Company History


Beginning of Our Company

During the 1920’s, E. S. Pritchard was the County Judge, in Eastland County, one of the early oil and gas producing areas in the State of Texas. As the County Judge, he acted as Chairman of the Board of Equalization for property tax purposes. He became involved in the development of laws, procedures, and methods for taxing oil and gas producing leases and associated properties. Word of his interest and involvement in these matters got around to other county officials, some of whom reached out to him for assistance. In time, it became apparent that taxing jurisdictions needed the services he was able to perform so he decided not to run for re-election but to go into business for himself as a consultant to taxing jurisdictions, which he did in 1926, calling his firm the E. S. Pritchard Company.

John Abbott grew up in Canada; one of seven children of a Methodist Minister. He worked his way through college at Manitoba, Canada and later took courses toward a master’s degree, in Petroleum Geology, at the University of Chicago. Then he decided to go to the oil fields of Texas and landed in Eastland County. He worked for Pacific Coal & Oil Company and Amerada Oil Company before being employed by the E. S. Pritchard Company, in 1930.

The discovery of the East Texas Oil Field in the fall of 1931 was a big event for Texas and the firm which soon thereafter became the Pritchard & Abbott Company, the two principals having decided to enter into a joint and equal partnership business arrangement that continued until the death of Mr. Abbott on April 28, 1977.


The Evolution of a company

The first East Texas oil well was in Rusk County, which employed Pritchard & Abbott in 1932. Soon after, the other counties with oil and gas followed until all the counties had an annual retainer for Pritchard & Abbott’s services. E. S. Pritchard and John L. Abbott were sole owners and equal partners until the latter’s death, in 1977. Thereafter a new partnership was founded. The owners were E. S. Pritchard, Edward S. Pritchard, Jr., Winston B. Pritchard, James E. Pritchard, and Grayson Ray. Three generations of the Pritchard family were Presidents of the company until 1995; Judge Edward S. Pritchard, his son Edward (Ed) Pritchard, Jr. and then his grandson, James (Jim) Pritchard.

The firm established a home office in Fort Worth, in 1930, and subsequently opened district offices for appraisal services in Henderson, Amarillo, Odessa, and Houston. Pritchard & Abbott closed the Odessa office and eventually opened a San Angelo office to service the counties in West Texas. The company transitioned the Houston office to Austin in the mid-1980's before eventually relocating that office back to Houston in the early 2000's. In early 2024 the Henderson office was relocated to Tyler. Additionally, there is a satellite office in Beeville, TX.



In the late 1970’s, the company began to understand that manual taxroll books, which were handwritten or created by large format IBM ‘Selectric’ Typewriters, were a thing of the past. In 1979 thru 1980, P&A contracted IBM to develop our appraisal software and install a computer system that used ‘Punch Cards’ to formulate the appraisals, taxes, and run printing to large format dot-matrix printers. These changes began a need for a Data Processing department, which today has grown into our Information Technology department housed in Fort Worth that develops and supports CAMA and Tax Collection software, GIS, Hardware, Web services and printing/mailing services. Once the company recognized that they could provide automated services and with the creation of appraisal districts (which many were staffed by P&A employees), Pritchard & Abbott began selling software services and hardware to appraisal districts and tax offices.


A new generation of software services

In the late 1990’s, the idea of moving software from the IBM AS400 to a personal computer-based option was born in our Amarillo district. The information technology department at Pritchard & Abbott implemented this Windows based software in all our client offices over many years and in 2012 rewrote the real estate appraisal and collections software which today is known as Paragon and used in 121 appraisal districts and tax offices across the state of Texas.


"S" Corporation

In 2006, Pritchard & Abbott became an “S” corporation for federal income tax purposes. While this didn't change our operations or legendary suite of services we provide our clients, it did help us improve our competitive position relative to our peers so that our customers can financially benefit along with us. 

Except for shares of stock held in treasury, all outstanding shares of stock are privately held by the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), meaning we are a 100% employee-owned company which gives us even greater incentive to succeed along with the clients we serve.


The Present

Today, Pritchard & Abbott employs more than 130 dedicated individuals across the state of Texas in five (5) district offices and one satellite office.  Mr. Shannon Stary became President of Pritchard & Abbott in January 2022.  Prior to Shannon, A. Kent Allison was President beginning January 2003 and presided over phenomenal growth of the company.  This growth will likely continue as we keep rolling out new technology and services to further develop our profession and industry.  P&A’s history has always been to lead the way forward, and we intend to keep doing just that.

Pritchard & Abbott, Inc., is the largest, most complete, most engaged, most professional, and most trusted vendor of ad valorem tax appraisal and information services for governmental entities in Texas and most likely the entire United States.  We’re employed by well over 100 appraisal districts and hundreds of taxing entities in Texas alone, but we’re also proud to currently serve many clients in Louisiana, Nebraska, and Virginia.  Will other states follow?  Stay tuned!