insurance, the underwriter accepts the liability that the condition of the title is as stated on the policy as of the date thereof. Thus, the risk of a defective title is shifted from the owner and lender to a large company with sufficient assets should any claim arise. Under certain circumstances the closing of the transaction is also insured.

Future changes are unknown. However, the goal of Iroquois Title Company remains - serve the needs of our clients to the best of our ability.

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