One of Neosho's oldest businesses, Newton County Abstract and Title, was honored with the October Business/Employer Award from the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

One of Neosho's oldest businesses, Newton County Abstract and Title, was honored with the October Business/Employer Award from the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.
In 1896 in Neosho, Wiley E. Sims opened an abstract and title company in Neosho. Now known as Newton County Abstract and Title, it is one of the oldest continually operating businesses in Neosho and Newton County. The business has been ongoing for more than 120 years and current staff members have 185 years of combined experience.
Owner Bill Sims is the third generation of the Sims family to be involved in the business founded by his grandfather, Wiley E. Sims, along with A.C. Beach and Horace Ruark. Within a few years, what began as the Neosho Abstract Company changed ownership to Sims and H.T. Osbourn. In 1906, L.D. Rice bought out Osbourn's interest.
By the early 1920's, the Neosho Abstract Company bought out both Geyer Abstract Company and the Newton County Abstract Company and formed the current Neosho Abstract and Title. The founder's son,Wiley E. Sims, Jr. joined the firm after his college graduation in 1934 and remained with the company until his retirement in 1977. At that time, Bill Sims, after decades in banking, followed his grandfather and father's footsteps into Newton County Abstract and Title Company
 From 1906 until 1984 when Bill Sims purchased all outstanding stock from the Rice family, it was a joint endeavor between the Sims and Rice families.
Ashley Siler, Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, said, "We've had a great turnout for the Business/Employer of the month. I think that just goes to show how worthy Newton County Abstract and Title is for this award. You guys are loved in this community. You guys were actually nominated online by someone from the community.  It was an anonymous nomination. We have a committee formed of local business people that pick our winners and they knew Newton County Abstract and Title was a worthy nomination."
Recognition were made to Sims from the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Neosho and Newton County. Rob Brown, Farm Bureau Insurance made the presentation on behalf of the Neosho Chamber while interim city manager Dana Daniels presented Sims with a proclamation from the City of Neosho Presiding Commissioner Marilyn Ruestman presented the recognition plaque to Sims from Newton County.
Office Manager Holly Mitchell said, "It's the oldest family business here in Neosho. "We do all manner of real estate business here, closings, title insurance, deeds and things of that sort. We'd like to help our anyone who needs to a land transfer here in Newton County."
Newton County Abstract and Title has six employees including Sims whose grandfather was one of the original founders.
Other employees include Susan Judy, David Sims, Mary Beth Williams, research, Belinda Hurley, closings, Mary Lou Lewis, title insurance policies, and Wilma Miller, title insurance commitments.
Miller was unable to be present for the recognition event but she is the longest term employee of the company
"She's been with us for over fifty years," Mitchell said.
"Yes," Sims added. "She was hired in by my dad."
The Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce also presented all Newton County Abstract and Title employees with gift cards from various Chamber members to show their appreciation.
Newton County Abstract and Title is located at 107 West Main Street in downtown Neosho,