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Stewart Title Expands in Wisconsin and Oregon

January 25, 2005

HOUSTON, /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Stewart Title of Wisconsin Inc. has acquired Jackson Kahl Title Services LLC of Fond du Lac, Beaver Dam, Watertown and Ripon, Wis. Existing management and staff will remain with the office.

"Jackson Kahl is a well-known name in the state, and we are pleased to add these excellent offices in towns where Stewart Title did not have a local operation," said David Silberman, president, Stewart Title of Wisconsin. "As a result, Stewart Title now serves a substantial portion of the eastern half of Wisconsin under one company with many closing offices."

The offices will operate as a division of Stewart Title of Wisconsin. Former Jackson Kahl Manager Renee Backus is the new division president. Backus is a 20-year title industry veteran and formerly owned her own title agency in Fond du Lac.

"I'm excited about being a part of a large national company with the support and depth of experience that Stewart Title has," said Backus. "We are especially pleased about the tools such as the SureClose(R) online transaction management system that we will now be able to offer to our clients and customers."

Stewart Title of Wisconsin is the new name for the consolidated operations of Sheboygan Title Services Inc. and Stewart Accurate Title Inc., which operates out of Milwaukee.

In a seperate transaction, Stewart Title Co. also acquired Abstract & Title Co. in La Grande, Ore. Management and staff will remain with the office, which will retain its name.

"This move helps us begin to expand our presence throughout the state of Oregon," said Stewart Title District Manager Mark Pillette. "We are pleased to be adding this great company to the Stewart Title family, and look forward to establishing a close relationship with the staff and the community at large."

Abstract & Title Co. was established as a corporation in 1912 and issued its first title policy in 1929. For nearly 50 years, the Wylde family owned and ran the company. Robert W. Wilkins and Joyce Wilkins purchased the company in 1988. Robert Wilkins had retired and now has sold the company.

Current president, Dennis Watterson, has been with Abstract & Title Co. since 1991. The 10 members of the current staff include several employees who have been with the company for more than five years.

"We are pleased to join the Stewart organization," said Watterson. "We are especially pleased to have access to many new automation tools that will enable us to do our work more efficiently and provide better customer service."

La Grande is located in northeast Oregon on the historic Oregon Trail at the feet of the Blue Mountains. It has a population of 12,000 and is also home to Eastern Oregon University.

Source: Stewart Title

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