Jasper County clerk discovers historic documents from 1841

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Jasper County Clerk Charlie Davis says the discovery of some historic documents brings new meaning to his job. Davis says he and his staff recently found the original minutes from the first Jasper County Commission meeting in 1841.

Deputy Jasper County Clerk Crystal Fast admits history isn’t necessarily her thing.

“I’m not a history guru,” says Crystal Fast.

Recently the staff at the Jasper County Clerk’s Office found the minutes from Jasper County’s first commission meeting in 1841. Fast calls looking at the books “amazing.”

“The February 25th, 1841 minutes actually sit there and said how they appointed the public administrator, how they appointed the county clerks, how they appointed the treasurer,” says Fast.

Jasper County Clerk Charlie Davis says while the records may not seem exciting at first glance, they do provide a connection to the very beginning of the county.

“The history there, to know why it was created, why we have the cities formed the way that they are today and how they were originally formed is something that I think is important for our history and for why are we where we’re at today,” says Charlie Davis.

Davis says when he was elected to office, he knew things like voter registration and elections were part of the job, but he never expected to become a historian of sorts.

“It was a very pleasant surprise to me. You know, one of the most important things I think we can leave our kids and our grandkids is a legacy of knowing our history,” says Davis.

Davis says these documents can help answer why and how many of the decisions about Jasper County were made. And he says it helps him understand how important it is that when he takes minutes at a commission meeting, he does so as carefully as possible.

“That’s historical documents. Those are something that is kept in perpetuity for anybody to revisit, because that information has to be made available to the general public forever,” says Davis.

Crystal says they do have to revisit those documents from time to time. For example, they recently had to comb through some court records to help another department with a grant application. And she says she and the rest of the staff have a good idea of where to find Davis if he goes missing.

“Oh, probably. He was in here this morning,” says Crystal Fast.

Davis says there are even more artifacts at a separate location.

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