HUDSON, WI – The St. Croix County Register of Deeds’ Office officially recorded its one millionth document on Tuesday, August 12, celebrating with a small celebration for the record-setting event. The document was submitted by Shane Wiseman from St. Croix County Abstract & Title (New Richmond Office). The 1,000,000th document was a mortgage for property in the Township of Richmond, was recorded into the county records 166 years after the first document containing a St. Croix County legal description was received.
St. Croix County’s first known recording was a deed from Lewis and Francis Massey to William H. Nobles for a 53 acre parcel of land just south of Lake Mallelieu. The price of this beautiful parcel was $67.18. The property transfer was recorded on September 14, 1848, with a quill pen, in a hand-written bound book. Over the past 166 years this property has been divided into hundreds of parcels and homes that are located in the Village of North Hudson and now has an estimated value of $42,158,800
It took 145 years to record the first half-million documents and only twenty-one more years to record the second half-million. “St. Croix County is such a beautiful place to live and over the past decade has been one of the fastest growing communities in the State of Wisconsin,” said St. Croix County Register of Deeds, Beth Pabst. According to Pabst, many things have changed since that first hand-written document. A computerized document management system was first implemented in 1999 and there have been additional enhancements over the past 15 years
According to Pabst, “Our computer system provides new technology which allows St. Croix County employees to work more efficiently. The system features include optical character recognition, the integration of data with other county and state agencies and includes the ability to electronically record documents. This system has reduced redundant data entry, made the flow of information more efficient, allowed other county offices to improve programs and services for residents and has allowed for online access to information.”
The electronic recording of documents is paperless. Documents are created electronically, signed and notarized electronically, recorded and returned to the submitter electronically. The process of recording that in the past took weeks can now occur in hours. “Recorders have refined the recording process over centuries, constantly seeking efficiency and accuracy. Electronic recording applies true to time-tested processes and legal requirements to digital documents for faster and more accurate recording,” Pabst stated. “We are constantly facing new challenges and agendas for change, which requires us to be competitive and adaptable. We must rethink, retool and retrain constantly.”
Pabst added, “Our office handles land-related documents as well as vital statistical records such as military service discharges, birth, death and marriage records. The Register of Deeds office is able to tell the vital story of who, what and when for people’s lives and property.”