General Office History

In 1808, Chardon was designated as Geauga County’s county seat. What is now Main Street was destroyed by a fire on July 25, 1868. The rumor was that the fire had been set by an arson. Some of the rumored reasons were politics or bitterness over the designation of the county seat. Whatever the reason the fire destroyed forty businesses, offices, meeting halls and the 1824 courthouse. It was only because of the bravery and quick thinking of the area residents that the Recorder’s Office records were not lost. These heroic citizens rushed into the burning courthouse and saved the County Recorder’s documents.

In 1813 the courthouse, which was a log and frame structure, was called The King Courthouse after Samuel King. It was located behind the Randal Block near Water Street.

Edward Paine Jr. was County Clerk from 1816 to 1829, County Auditor in 1820 and County Recorder from 1811 to 1832. “The family of Captain Edward Paine, Jr., consisted of his wife, Mary, and children – Ellen, Sedley, Seth and Edward. Captain Paine was appointed County Clerk at or near the first organization of the county.”…page 292 – 1880 Pioneer History
In the spring of 1814, Captain Edward Paine, Samuel King, and Norman Canfield, logged off and cleared the present public square. They were to have for doing so the use of the land until such time as the public should require it for its designed use. They tilled it for two years, raising wheat, corn, potatoes and such other crops as they saw fit.

Colbert Huntington, esq., of Painesville, who married Captain Paine’s daughter, Ellen, writes … In 1812 he charges S.W. Phelps for recording deed of “Chardon town plat.” Captain Paine was made agent for the sale of a good deal of land in this county.

Construction for the next Courthouse on Court Street began in 1824. It had eight colonial columns, and an overhanging roof with balustrade. A cupola was added in 1845. It was lost in the Great Fire of Chardon.

In 1869 they began construction of a new Courthouse located on the site of our current Courthouse, with the first trial being held in 1870.

In 1977 the Courthouse underwent a large renovation project. Since the Recorder’s Office was deemed an office that did not deal directly with the Courts, it was moved across Main Street to the Courthouse Annex where it is today.

Recorders, Deputy Recorders, and Interim Recorders Through the Years

  • James A. Harper, appointed April 28, 1806 – served until April 30, 1811
  • Edward Paine, Jr., May 22, 1811 – July 31, 1832
  • Alfred Phelps, appointed Deputy Recorder July 31, 1832 to October 1832
  • George E.H. Day, elected in October 1832 – 1835
  • William Wilder, appointed Deputy Recorder October 23, 1832
  • Ralph Cowles, November 2, 1835 – 1838
  • William Kerr, November 5, 1838 – 1841
  • B. T. Avery, Deputy Recorder November 7, 1838
  • William Wilber, Deputy Recorder, December 3, 1840 to January 11, 1841
  • William Wilber, January 11, 1841 to October, 1841
  • Ralph Cowles, Deputy Recorder, May 13, 1841
  • John Packard Jr., October 16, 1841 – 1844
  • John French, October 14, 1844 – 1856
  • Linnaeus Ludlow, November 1, 1856 – 1862
  • C. H. Lamb, January 6, 1863 – 1868
  • A. W. Young, Deputy Recorder, June 15, 1867 to September 10, 1868
  • A. W. Young, September 10, 1868 to November 15, 1875
  • W. H. Young, November 15, 1875 term expires January 5, 1880 (W.H. was appointed to fill the vacancy when A.W. Young died. W.H. Young was elected in 1876.) The duties of Recorder were discharged by Mrs. H.A. Dimmick.
  • Charles Mills, 1880-1902
  • F. E. Ford, 1902-1917
  • William A. Basquin, 1917-1951
  • H. D. Hollenbeck, 1951-1969
  • Phil W. King, 1969-1988
  • Catherine H. Heiden, 1988-2000 (appointed and subsequently elected)
  • Mary Margaret McBride, 2001 – July 2007
  • Celesta L. Mullins, (Appointed Interim) July 2007
  • Glen Eric Quigley, (Appointed) July 2007 – January 2009
  • Sharon C. Gingerich, January 5, 2009 to January 3, 2021
  • Celesta Mullins January 4, 2021 to present

Please note, I have researched several different sources for the above years and individuals. My sources are not always in agreement. CM
(Partial Source 1880 Pioneer History)