Hon. H.H. Henley
Pasco County was incorporated in 1887. Pasco is named after Samuel Pasco, a U.S. Senator from Florida. The County was created when Hernando County was divided into three parts, creating Citrus County to the north and Pasco County to the south. Pasco County’s first Clerk of Court was H.H. Henley, who took office in 1887 and remained in office until 1904.
In this ledger from the State Library and Archives of Florida shows when Henley first took office.
Hon. O.L. Dayton
O.L. Dayton was the second Pasco Clerk of Court. He took office in 1904 and remained in office until 1909.
Hon. A.J. Burnside
Then, came the Burnside era. From 1909 to 1973, a man with the last name Burnside was Clerk of Court in Pasco County. A.J. Burnside is the longest serving Clerk in the History of the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller’s Office, serving from 1909-1949.
Shortly after he took office, the new courthouse in Dade City was completed. County Commission minutes indicate that Clerk Burnside accepted the courthouse on July 5, 1910, and made the first payment of $6,360. After four decades in Office, A.J.’s son Stanley took over.
Hon. Stanley Burnside
Stanley Burnside was the Pasco Clerk from 1949-1973. In an interview in 2011, Stanley Burnside said, “The two of us in tandem were elected Clerk of the Circuit Court once every four years, 17 consecutive times,” said the younger Burnside (who was 91 years old at the time of the interview) “My Father was Clerk during the depression, and I remember he went up on the roof and repaired the slate roof on the old courthouse. And he and I together set the clock for 65 years.”
Hon. Virgil Miller Newton
Virgil Miller Newton was the shortest serving Clerk in the history of the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller’s Office, remaining in Office from 1973-1977.
Hon. Jed Pittman
Pasco County voters elected Jed Pittman as Clerk in 1977 and remained in Office until 2009. There are still quite a few Deputy Clerks on staff who started working when Mr. Pittman was in Office.
Hon. Paula S. O'Neil, Ph.D.
Dr. Paula O’Neill was the first woman to become the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller and remained in office for a decade from 2009 to 2019.
Hon. Nikki Alvarez-Sowles, Esq.
Governor Ron DeSantis appointed Nikki Alvarez-Sowles, Esq. to finish out Dr. O’Neill’s term and in 2020, Pasco voters elected Alvarez-Sowles as the eighth Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller.
Ledgers courtesy of Florida Memory, the State Library and Archives of Florida.
Photos courtesy of http://fivay.org/.