It’s really not all that unique of a document. It’s simply a mortgage for $2500 signed by my grandparents in 1946 that references 101 acres of real estate they owned at the time.

The legal description of the property contains a partial metes and bounds description of the real estate due to a railroad track that ran along the west border of the property. The legal description even references an 1875 deed involving the railroad property from the then owner of the property.

Recording information is included on the top of the mortgage (the instrument number and the book and page number) and in a special section of the document created for that specific purpose. A record copy of the document is maintained at the Hancock County, Illinois, Recorder’s Office. The mortgage was signed and recorded on the same day. Given that the location of the bank (Ferris, Illinois) and the Hancock County Recorder’s Office (Carthage, Illinois) are about five miles apart, the mortgage being signed and recorded on the same day is very reasonable–also note that the mortgage was recorded at 3:05 in the afternoon.

The mortgage is not stamped “paid,” but I also have the release signed by an officer of the bank when the obligation was paid in full a few years later.

We often talk about original sources versus derivative sources. This is an original source. The record copy in the courthouse, while it is the legal equivalent of the original copy that I have, is still a derivative copy.

I may have to get a copy of the record copy to see just in what format that record copy was made. I’m guessing that in 1946 it was not a typewritten transcription.

But do I really need the record copy of a 1946 mortgage when I have the original? Probably not.




2 Responses

  1. They did have typewriters back in 1946. My mother went to business school and became a typist around 1941. That’s how she met my dad. He would go to his friend’s business anytime he needed to have something typed.

    • The deed itself is typed and, as you know, typewriters were around before 1946. By 1946 other document reproduction techniques were available and used in some locations.

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