Recorder now has all recorded documents dating back to 1850 available online

All documents from the Dallas County Recorder’s Office, dating back to the year 1850 can now be found online. Dallas County Chad Airhart and his staff have been working to make all of the documents available online and with the completion of the project, people can now find all deeds and documents and print them from anywhere instead of needing to drive to the Courthouse in Adel.

The documents are available online through software created by Cott Systems.

“Everyday the Recorder’s staff is faced with challenges to satisfy the requests of the public,” Airhart said in a news release. “With the completion of this project, we can provide better and more efficient service, saving us and the customer time and money.”

Now available online are indexed and imaged records dating back to 1960, as well as historic records imaged on a historical records webpage back to Dallas County’s first recorded book in 1850.

According to the news release, the Recorder’s office processes more than 25,000 documents each year and issues vital records, registers vehicle not designed for the road and serves as a passport acceptance facility for the U.S. State Department.

“We have advanced the office technology with the addition of software from Cott Systems, and this has helped us to improve our processes to do more with the same amount of staff, efficiently accommodating the needs of one of the fastest growing counties in America,” Airhart said.

The news release states that with the digitization of all of the records, they will now be safe from natural disaster where physical records might be lost. Additionally, there will now be more space in the Recorder’s office since they no longer need the physical books in the office.

Airhart will host an open house at the Dallas County Recorder’s Office on Tuesday, Oct. 17 from 1:30-3:30 p.m., where staff members from Cott Systems will be on hand to demonstrate the new system and how to search the website. Please RSVP by calling the Dallas County Recorder’s Office at (515)993-5804.

The Dallas County Recorder’s website is while the indexed records can be found at

The historic records/online index book portal can be viewed at

Published 10/1/2017 by the Dallas County News.

State lawmaker shadows Dallas County officeholders

L to R: Treasurer Mitch Hambleton, Representative Rob Taylor & Recorder Chad Airhart in front of the Dallas County Courthouse

Students of government sometimes shadow public officeholders in order to learn the ins and outs of public service. This week a student of another kind, Rep. Rob Taylor (R-West Des Moines), tracked the actions of Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart and Dallas County Treasurer Mitch Hambleton.

Airhart, legislative liaison for the Iowa County Recorders Association Board, invited the three-term state representative to spend a day in the Recorder’s and Treasurer’s offices and see for himself the day-to-day duties of county-level employees.

“It is important for our legislators to see and hear firsthand some of the issues we deal with at the county level administering government,” Airhart said. He said shadow invitations have been extended to other Dallas County legislators, and the idea has been proposed to the Iowa Association of Counties to set up a statewide job-shadowing program.

Hambleton said the aim of the shadowing exercise is to give state legislators a greater awareness of how bills the pass affect county operations.

“Having our legislators shadow us helps them to better understand county issues when they arise at the legislature,” Hambleton said. “It is our hope that this shadowing will help our legislators to be better advocates for county government at the state capitol.”

Taylor said he saw many satisfied constituents while shadowing Airhart and Hambleton and overheard interesting questions regarding processes and guidelines set by the legislature.

“I want to thank Recorder Airhart and Treasurer Hambleton for allowing me the opportunity to job shadow both of them to further understand and support local government,” Taylor said. “The professionalism from both of them is top notch. I really enjoyed watching the dynamics between Airhart and Hambleton and their employees. Dallas County is fortunate to have a dedicated group of employees working for them, and all our citizens should be proud of that.”

Taylor, a Des Moines native, graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1989. He earned an associate of arts degree from the Des Moines Area Community College, a bachelor of science degree from Upper Iowa University and a master’s degree in business leadership from William Penn University.

Taylor works for a petroleum distributor as a sales director. He and his wife, Christi, have four children, and they live in West Des Moines.

Original post can be found here.

Kansan donates rare Iowa historical atlas to Dallas County

Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart is the custodian of records for Dallas County, but sometimes county historical records turn up in the most out of the way places.

Arthur C. Crowl of Salina, Kan., left, recently donated a copy of the 1875 book, "An Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa," to the office of Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart, who accepted the donation.

Airhart recently shared an example with the board of supervisors with a copy of the 1875 “An Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa” by A. T. Andreas. The volume was recently donated by Arthur C. Crowl of Salina, Kan., who told Airhart he found the old tome in his great uncle’s attic and saved it from the dust bin.

A page from the Dallas County chapter of A. T. Andreas’ 1875 “An Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa” shows the Dallas County seat.

“The book is beautifully illustrated with depictions of life in Dallas County in 1875,” Airhart told the supervisors, encouraging them to stop by his office and take a look at the old book.

Original post in

The Making of the Bubble Gum Pic

Blowing the perfect bubble isn’t easy. Watch Chad try to blow the perfect bubble for the “bubble gum” pic.




Chad Airhart’s 40th Birthday Blue Jean Bash Announcement

Join Chad & friends on 4/22 for his 40th Birthday Blue Jean Bash. Special guests will include Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Senator Joni Ernst, Congressman David Young among many others. This year we will be returning to the Stine Party Barn for our event. RSVP today at

To contribute onlie, please visit
Suggested Contribution is $40 per person. Host levels at $140, $240 & $400.

Saturday April 22nd,  3-5 pm @ the Stine Party Barn, 4000 Turnberry Dr, West Des Moines, IA

Recorders Office has new software and recording process

Navigating and conducting business within the Dallas County Recorder’s Office in the Court House in Adel has gotten a lot easier as of late, whether you are trying to look up deeds in the County or recording your own. You can now look up deeds from your own computer, wherever you may have access to the internet and the process has gotten a lot more efficient if you need to go into the Court House to have your own deed filed.

