Last Updated: Jul 14, 2020
Mayo Family’s 120-year Legacy of Business Success
It was the late 1880s, and a land run was taking place in Southwest Louisiana. English companies and investors were buying up the low-priced, fertile land and promoting it to farmers in the Midwest who were looking for new opportunities. The marketing strategy worked. The prospect of rich, abundant farm land in the bayou region proved to be huge attraction.
It was in this era of rapid growth and development that a savvy businessman by the name of A. M. Mayo started a title company to help the new farmers and investors with their land purchases. Mayo Title was formed on September 1, 1887. Little did A. M. know that his one-room office over a drug store on Ryan Street would not only succeed, but grow to become one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the region. Four generations and 120 years later, Mayo Land Title Company offers unmatched experience in the land title field.
A.M. Mayo’s son, Seaman A. Mayo, was the first to follow in his father’s footsteps. He learned the trade at his father’s side. Tragically, both A. M. and Seaman died within six months of each other, just after the start of World War II. Claudius A. Mayo, grandson of A. M. and nephew of Seaman, had joined the family business before going off to fight in the war. When he returned to Lake Charles after the end of the war in 1946, he returned also to the family business. During this period in the Mayo business history, the company name evolved from Mayo Title to Mayo Title Company.
Bradford H. Mayo joined his father, Claudius, in the family business in 1961. Three years later the name was changed to Mayo Land Title Company to emphasize the specialization in land title work.
Over the years, the company has experienced phenomenal growth, and now includes 25 employees and three divisions with services provided in six Southwest Louisiana parishes. The main office is located on Bilbo Street in Lake Charles, with division offices in DeRidder and Oberlin.
Now the company president, Bradford says he has seen many changes in the industry in his nearly 50 years in the business. It’s really interesting to look back. Many of the things we do on a daily basis are exactly the same things my great grandfather did the research, the information required for documents. What has changed is the complexity of the documents, legal requirements, and the technology used in getting and storing the information. Things move at a much faster pace now, and I’m proud to say we are on the leading edge of this technology, offering the latest record system and geographical traced indexes for our customers.
Bradford says that in the future he anticipates an increased demand for faster service and more reliance on electronic media formats in the title industry.
According to Bradford, the secrets of the family’s business success have always been their strong work ethic, a commitment to their customers’ needs, and the fact that they really like what they do. Success in business really comes down to relationships, and we’ve always established good relationships internally with our employees and externally with our customers and referring businesses. We’ve built a reputation for trust, and people have confidence in our work. We’re very proud of our family history and feel a responsibility for not only maintaining that reputation, but for building on the foundation we were given.
As the company celebrates this milestone in family history, the next generation of Mayos—Joshua, Zachary and Thaddeus are also part of the company’s management and are ready to continue the tradition of success started by their great-great-grandfather so many years ago.