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Houston Clerk on job for 50 years | News

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Houston Clerk on job for 50 years

50 years ago the first American walked in space, and Carolyn Sullivan walked into the Houston County Superior Court Clerk's office.

That's how long she's been typing deeds and certifying divorces at the court house.

She first entered the maze of files and deed books a few days after high school graduation in 1965.

Sullivan was an assistant to the chief clerk of the courts. She said, "It was a Wednesday afternoon. I never filled out an application. I just sat down at a desk and started typing what he gave me."

She punched out land purchases and court proceedings. Pointing at an old type writer, Sullivan said, "That was one we used. You have to just about have a baseball bat to get the keys to go down."

Relics remind her of how times have changed.

Sullivan said, "I remember when we got the first electric typewriter. It was like we had gotten a baby or something. Oh, we were so excited about that typewriter!"

Her work multiplied along with the county's population. She said, "Divorces by the tons. Child support by the tons."

The years stacked up like the files, and in 1982, Sullivan claimed the office's top job as Clerk of Houston County Superior Court.

She's held onto it for every election cycle since. Sullivan said, "I never looked back. It was so interesting, so stimulating."

She's seen a lot, saying that the number of men who do not pay child support still depresses her.

Sullivan says adoptions are the bright spot. She said, "Usually, they bring the babies or kid they're adopting. So, we enjoy it."

She said if she's learned one thing, it's that "People don't listen!" But above all, she's kept the county's records from the days of ink to the age of digital.

Sullivan said, "It's all here, and it will always be here."

She plans to be in the Superior Court Clerk's Office for one last term, running again in November 2016.

Commission Chairman Tommy Stalknaker says Sullivan is currently the longest serving Houston County employee.


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