Chalfant and Tompkins Title Agency, Inc., is one of the oldest businesses in Camden County, as well as one of the oldest remaining in the same family. The Company, originally known as “H.W. Chalfant Abstracts”, was established in the year 1887 by Henry W. Chalfant. Mr. Chalfant held many county offices and later served as Representative to the Missouri General Assembly. During this time, Mr. Chalfant leased his records to Henry W. Laswell from January 1, 1891 until January 1, 1902.
On January 29, 1902, the Camden County Court House at Linn Creek was destroyed by fire, destroying all the county records. While some land records were re-recorded in the Court House after the fire, H. W. Chalfant Abstracts had most of the land title records prior to the Court House fire.
In the year 1909, Chalfant’s second eldest daughter, Maria (who later married William May Tompkins) began working in the business and she, along with her husband until his death in 1932, owned and operated the title company in old Linn Creek and Camdenton until her retirement in 1961.
During the period 1929 to 1932, when the Lake of the Ozarks was being formed, the land records were leased to Kansas City Title and Trust Company of Kansas City, Missouri. Roland G. R. Rexroth worked as the General Manager during this time, as well as Mrs. Tompkins and Mildred (Jeffries) Williams. Mrs. Williams continued to work for the company as a typist for over 50 years until her retirement.
The business was one of the last businesses to leave old Linn Creek until it was determined whether the new county seat would be established in Camdenton or in the new town of Linn Creek. Before the current office was built, the company was located in a residence at the corner of (now) Illinois and Niangua Streets in Camdenton. The permanent office was built in 1931 across from the street from the Camden County Court House, where it stands today. This office also housed local land surveying offices for many years.
Maria Sue (Tompkins) Peterson, the only child of William and Maria (Chalfant) Tompkins began working with the office in the year 1957. She became manager of the office in 1961, after her mother’s retirement; and owner of the office in October of 1965 after Mrs. Tompkins’ death.
Larry Peterson, one of the two sons of Maria Sue Peterson, began working full time in the office with his mother in the year 1973. His wife, Lisa, began working with the office in the year 1984; and they began writing title insurance and incorporated in the year 1985. They became owners of the title company after Mrs. Peterson’s retirement in 1989.
Because of the growth in the County, an addition was built on the existing office in 1999. Aside from the owners, the company currently employs 5 employees and are agents for 2 title insurance companies.
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