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When you’ve been in business for 60 years, you have stories to tell and experience in your corner. So it goes for Taylor Realty and Schacht Abstract & Title Co., another small business with a long history in Neligh, NE.
Bennie and wife Mary Ellen Taylor are no strangers to the successes and challenges that accompany owning a small business, but they must be doing something right: The business office located on Neligh’s Main Street continues to be one of the best places in Antelope County for people to go to conduct land transactions or find out the history of a piece of ground—the essence of what an abstract is.
The title company was originally opened by Walter Schacht in the old Rice building in 1948, where Taylor worked from 1957 until buying the business from his uncle in 1965, at which point title insurance was added. Today, Mary Ellen is the Title Agent for the business. The 1960s saw Taylor begin his appraisal services, and, in the 1970s, the Taylors purchased an insurance and real estate company from friend Dean Magwire.
So many services offered in one place for such a long time brings people searching for a piece of ground’s history to their doorstep—even, at times, the Courthouse.
“Since we have been in the title business for many years, we are familiar with a large number of the parcels of land and remember some of the problems there have been. There are times we may have information in our files to answer these questions,” says Taylor.
Operating over a span of 6 decades certainly means that the Taylors have seen many changes within the industry.
“When the abstract business was started, we used typewriters. Then came computers, copiers, computer programs, faxes, and email. [Additionally,] new laws and rules and regulations were added, which have been good for the industry.”
As any business owner knows, there are challenges.
“Owning and operating your own business can be trying at times, but you are your own boss, and can set your hours and work as many hours as needed,” admits Taylor. “Neligh has been a great location for us, and we’ve enjoyed being a part of the community for many years.”
Looking ahead, Taylor envisions passing along the businesses to valued employees and family.
“We have a great employee, Sandy Kester, a real estate broker and appraiser, who I would like to take over the real estate business, and also our grandson, Garrett Jacobsen, plans to return to Neligh after graduating from college to become an appraiser.”
Until then, you’ll find the couple hard at work, offering their expertise to folks throughout Antelope County, and looking forward to a hard-earned retirement.