You can get to the search tool by going to, clicking on “Real Estate” on the left side and then clicking “Recorder’s Indexing.”

Using the online search tool by Cott Systems, you can search by name or firm name, you can select a date range, and decide what types of documents you are looking for. You can even search by book and page if you know where they are within the recorder’s files.

Another feature that is available on the new search website is “Property Check,” which allows people to sign up to receive email and text notifications if documents are filed in your name. Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart reccomends signing up in multiple ways, such as using a full legal name with first, middle and last names, and signing up with first name, middle initial and last name.

Airhart described the Property Check feature as a “property fraud check.”

“We don’t like to think that this kind of stuff happens in Dallas County, in Iowa, in the midwest because that’s not the kind of people we are, but it does from time to time” said Airhart. “And while the records are available online for the public to go access and see what’s been filed, are you going to stay on that and check it regularly? Most people won’t.

“With this the public can sign up and have access to this tool that will notify them if a document has been filed in their name.”

He said that he has read about instances outside of Iowa where houses have sat vacant for a couple of years and when the owner returns someone is living in the home.

“Well, somebody found out that house was vacant,” said Airhart. “The yard hadn’t been mowed and whatnot. Somebody goes and files a deed, deeds it over to them, sells it, collects the money and, property fraud.”

In the past, they had three separate systems for indexing, imaging and accepting payment. Now they are all in one system, making the office more efficient.

On the computer at the front counter they are able to enter all the pertinent information such as who the customer is, how many pages there are to scan in and how much it will cost the customer. They are also able to enter the payment information and print out the receipt for the customer and then scan it in from a different station within the office.

Finally, once the document has been recorded, they need to index it, meaning that they type in information such as what type of document it is, the grantor, the grantee, and any other information to make it searchable on the website and release it to the public.

“This helps us to be more efficient so we can better aid the patrons that are coming into our office that need help with other stuff,” said Airhart. “So it allows us to have more time on focusing on our constituents in other ways by saving us time in dealing with the computer system.”

When they get the rest of their documents put online and indexed, they will then be able move them out of the office and into an archives area.

“Now we’ve just freed up a considerable amount of space in our office that helps us solve the space problems that we have now and are going to have as we continue to grow,” said Airhart.

Since the new system went live on Monday, June 20, Airhart said that they have received good feedback from the public, especially from the local abstractors such as Iowa Title, Russel Abstract and American Abstract in Adel.

See Full Story Here:

Dallas County recorder helps fix marriage snafu

My husband and I recently needed to obtain a copy of our marriage certificate, and learned that 20-plus years ago our marriage certificate was not filed with the Polk County recorder after our ceremony.

Our quest to get a “court ordered delayed marriage” certificate took us to several state and county offices. We later learned we were the fourth couple to have this problem statewide in three years, a real rarity.

At the fourth office we contacted, we had the good fortune of meeting Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart, who took the time to research our problem, make phone calls to get necessary information, and help us navigate the complicated system, including meeting with a local judge to get an order authorizing our marriage from 20-plus years back.

We offered to take him to lunch to show our appreciation, and Chad accepted the invite. At lunch Airhart told us he is not allowed to receive gifts of more than $3, so when Airhart paid his lunch tab, we left a $3 tip for the wait staff with his payment. What a refreshing example of ethics and commitment in today’s often tainted political arena.

— Kathie and Tom Whalley, Urbandale

See Letter To The Editor Here:

HF 662 Bill Signing & Governor’s Remarks

“This bill relates to vital statistics, including access to birth records and vital statistics fees collected by the state and county registrars of those vital statistics. This bill was initiated by the Iowa County Recorders Association that includes both Democrats and Republicans. This bill improves access to birth records for Iowans. The bill does two things; First, it provides the ability to waive a $20 non-search result fee. Currently, if an Iowan goes to their county recorder and they search for the birth certificate and they do not find a record in the office the recorder still has to assess a $20 fee. This bill allows for recorder offices in non-search result situations to not assess a $20 fee. Secondly, the bill establishes a mechanism for county recorders to access the state’s central database of birth certificates once the technology and all records are available centrally. Not all birth certificates are available at the county level and this technology will reduce burden, cost, and time for Iowans. The bill passed 50-0 in the Senate and 79-19 in the House.” – Iowa Governor Terry Branstad

Presidential Hopefuls Court Local Politicians in Early-Voting States Like Iowa

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker entered a fundraiser in a cavernous barn here on a recent sunny Saturday afternoon to the flashes of cellphone cameras and throngs of people seeking a handshake and a selfie.

The front-runner in Iowa among those seeking the GOP nomination was the guest of honor, but he wasn’t raising money for a White House bid. The haul would go to Chad Airhart, the recorder for Dallas County in central Iowa.

“Thanks for letting us come by and join with you; thanks for your leadership,” Walker told Airhart, as the recorder’s supporters dined on bratwurst and baked beans, surrounded by hanging cow hides and saddles. “I’m honored to be here today.”

In much of the nation, a top presidential prospect wouldn’t bother showing up to raise money for a local official who handles paperwork for a county of 66,000 people.

But in Iowa, local politicians are showered in love for one important reason: They are gate-keepers to voters and party activists who will provide access to their networks and commit time to White House candidates hoping to make a splash in the state that holds the first presidential nominating contest.

“I don’t know if spoiled is the right word,” said Airhart, who has endorsed Walker, even though the governor has not formally announced his candidacy. “I would say we’re blessed in Iowa to have this opportunity.”

See Full Story Here:

2015 Blue Jean Bash – May 16th 2015

photos by Dave Davidson

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