The Orange County Pioneer Council presents First American Title with oral history collection


The Orange County Pioneer Council made a presentation to four prominent Orange County organizations in an effort to preserve and disseminate local history, according to Council Immediate Past President Bettie Webber. The awards were given at the Council's board meeting on Tuesday, June 5 at the Santa Ana Country Club.

The donation consists of a full set of the Council's oral history collection, 17 volumes in all. Larry White, executive vice president, and Carolyn Adamson, historical curator, attended to receive the gift on behalf of First American Title Insurance Company. Other representatives of organizations receiving the award were Roger Berry, head of special collections for the University of California, Irvine; Dr. Lee Estes, history professor, Chapman College; and Jane Gothold, president, Old Courthouse Museum Society.

The collection is of special interest to First American because of two of the interviewees are closely aligned with the company. Elsie Parker Kennedy was the daughter of the company's founder, C.E. Parker, and the mother of its current Chairman of the Board, D.P. Kennedy. She was interviewed for the collection by Elizabeth Kennedy Riney, D.P.'s daughter and President Parker Kennedy's sister.

Jack Taylor and his wife Charlotte were also interviewed. Taylor has been associated with First American for 60 years. He officially retired in 1974 but continues to work on a part-time basis. He was interviewed by Bettie Webber.

The Orange County Pioneer Council consists of over 500 members whose families arrived in the county in 1914 or before. The Council interviewed the subjects, California State University in Fullerton transcribed the interviews and the Council edited them. The Council is the only group working with Cal State Fullerton which conducts its own interviews through volunteer members. In addition to the books being donated, Cal State Fullerton has an extensive collection of oral history transcriptions generated through their oral history program.

First American Title Insurance Company, based in Santa Ana, Calif., celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1989. One of the largest title insurers in the nation, it offers title services through a network of more than 5,500 offices or agents in all 50 states. It also provides title services abroad in Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom.


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