Learning about the Office of the County Clerk
The Tyler County Clerk’s Office handles many responsibilities. Thanks to the clerk, her five deputies, and a part-time aide, these various duties are kept in order. Working inside the Tyler County Courthouse, these employees manage record keeping, sign in sheets for abstractors who wish to access the record vault, election arrangements, finances, and more.
Deputy Clerk Amy Glover oversees bookkeeping, which includes the payroll of all county employees, county commission bills, grants in which the commission is the fiscal agent, and preparing financial statement materials. She also works with auditors to assure that accounts are accurate, takes care of the personnel insurance of county employees, and types up the minutes of Tyler County Commission meetings.
Deputy Clerk Kristen Wise sees to estates and transfers of wills to the assessor’s office, as well as the publication of estates, orders to the estates, and appraisements. She maintains liens against estates and files recordings to close them. Furthermore, she records all out of county and out of state indexes, wills, and appraisements.
Deputy Clerk Sandy Thomas takes in all recorded documents. With deed research on the rise due to Tyler County’s continuously developing oil and gas industry, many abstractors have signed up for copy accounts in order to pay their fees all at once. Thomas maintains these accounts and then mails bills for them.
Deputy Clerk Kim Loudin is in charge of county, state, and federal election arrangements. Her duties include: registering voters and maintaining their registration: performing drawings for candidate ballot positions and creating those ballots; overseeing financial records of county candidates; and taking in absentee votes. Following an election, Loudin works with county commissioners to canvas votes, after which she records the total number.
Deputy Clerk Sarah Smith is in charge of indexing everything, such as deeds, deeds of trust, all types of liens, any releases of loans and liens, surveyor diagrams, marriage licenses, and death certificates. The only thing she does not index is estate materials. She sends real estate transfers and sales listings to the assessor’s office, the sheriff’s tax office, and the state tax department. In addition, she maintains book and page numbers for reference.
Brenda Moore, a part-time helper, was brought into the clerk’s office approximately two years ago. Although her primary duties include scanning the documents into books, she helps with estates and fills in when deputy clerks are absent.
Moore runs monthly reports, which consist of a summary of what funds in the clerk’s finances are contributed to the county and state. She also indexes the minutes of Tyler County Commission meetings.
County Clerk Teresea Hamilton described her duties.
“My job is to oversee the documents, duties of deputy clerks, and make any major decisions,” she said.
She said that the record vault, of which her office is in charge, holds 38 different types of books.
“There are probably over a thousand different books in there,” she said of the total number.
Recently, along with county commissioners and other courthouse offices, Hamilton pushed to have Tyler County record books digitized. She said that the land books go back to the 1800s and explained that preserving history was one of her primary reasons for wanting them digitized.
Her office is currently working with Affiliated Computer Services to scan all books in an order that is most beneficial to abstractors and the public.
“Some clerks feel that land books are actually not a recorded document, but I know how important they are for abstracting, especially oil and gas, so I’m getting those done, too,” she said.
Prior to a large donation from the West Virginia Oil and Gas Association to go toward digitizing books, the clerk’s office applied for and attained a grant of $4,535 from the Records Management and Preservation Board to digitize nine land books.
Hamilton also stated that her office is continuing to apply for grants. Her goals are to acquire new shelving and a new scanner. One of her major focuses is the restoration of record books. Even if they are being scanned, she feels that physical representations of records are important to preserving Tyler County’s history.
Financial figures maintained in the county clerk’s office also reflect the increasing oil and gas activity in Tyler County. According to Hamilton, there was a 274 percent increase in copy fees ($1.50 per copy) from the fiscal year of 2010-11 thanks to abstractors making copies. She also cited a 483 percent increase in the vault’s record intake since 2008. That monetary increase goes back into the general fund.
“We’ve worked very hard to maintain the history of our county,” she said.