Established in 1906, prior to statehood, Southern Abstract Company is a full-service title company offering abstracting/land record research, escrow closings and title insurance. The company was started by four gentlemen. We have copies of minutes from a September 9, 1907 board of directors meeting; in it they voted to retain one gentleman as their Office Manager “until such a time as a competent man can be secured to take his place”. Frank Phillips was one of the early stockholders. The Dunaway family purchased the company in 1948. In 1955, F. Earl Harper and his family moved from Buffalo, Oklahoma to Bartlesville when he was hired to manage Musselman Abstract Company. In 1957, he purchased Southern Abstract Company from the Dunaway family.
At one point, Earl and Wilson “Willie” Musselman purchased Bartlesville Abstract Company. They split the assets equally between Southern and Musselman, with Earl taking one typewriter and one desk and Willie taking one typewriter and one desk.
Southern Abstract is a title insurance agent for Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, WFG National Title Insurance Company and Alliant National Title Insurance Company.
Southern Abstract is a member of the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce, and its owner and employees are involved in and support several local non-profit and civic organizations including Bartlesville Rotary Club, Green Country Pilot Club, Bartlesville Area Habitat for Humanity, Building Bridges of Oklahoma, Make-A-Wish Oklahoma, and Bartlesville Library Literacy Services.
Southern Abstract Company has always been technologically progressive. Earl, who was an incredible typist, was one of the first companies to get an IBM Selectric Typewriter, which had memory capabilities. In the early 1960s, Southern Abstract Company and 9 other Oklahoma abstract companies funded research into the feasibility of computers in the title industry in Oklahoma. That project resulted in the first computerized abstract company in Oklahoma. Southern Abstract has continued to be progressive with technology, and internal operations at the company have been paperless since 2011. Our abstract plant (land title records) is current with the County Clerk and Court Clerk of Washington County. Everything filed by the end of the day in the county offices is indexed and ready to search the next morning.