The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

By Steve Edwards
BCJ Reporter 

Treasure State Title Company is new addition to Chinook business community


May 24, 2017

Steve Edwards

Steve and Lesley Zellmer are owners of the newly created Treasure State Title Company. The couple bought the assets of the Bear Paw Title Company. This summer the business will be moving to Indiana Street to the building that currently houses the "Blaine County Journal."

Steve and Lesley Zellmer have opened Treasure State Title Company in Chinook. The couple bought the assets of Bear Paw Title on December 30, 2016 from Pauly and Perry Miller, then created the new business. Treasure State Title will soon be moving to the old "Blaine County Journal" office at 217 Indiana in Chinook. Pauly Miller will continue to operate Fidelity Escrow Company, a business she started in 2012.

Steve Zellmer grew up in Blaine County, attending school in Harlem, Zurich and Chinook. Lesley, from Indiana, did a college internship in Havre with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and met Steve who was working for the BLM at the time. Steve said, "After graduating from Chinook High in 1999, I attended MSU-Northern and studied Ag Operations Technology." He started working for the BLM while still in college and explained, "I chose the courses I took to compliment the type of work I was doing for the BLM."

Lesley, left Indiana to attend USP (University of the Sciences of Philadelphia) and studied environmental science, looking to work in natural resources conservation and remediation. The internship, which brought her to north central Montana, involved inventorying noxious weeds and conducting surveys and assessments of riparian areas.

Steve and Lesley married and he continued to work for the BLM. She worked three years in the practice of Dr. Allen Beardsley, an ophthalmologist in Havre, and one year as a Beaver Creek Park Assistant. She has since been a stay at home mom. The Zellmers currently live outside Havre and have three daughters, ages five, four and nine months.

After 13 years with the BLM, Steve earned a real estate license and began working for the Missouri River Realty out of the office in Havre. A chance meeting between Pauly Miller and Steve at the Hill County courthouse lead to a discussion of a possible sale of the title company. Steve said, "I had some experience working with titles in the BLM and as a real estate agent. Lesley and I decided the purchase seemed like a good opportunity for us. We purchased the assets of the existing title company and started Treasure State Title Company.

Courtesy Photo

(left) Sarah Pratt, Chinook Chamber President, and (right) Chamber Treasurer Hayley Yost, recently welcomed Treasure State Title Company to membership in the local business group. Steve and Lesley Zellmer are owners of the new business and Steve, center, received the new member plaque and a plant from the Chamber. The new business will be moving, this summer, to the building where the "Blaine County Journal" is currently located on Indiana Street.

The business does title insurance and settlement/closing services for clients in Blaine, Hill, Phillips and Valley Counties. Lesley and Steve both work in the new business. Steve said, "At this point the two of us are able to take care of the business." Lesley added, "At some point we will likely explore adding some additional employees.

Looking ahead, they agreed the move to the new location on Indiana is the next challenge. Steve said, "We are hoping to move sometime in early summer. Before we move there will be some changes we will make in the building, but nothing major." The Zellmers said eventually they will consider renting or leasing out some of the surplus space in the new location, "but only after we've settled in." Keith and Keri Hanson are hoping to have their new location ready for the "Journal" on Indiana Street, just south of Finley's Food Farm (the old Chinook Hardware site), sometime in June.

The Zellmers recently joined the Chinook Area Chamber of Commerce and were officially welcomed by that group to the local business community. The Zellmers said, "We are happy to be doing business in Chinook. We have been well received and are looking forward to working with clients in Blaine County and the surrounding area."

The "Journal" joins the Chamber in welcoming Steve and Lesley Zellmer to the community and wishes them well in their new endeavor.


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