Remembering my first real job

When I realized that this article will be published on August 23, it brought back a lot of memories of how important that date is in my life.

My reason is that August 23 was the first day of my first real job, when I was just out of high school. I had graduated in June, but had no future in sight. My family had moved to a farm in the country, so I went there to live right after my graduation ceremony. During the rest of June, all of July and the first week in August, I had nothing to do. I was living in the country and had no transportation, no money, no future, only that I knew I had to get a job. That August, my Dad asked someone who worked at Grief Brothers, if they had any jobs open there. She said I should come in for an interview and that she would make an appointment for me to do so. She was even so kind as to take me to work with her that morning and bring me home after she got off work that night.

While waiting those eight hours while she worked, I spent time at the old Delaware library, and then walked on down Sandusky street to do some window shopping. That’s when I luckily ran into Connie Jones, a friend from school, who asked me to go on a weekend trip with her, and her family, to N. Tonawanda, New York to see Niagara Falls. I was thrilled. When we got back to Delaware, her Dad told me about a new job opening at the recorder’s office in the courthouse. To make a long story short, I had three interviews and got hired. My first day of work was Monday, August 23, 1954. That day was a pivotal day in my life. I went from no hopes of any future to walking right into my future.

Moving forward to May of 1988. That’s when I both graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and ran for the office of county recorder, in the same week. I won the primary election on May 3 and graduated from OWU on May 8 of 1988. Since I had no opposition in the general election, I began as recorder on Jan. 2, 1989. To this day, I still think of the difference from what it was like during my first year as recorder, and then my last year, when I retired at the end of 2004.

Because of the growth of the population of Delaware County during those particular 16 years, there was an ever-increasing amount of deeds and mortgages that came in the recorder’s office every day. As an example, what used to be a 10-acre piece of vacant land, was subdivided into 44 building lots. So, where there was only one deed before, there became 44 deeds and 44 mortgages and other miscellaneous documents to be filed.

In the very first year I was in office, we took in $215,726.00 in fees for recording the real estate documents. (And, we had five employees.) In the last year of working, before I retired in 2004, we took in over $3,236,240 in fees. (And, we had eight employees.) If you look again at the difference in the amounts of money our office took in during those two years, you will see a $3 million increase in the total fees from my first year in office (1989) to my last (2004). All the money came directly from filing fees of deeds, mortgages, subdivision plats, and other miscellaneous documents. This increase of revenue is definitely a rock solid example of the tremendous growth of Delaware County during those 16 years.

And since I like math so well, I kept track of the profit the recorder’s office made during my 16 years in office. With the total fees coming in during my tenure being over $17,644,928, we ended those 16 years with a total profit to the county of over $5 million!

Also, we reached the mark of recording more documents during my tenure as recorder than had been recorded in the previous 180 years! It was suggested to me at that time, that I should have that statistic printed in the Gazette, but I was too busy to get it done. But, here it is, finally, in this year of 2017.

Many times I have heard that no one makes it on their own. I knew I needed all the help I could get. So, I want to thank each and every person who worked in the recorder’s office while I was recorder.

We started out with having to get a computer system installed and up and running by the first day of 1990, and had to deal with all the updates and changes from then on. We also went through having walls torn down as our office expanded by two more rooms, and then in May of 2002, we had to move all our four rooms of books of recorded documents, across Sandusky Street to the newly completed Hayes Building. It was sad for me to have to leave that wonderful old Court House behind.

I appreciate every one of the employees for showing up and doing a job that allowed for the real estate records to be complete, and in the best order possible, for all the landowners of Delaware County. Thank you!

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Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.