Chicago Title Insurance Company
Chicago Title and Trust Co.
Charles C. Chase C hicago Title and Trust Co. dates back more than 150 years through the succession of several firms and corporations that were engage in the abstract and title business in Cook County, Illinois.

The year was 1847; Chicago was booming. Almost 17,000 persons called it home... and new pioneers were streaming in steadily to grasp the opportunities for independence, which the rich prairie soil promised.

An obscure young law clerk, Edward A. Rucker, devised a system of keeping track of every recorded instrument and legal proceeding affecting real estate titles. This saved attorneys the laborious task of searching official records in connection with transfers of real property. It was a valuable service that was welcomed.

Rucker hung out his shingle in the Saloon Building... then, later that year, joined with James H. Rees in the Merchants' Exchange.

As the city grew, abstract indices similar to Rees' and Rucker's were established by J. Mason Parker in 1852, and Fernando Jones in 1863. This was the foundation of what was to become Chicago Title and Trust Co. (CT&T).

Chicago Title and Trust Co.

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In 1868, Charles C. Chase entered the firm, which became Chase Brothers & Co., one of the three abstract businesses in Chicago at the time of the Great Fire of 1871.
 James H. Rees of Chicago Title Insurance
James H. Rees, a prominent real estate man, joined law clerk Edward A. Rucker in 1847 in Chicago's first land title abstract business. Carrying on alone after Rucker's departure from the abstract business in 1850, he partnered with Samuel B. Chase in 1852. The firm of Rees & Chase later became Chase Brothers, upon Rees' departure.
Ad from 1847  alt=
An early advertisement dating back to 1847. Although the original of this photograph is unlabelled, resemblances with other portraits in the Chicago Title and Trust Co. archives strongly suggest that these gentleman are the three Chase Brothers. From left to right are Horace G. Chase, Samuel B. Chase and Charles C. Chase, circa 1894.