A brief history of our title company.


McCarthy Abstract company was founded in 1896, by Michael H. McCarthy.

Mr. McCarthy, a pioneer resident of Holt County, was born in Troy, New York, in 1864.  He moved as a small child to Waukesha County, Wisconsin, and lived there until 1882.  He then moved to Holt County and homesteaded northeast of Atkinson in 1884 where he lived until moving to O’Neill in 1893 as a member of the county board of supervisors.  He and his wife, Ethel Morse, raised nine children during their 53-year residency in O’Neill.

Mike McCarthy was active in local politics, serving at various times as the chair of the county Democratic central committee and held a number of county office positions.  His interest in and knowledge of county affairs proved helpful when in 1896, he began his abstracting.  He continued the abstraction business until his death.  He died at the age of 82 in 1946, in an auto-pedestrian accident, on O’Neill’s Douglas Street.

Following his death, the business, McCarthy Abstract Company, was continued by his youngest daughter and son-in-law, Jeanne and Norman Gonderinger, and his oldest daughter, Kathryn McCarthy.  Mrs. Gonderinger had worked with her father in the business for several years prior to his death.  After Kathryn McCarthy left the business in 1952, Mr. & Mrs. Gonderinger continued the McCarthy Abstract Company on their own.  In 1972, Norman Gonderinger became a Holt County Judge, and Jeanne Gonderinger separately continued the abstract business as a licensed abstracter.

In November of 1983, McCarthy Abstract Company was sold by Jeanne Gonderinger to Ronald M. Shonka, of Shonka Real Estate, Inc., in O’Neill and was operated by Tim Gray, as a registered abstracter and title insurance agent.

In 1987, Tim and his wife Peg Hammond Gray, purchased McCarthy Abstract Company, and also purchased Holt County Abstract Company, which was formally owned by Dean Fleming of Fleming Realty and Insurance, of Atkinson.  With that purchase the business was incorporated as McCarthy Abstract Company.  With expansion of the business into Wheeler and Boyd counties, the business continued to grow, and Suzanne Stairs, a former owner of Holt County Abstract Company, began to help with the abstracting and search work, until 1995.  In the fall of 1992 McCarthy Abstract Company moved to its present location at 118 North Fifth Street.

Many changes have taken place, in the abstract and land title business, over the years, beginning with the had written abstract, then to the typewriter, and later to work processors and the computer.  Now, a major portion of the abstract work has been taken over by title insurance, which began in this area in the housing industry in the early 1980's and later spread to farm and ranch land.  The latest service required of the abstract and title company is that of escrow closings.  The company began offering this service in 1992, with Angie McCabe as the escrow agent, in 1993 Dana Kelly took over all the responsibilities as escrow agent and also as secretary for the company.  

Tim, after owning McCarthy Abstract and Holt County Abstract knew it was time to begin transitioning this business to the next generation. In 2015, Tim and Cody Boettcher, began to transition the business to continue to provide services as they have for many years. Cody has worked in the community as a Nursing Home Administrator, Ag/Commercial Banker for BankFirst for 5 years, and 2 years with Great Western Bank. His wife is Ashley who practices law in O'Neill and they have 4 children.