LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - With the end of the year often there is change, and that is definitely the case at the Gregg County Courthouse. Three longtime public servants are retiring from duty.
Gregg County Clerk Connie Wade has had the helm for fourteen years and has dealt with her fair share of paper, many now bound.
“Marriage license volumes, deeds, licenses for things like osteopath, dentists,” Wade said.
And of course, marriage licenses and court papers.
And her biggest project during her tenure?
“Some archival and preservation work without a doubt. In fact, if you’ll take a look at this big shadow box right here it depicts what kind of condition some of our books are in. Of course, this one was the worst of all, and now it looks more like this,” Wade revealed.
The oldest volumes have been preserved, but many more need preservation.
District Clerk Barbara Duncan has worked at the Gregg County Courthouse for four decades.
“We were the very first county to do the new electronic filing system that the attorneys are using. They’re using it to go paperless,” Duncan said.
That’s statewide. She was a deputy for 24 years before she ran for clerk.
“I had opposition when the clerk before me retired, and then I’ve had one other time, opposition,” Duncan stated.
So most of her terms were unopposed. Part of her duties is dealing with potential jurors, some of whom who come up with unusual reasons to not serve. Like the space alien story.
“We had a lady come in with foil wrapped around her knees and her head and her arms saying that they were going to zap her,” Duncan smiled.
188th District Court Judge David Brabham has been honorable for the last 22 years, and before that too, really, when he was D.A. Earlier he was assistant D.A. bringing the total courthouse years to about 37.
“Been doing it a long time; enjoyed it, but it’s time for me to move on and let someone else take it up,” Judge Brabham stated.
He’s not sure how many cases he’s tried.
“A lot of different cases, a lot of different people and each time you try to make a judgment call based on the facts and the law, hope you’ve done the right thing and move on to something else,” Brabham explained.
Since he was a kid the Judge wanted to be a lawyer, but he never thought about being a judge until opportunity knocked.
“When Judge Starr was appointed to the Criminal Board of Appeals, and I was fortunate to get this appointment in 1996,” Brabham revealed.
The three will all miss the same things.
“You miss the routine things,” Brabham said.
“I will miss my staff. I will miss the bailiffs and the security officers,” Wade said.
“I’ll miss seeing my friends,” Duncan declared.
“I’ll miss visiting with the cleaning ladies in here in the morning,” Brabham stated.
“We are a family here at Gregg County,” Wade added.
All three say they will come back to visit from time to time just in case the replacements need a few tips.