Family owned in Newton County since 1896
Soon after organizing, Mr. Beach and Mr. Ruark sold their interests to Mr. Sims and H. T. Osbourn. This partnership continued until 1906 when L. D. Rice purchased the interest of Mr. Osbourn. This began a family relationship between the Rice’s and Sims’ which continued through three generations.
In the early 1920’s the business purchased the Geyer Abstract Company, operated by W. I. Peck, along with the Newton County Abstract Company, which was owned and operated by M. J. Kelly. When these purchases were made the current Newton County Abstract & Title Company was formed.
The business was managed by Mr. Sims with his son, Wiley Emsley Sims, Jr., joining the company after graduation from college in 1934. The elder Mr. Sims continued in the management of the company until ill health forced his retirement in the late 1940’s. Thereafter, W. E. Sims, Jr. took over the management of the company. During the next few years of the company, Newton County experienced many rapid changes with the construction of Fort Crowder, a military base which involved the purchase of some 66,000 acres of land by the U. S. Government and, at its peak, accomodated some 50,000 troops.
Then, in the 1950’s, Neosho experienced a boom period with the establishment of the Rocketdyne plant which manufactured and tested rocket engines for the space program. Much construction and many new sub-divisions sprang up during this period. W. E. Sims, Jr. continued in the management of the Company until his retirement in 1977. In that year, after a number of years in the banking business, Mr. Sims’ son, Bill, joined the Company as manager, becoming the third generation of the Sims’ family to be associated with the Company. In 1984 Bill Sims purchased the outstanding stock of the Rice family consolidating the ownership in the Sims family and concluding a partnership between the Rice’s and the Sims’ which had lasted for 78 years.
In 1998 the office building was extensively remodeled and some 3000 square feet of office space was added along with the most modern indexing and imaging equipment in the industry. The Company is continuing to update and modernize its equipment and facilities to keep up with the rapidly changing technology in the title industry.
Newton County Abstract & Title Company has a long history of providing title service to Newton County and continues to maintain the same high standards of courtesy, professionalism and accuracy that has been a trademark of the Company for over one hundred years.