History

The office of the Clerk of Courts of Common Pleas traces its origin to the medieval cleric. They maintained the records, were responsible for correspondence and had various powers to issue writs or other processes ordered by the Court. The cleric was generally one of the few educated persons in the community.

In creating a state judicial system, the 1802 Ohio Constitution provided for the appointment of a Clerk of Courts for each county. The judges of the Common Pleas Court made the appointments for a seven-year term.

Under the 1851 Constitution the office became elective for a three-year term which was extended to four years in 1936. The official title is Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas.

Many prominent Ohioans have served as Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas. For example, William Henry Harrison, ninth President of the United States, was a Clerk of Courts when he was elected President in 1840.

Seven-year Appointment by Judiciary:

1829      Christopher Stark Wood
1830      John Ward
1842      John Alexander, Jr.
1848     Richard Metheany

Three-year Elected Term Commenced:

1851      Joseph H. Richardson
1854      James Cunningham, Sr.
1857      John Meily
1863      Ormund E. Griffith
1869      Robert Mehaffey
1875      Daniel L. Crites
1881      Eugene Mackenzie
1887      David H. Tolan
1893      U.M. Shappell
1900      M.J. Sullivan
1903      Thomas J. Edwards
1908      Charles A. Graham
1912      D.A. Bowsher
1916      Ira F. Clem
1920      John T. Cotner
1925      Waldo H. Rose
1933      J. Herman Ruhlin

Four-year Elected Term Commenced:

1938      J. Leonard Schnabel
1941      A. Earnest Mills
1944      Clarence N. Breese
1953      Frank E. McClain
1965      Robert “Herb” Dunlap
1986      Raymond E. Coleson
1994      Anne E. Geiger
2005      Gina C. Staley-Burley
2010      Margie Murphy Miller