Founded in Austin, Texas in 1873, Gracy Title Company is the first and oldest land title insurance company in Texas.
The company’s original land title plant and document history dates back to the sovereignty of Texas as a territory when the King of Spain granted land to the original settlers of Texas prior to its period as a Republic from 1836-1845.
During the Reconstruction Era of the United States following the Civil War, the abstract and land title industry was in disarray regarding valid ownership of land and real estate claims, which gave rise to need for land & real estate contract negotiations, procedures and transactions to be insured. The general title insurance concept had previously been conceived but was not a fully legal industry within land transactions. A Pennsylvania dispute that arose in 1868, which eventually settled in 1873, led to the legal incorporation of U.S. title insurance companies, in The General Corporation Act passed in 1874.
The first company in Texas which arose out of the merging concepts of abstract, title and insurance, Gracy was founded from an existing abstract of title company, as James V. Bergen and Company in 1873 by surveyor James Valentine Bergen and George B. Zimpelman, a former Travis County Texas sheriff, land developer and owner of LBJ Ranch. As Zimpelman’s business influence in Texas development, increased he was given partnership, and the firm was renamed Zimpelman & Bergen. David Bergen Gracy, James Bergen’s cousin, joined the firm in 1881. When Zimpelman retired, the name changed to Bergen Daniel & Gracy Abstract Company (headed by James Bergen, David Bergen Gracy, and Charles Daniel at 103 E. 6th Street).
The Austin Board of Trade referred to the firm as “the only institution here that furnishes reliable abstract of title in the county.” The office later moved to 819 Congress Ave. David Gracy served as Austin’s city treasurer, city commissioner, and assisted in the organization of several prominent deposit & loan and mortgage companies in Austin. The company became Gracy Title Guaranty Company in 1920 and was owned and operated by the Gracy family until 1947.
524 N Lamar Blvd,
Suite 200 Austin,