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Our Founder

Leo Robert French

The story of our parent company, Mother Lode Holding Company, started in 1973 when the late Leo French, established Placer Title in California. His mission was to put together a team “who really cared about each other,” and, in turn, cared about the customers they helped every day.

If this was accomplished, Leo believed success would follow. To this day, he continues to be correct in that assessment. Starting with five employees he treated like family in two offices, Placer Title Company has grown throughout Northern and Central California and beyond, thanks to the other companies that make up Mother Lode Holding Company. North Idaho Title became part of the MLHC family in 1993.

Our key to success over the years has been our dedication to our customers, our fellow employees and the industry as a whole – just the way Leo would have wanted it. His “Main Street” approach to the business, plus the passion for people and the communities he served, meant that his company was always committed to the highest level of customer service possible.

Leo’s fingerprints are still all over the company today. He was a wonderful communicator who was famous for his handwritten letters and notes filled with humor, wisdom and rhymes. He and his wife, Eileen, loved to tap dance and led the MLHC team of dancers, performing at company events with colleagues who shared their love of dance. The couple’s enthusiasm and joy was contagious.

Eileen died in 2010, and Leo passed away in 2013, the same year he retired. But their caring spirit and Leo’s vision of creating a company based on caring for people will live on for years to come through all the work we do at Montana Title & Escrow and throughout the Mother Lode family.

Leo Robert French photo

Our Founder