The History of Hexter-Fair First American Title
The original Hexter-Fair Title Company was founded in 1916 by a real estate attorney named Victor Hexter. Hexter spent many hours working in the old Dallas Courthouse, tracing the ownership of properties in order to assure his clients they were not getting defective titles on properties they were purchasing. Hexter realized that running the indexes in the courthouse was a time consuming process that could be dramatically streamlined by indexing all real estate transactions according to the LOCATION of the property, rather than according to the names of the PARTIES to the transaction, as all Texas courthouses index records.
So, Hexter began the meticulous task of compiling an indexed system for all Dallas County transactions. As years went by, Hexter's system began to accumulate the records of' numerous transactions, according to the property location. In those early years, title insurance was in its infancy, and very few purchasers obtained a policy of title insurance. Instead, abstracts were compiled that provided purchasers with a complete history of all transactions that had been filed of record affecting the property they were purchasing. These abstracts went all the way back to Texas' statehood in 1845. The trouble was, however, that abstracts did not protect buyers against forgeries, mentally incompetent sellers or undisclosed illegitimate children who rightfully inherit from their natural parent, to name a few of the risks. Thus, the system still wasn't perfect.
More and more people began to realize the benefits and additional protection of title insurance with Victor Hexter being a leading proponent of the concept. In the early 1930s, Victor's business had grown so much that his son, Louis, a young real estate lawyer, joined the firm. After World War II, Louis took over the reins of the company and managed it until his retirement in 1968. In 1968, Bill and David Fair, father and son, were elsewhere in the title business in the Metroplex. Bill Fair was in the midst of selling his title company to a company that is now known as Chicago Title. David Fair, then a young real estate attorney, had formed Plano Title Company in 1965, and would soon acquire Lawyers Title Agency of Denton.
Bill Fair acquired Hexter Title in 1968 and changed its name to Hexter-Fair Title Company. Bill continued to run Hexter-Fair until 1975 when David Fair bought Hexter-Fair and merged its operations with those of Lawyers Title Agency of Denton. Bill and David Fair saw Hexter-Fair grow from some fifty employees in 1968 to the largest title agency in the State of Texas with twenty-five offices and more than 500 employees in three counties. David Fair sold Hexter-Fair in 1983 to a financial institution that later became Bright Bank Savings Association. David remained as Chairman of the Board of Hexter-Fair until 1988 when Bright Bank sold Hexter-Fair to Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation. In 1995 David Fair re-acquired Hexter-Fair from Lawyers Title.
The Rebirth of Hexter-Fair
The re-formation of Hexter-Fair became possible when its owner purchased another title company in Dallas. Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation had owned the records system and other files of Hexter-Fair Title Company from 1988 through 1995. In 1995, Lawyers Title purchased the Texas operations of American Title Company, including its Dallas records system. That purchase gave Lawyers Title two separate records systems for Dallas County, and one became expendable.
David Fair had previously been trying to regain the name "Hexter-Fair Title Company", but had been unable to purchase it. However, when Lawyers Title made the business decision to sell its extra records system, the name "Hexter-Fair" simply went along with the purchase of the old Hexter-Fair records.
With its records intact, and its name restored, and many of its former employees back with the company, David Fair noted "It's like we were never gone from the market. Everyone seems to remember the name with fond memories."
Hexter-Fair Joins First American Title
In January 2012, Hexter-Fair joined the First American family of companies and was renamed Hexter-Fair First American Title. Today, the company proudly serves the state of Texas with operations in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.