Attorney Ben H. Yandell in his office south of the courthouse developed a systematic title abstract business in independence. Cecil MacFarlane, a young stenographer in his employ, became interested in the work and purchased the business before Yandell’s death in 1913. MacFarlane was also a court reporter, and he served as Inyo County tax collector for the 1911-1914 term.
Business prospered for “C.I. MacFarlane, searcher of records,” who was searching records in Mono County also. In 1917 he acquired a small parcel of land directly across from the courthouse in Independence and built a new office building to house the company. The business became known as the Inyo County Abstract Company, with it’s branch, the Mono County Abstract Company, occupying the same office.
In the 1930’s MacFarlane had four additional men on the staff to help search title on the town property which was being acquired by the city of Los Angeles. Inyo County was enjoying a temporary boom, while the the rest of the county was in a slump of a depression. Upon the death of MacFarlane in 1934, his widow, Irene, continued the business, with his daughter, Sally, acting as manager. When Sally married in 1946 she and her husband, William E. Burch, bought the company.