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Title Team

McKesson Title Corporation Celebrates More Than a Century of Local Service

Writer / Lois Tomaszewski
Photographer / Jubilee Edgell

McKesson Title CorporationWhen a real estate purchase is pending, the last thing that anyone wants to see happen is a problem with the title to the property or the necessary paperwork. At McKesson Title Corporation, the focus is on preventing last-minute problems and ensuring a smooth transaction.

Jon McKesson and his wife, Lynn Erickson, are the third generation to carry on the work that began in 1919 when attorney D.L. McKesson founded McKesson Abstract & Title Company. He was also the chairman of the board for the Marshall County Savings and Loan, and Jons grandfather. 

Starting an abstract business was a natural offshoot of the home lending business, and a good fit for D.L.s son, Dale McKesson,” Erickson says. 

Dale, along with his wife Rosella, owned and operated the business from around 1940 until 1982. In 1982, Jon and Erickson became the owners. Jon is the chairman and Erickson is the president.

The old abstract business involved creating a condensed version of the county records for a certain piece of real estate, in a book form,” Erickson explains.

Those records are part of local history, recording the ownership of Marshall County land, beginning with the Potawatomi to the present ownership. The abstract is a shortened notation of this ownership and includes deeds, mortgages, wills and any other legal documents associated with the parcel of land.

While the old abstracts are fascinating to read, at least to a title nerd like myself, they did involve a lot of typing and not a lot of guarantees of validity,” Erickson says. Eventually the market demanded that landowners receive an insured guarantee that their ownership was complete and free of liens or encumbrances.

McKesson Title CorporationThe preferred proof of this clear title is title insurance. McKesson Abstract & Title became McKesson Title Corporation in 1978. Title insurance is used for real estate transactions, and also when divorces or estates dictate a change in ownership of property. 

We typed our last abstract sometime in the early 1990s,” Erickson recalls. I hated to type those things, but I also kind of hated to see them go.”

Hundreds of abstracts completed by the title company were donated to the Marshall County Historical Museum. Erickson says she knows that history buffs have enjoyed researching their properties at the museum, using the abstracts her company compiled through most of the 20th century.

While parts of the original services offered by the company are now a part of the past, the company has stayed relevant by amping up the services they provide. The range of services draw clients beyond just those involved in a real estate transaction.

We still search the public records for the history of real estate parcels,” Erickson says. We now create a title commitment, which is a document of about 10 pages.”

Contained within this lengthy document are the names of involved parties, from titleholder or sellers to lenders and buyers, and also any liens imposed on the title such as taxes, judgements, mortgages, pending lawsuits, mechanics liens and more. 

The title commitment also clearly tells the customer what action is required in order to effectuate the sale of the property,” Erickson says. Its a very useful 10 pages.”

Most lenders and attorneys prefer to have title agencies handle real estate closings, and these clients keep Erickson and her staff busy. May was a particularly busy month, as many potential buyers and sellers hoped to close deals before interest rates rose. 

McKesson Titles clients are not only real estate professionals. 

Our customers can be farmers, businesses, banks, attorneys, real estate brokers or individuals – anyone who needs assistance with financing, real estate sales, construction loans or 1031 tax exchanges,” Erickson says. McKesson Title is different than most other title agencies. Were kind of like a boutique.”

She and her staff make the extra effort to plan and problem solve for a successful transaction completion. Whether it is a real estate closing, mortgage loan application, new construction loan or even those requesting a 1031 tax exchange, McKesson strives to complete the requirements efficiently and accurately. 

McKesson Title CorporationErickson praises her employees, Jean, Cheryl, Jess, Angie and Karlee, all of whom she says are family and expert at their work.

McKesson Title is so fortunate and proud to have such knowledgeable, experienced, capable employees,” she says. 

Because of the companys and the familys long history in the Marshall County community, there is a familiarity that extends beyond the services provided to clients. Erickson says Plymouths small-town vibe has made loyal customers friends. It is not unusual for customers to walk into the office to ask questions or seek advice. 

“Neither my husband nor I ever imagined that we would do this type of work,” Erickson says.

Jon has a masters degree in fine arts and made a living as a painter, after having been a successful newspaper columnist in Indianapolis. Erickson has a degree in parks and recreation and came to Plymouth after graduating from Indiana University Bloomington. 

When we first moved to Plymouth I asked several of the city officeholders about working with the parks and told them about my degree, and that I grew up with a father who was a city planner and parks department president as a side job,” she says. “I felt I had something to offer.”

She received a job offer to work as a lifeguard at the city pool. She turned it down and instead joined her husbands family business. 

Neither Jon nor I have a single regret,” Erickson says. We love this work and this business and this community with a passion. Having opened a second location in Knox several years ago, Ive now come to know the Starke County people, and love them equally.”

McKesson Title Corporation is located at 407 North Center Street in Plymouth, and at 1917 South Heaton Street in Knox. For more info, call 574-936-2555 or visit mckessontitle.com.

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