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,
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).
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, 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.
|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,