The year was 1847 and Chicago was a booming city. Almost 17,000 people called it home and new pioneers were streaming in steadily to grasp the opportunities for independence. During this time, an obscure young law clerk, Edward A. Rucker, devised an abstract 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 an new and innovative service that was welcomed with excitement by the entire real estate community.

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. After a succession of several firms and corporations engaged in the abstract and title business in Cook County, in 1891 the name of the company was changed to Chicago Title and Trust Company (CT&T).

In 1920 the scope of the company’s business extended beyond Cook County, Illinois where it had started and in the 1950s Chicago Title reached beyond its state borders to increase its title insurance business. It was then that Chicago Title Insurance Company (CTIC), as we know it today, developed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of CT&T.

In March 2000, Chicago Title Insurance Company merged with Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (FNF) to become one of the largest title companies in the nation. Much has changed in the nearly 170 years, but the fundamental principles upon which the company was founded are steadfast. Throughout the years, Chicago Title Insurance Company has grown in stature with a solid reputation for integrity and standing the test of time. We look forward to the next 170 years!