The first record we have is from 1891. Joe Brown bought eight city lots (which includes the land where Hale County Abstract and Title Co. is still located) for $22.94. It was then sold to W.B. Martine in 1906 and was incorporated at that time. In 1908 it was sold to a firm called Martine and Sanders.
The business and property remained in the Martine family for many years and was later purchased by Mrs. Tommie Johnson. Mrs. Johnson then sold to American Land Title out of Amarillo in 1993. In 1998 Hale County Abstract purchased Swisher County Abstract and then Cowsert Abstract in Dimmit in 2000. American Land Title remained the owners of Hale County Abstract until May of 2005. The business was then sold to First American Title Insurance Company and they were the owners until 2008 when they sold to Deliece Harrison, who had been an employee of Hale County Abstract since 1988.
In April 2018, Deliece sold the company to Hale County Abstract and Title Co., L.P. Luke Martin, who is from El Paso, Texas, moved to Plainview to run the day-to-day operations. His father John, who has over 35 years experience in the title industry, provides periodic assistance to the HCAT staff and has been the President of Lone Star Title Co. of El Paso since its inception in 1999. John served as the TLTA (Texas Land Title Association) President for the 2018-2019 term.
The company has remained in the same location at 512 Ash Street, across from the Hale County Courthouse, since it originated. The original building was expanded to cover double the office space in 1987.
We are licensed to examine title in Hale, Swisher, Lamb, Bailey, Castro and Briscoe Counties. Closings may be arranged at either of our office locations (Plainview or Littlefield). We can handle 1031 exchange transactions, as well as new construction, home equity, and straight refinance loans, and REO properties on commercial land and residential properties. Hale County Abstract is locally owned and operated. Our office may be young, but we are experienced and are here to serve your real estate needs professionally and on time. Find out more about our people in the Our Team section below.
Luke M. Martin
Luke was born and raised in El Paso, TX. He attended Coronado High School, where he played baseball and was the President of his FFA Chapter, as well as an Eagle Scout in the BSA. Luke also played club baseball at Baylor University, where he graduated in 2014 with a BBA in Real Estate. He received a Masters degree in Real Estate Finance in 2015 from Texas A&M University. Luke grew up working summers in the title plant at his father's company, Lone Star Title Co. of El Paso, and spent the 2 years after grad school working in the commercial escrow side of the title industry at Rattikin Title Co. in Fort Worth, TX. In 2018, he became a first-time home buyer in Plainview. Luke serves on the Board for Covenant Hospital of Plainview, is in Rotary Club, and loves playing a round of golf at PCC and surrounding towns when time allows. Luke is an avid outdoorsman and primarily hunts pheasant, dove, quail, deer, and antelope. He looks forward to the continued challenges and opportunities that lay ahead for HCAT in 2022 and beyond!
Lead Examiner & Escrow Officer
Mark is originally from the Ohio River Valley. He attended Ohio University where he earned a BA in History in 2007. In 2009, he moved to Cairo, Egypt to attend The American University of Cairo where he and his wife, Jackie, earned a Master's of Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Upon his return from Egypt, Mark worked as an instructor at The Ohio State University and spent summers teaching English in China and Indonesia. Mark began his career in the title industry at Allodial Title in Columbus, Ohio in 2015. He moved to Lubbock, Texas in 2016 where he worked for the Lubbock County Clerk and, later, Hugo Reed and Associates, a surveying firm. Mark accepted a position at Hale County Abstract and Title Co., LP in 2019. He's currently spearheading efforts to digitize and index its records while concurrently serving as Lead Title Examiner.
Michelle was born and raised in Plainview and graduated Plainview High School. She moved to East Texas in 1994 and move back to Plainview in 2011 when she married her husband, Mack Yates, who works for Nutrien Ag Solutions. Michelle has 11 years’ experience in Abstracting. Part detective, part historian and part puzzle-solver, Michelle loves the abstracting and examination side of our business! Specifically she loves learning the history of Hale County, and the people that have been, and still are a part of it. Michelle has 1 son, Marcus and 4 grandchildren.
Chris grew up in Amarillo, Texas and attended Caprock High School where he was an active member of the football team. After high school he attended West Texas A&M and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance. He moved to Plainview in 2018 to join the HCAT team. Chris works in the exam department, assisting Mark and Michelle in preparing and completing examinations
Anna joined HCAT in June 2021 and has served as our receptionist, but also helps out on the escrow side of the business. She has 2 children, a boy named Liam and baby girl named Leilani.