Texas Title Agency Evolves as It Marks 50 Years in Business

September 1, 2009

Elliott & Waldron Abstract Co. of Palo Pinto Inc. celebrated 50 years of business of business as employees reflected on the company’s evolution.

Co-owner Jane Privitt said the original company founders were in interested in counties that had oil and gas production, so that’s where they built abstract plants, eventually owning a few companies in Texas and a couple in New Mexico.

The company started in 1959 when Robert Merritt was hired as manager. Privitt said the company also hired Marie Conaster and Privitt’s mother, Patsy Moody, “for $275 per month,” she told the Mineral Wells Index newspaper.

Elsie Herring, a company employee, said the county has endured many ups and downs over the years, experiencing military base and helicopter school closures.

The company initially primarily provided abstracts, by manually typing them and making carbon copies. Elliott & Waldron’s abstracts date back nearly 150 years to Palo Pinto County’s sovereignty. The company’s business has shifted from providing abstracts to about 99 percent of issuing title insurance policies.

“If you had told me back in 1962 that title insurance would take over and absolutely delete the abstract business I would have never believed it on ranches and farms,” Herring said.

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