Jefferson Parish was created in February, 1825. From then until 1845, the parish judge performed the clerk of court’s recording duties. This changed in 1840 when an office for a separate register of mortgages was created for Jefferson Parish. The register of mortgages was appointed by the governor to two-year terms. When this office was created, all books, records, and papers related to recorded mortgages were surrendered by the parish judge to this new official. The parish judge retained the conveyance recording duties. Until 1845, the parish judge issued marriage licenses. Since then, the clerk of the district court has performed that duty.
The Constitution of 1845 made no provision for a parish judge. Thus, the register of mortgages office was renamed Recorder of Mortgages, and a separate Recorder office was created for conveyance records. This official was known only as recorder. The officials who headed these offices were elected to four year terms. In 1855, the Recorder of Mortgages office was abolished, and all of its duties were assumed by the recorder of conveyances.
Legislation which established the district court empowered the district judge to appoint a clerk of the district court for each parish in his district. Until 1846, Jefferson parish was included in the 1st Judicial District Court, where sessions of court were held only in New Orleans. A clerk served the court. Since 1846, when sessions of district court began being held in Jefferson Parish, a clerk of the district court has been elected by the voters of Jefferson Parish to four year terms.
Until 1868, the district judge was authorized to fill vacancies of both the clerk of district court and of the recorder by appointment, with a special election to be held shortly thereafter. After 1868, the governor had the power to fill vacancies in the recorder’s office until a special election could occur. Advise and consent of the Louisiana Senate was needed to confirm a gubernatorial appointment of the clerk of court.
It was in 1879 that the clerk of the district court was declared the ex-officio recorder of conveyances, mortgages, and other notarial acts. The clerk of court became an ex-officio notary public, as well. Since then, the Louisiana Constitution has been rewritten several times, most recently in 1973. Jefferson Parish has been part of several judicial districts, which have been reorganized and reapportioned. Today, Jefferson Parish is the only parish within the 24th Judicial District. The clerk of court still performs the mortgage and conveyance and marriage license recording duties. The clerk is also the Parish’s chief elections officer and jury manager, and he serves as clerk of the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court, the 1st Parish Court of Jefferson Parish, and the 2nd Parish Court of Jefferson Parish. All of these duties were added by legislation enacted before and after the 1973 Constitutional Convention.
By Frank J. Borne, Jr., Jefferson Historical Society of Louisiana President, 2007-2010
Source: Inventory of the Parish Archives of Louisiana: #26: Jefferson Parish by the Works Progress Administration, 1939
|Clerk of Court||Term of Service|
|Jon A. Gegenheimer||July 1, 1988 – Present|
|Raoul A. “Skip” Galan, Jr.||July 1, 1984 – June 30, 1988|
|William M. “Bill” Justice, Jr.||June 1, 1956 – June 30, 1984|
|William L. Klause, Jr.||June 2, 1952 – May 31, 1956|
|Vic A. Pitre||May 31, 1928 – June 1, 1952|
|Frank J. Clancy||May 31, 1920 – May 30, 1928|
|Charles W. Rossner||May 28, 1908 – May 30, 1920|
|John R. Langridge1||January 15, 1903 – May 27, 1908|
|John C. Tillotson2||June 1, 1892 – January 10, 1903|
|William L. Langridge||June 1, 1888 – May 31, 1892|
|James C. Baumann||May 29, 1884 – May 31, 1888|
|Scott Ellison||February 15, 1880 – May 28, 1884|
|Ernest A. Hubeau||July 30, 1876 – February 14, 1880|
|Henry L. Burns||November 19, 1870 – July 29, 1876|
|William Kern||July 14, 1868 – November ?, 1870|
|Robert L. Preston||February 15, 1867 – July 13, 1868|
|Robert Morris2||March 29, 1865 – February 14, 1868|
|Edward Buisson||1853 – March 28, 1865|
|Francis J. Laizer||1846 – 1853|
|1Appointed by governor to fill vacancy. 2Died in office.
Source: Jefferson Parish Politicians of the Past & Present: 1825 – 2001 by Frank J. Borne, Jr.