Clerk shows prudence in records care

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, February 10, 2013

     A building fire, whether it be at a residence, business, church, agency, governmental office or any other facility, is nothing anyone wants to think about, but Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop and his staff are doing their best to make sure Lincoln County’s official records are safe in the event such a catastrophe occurs at the courthouse.

     The prudence of such actions is even more evident after Webster County lost most of its records last month in a courthouse fire. While most of the Webster documents were destroyed in the fire, a small amount of the papers were saved but left severely water damaged.

     To prevent Lincoln County from suffering a similar fate, should the worst occur, Bishop’s office has been electronically backing up records since 2000. To date, some 30,000 documents have been backed up.

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     The electronic files include every land deed in the county.

     “If you own property in Lincoln County, and something happened to the courthouse, we could give you proof that you own property in short notice,” Bishop said.

     Besides deeds, the chancery clerk’s office also houses records involving divorces, oil and gas files, estate matters, youth court and land and family disputes.

     Following the disaster in Webster County, Bishop and his staff are even coming to the aid of the staff there and plan to help retrieve some of those files. The salvaged, water-damaged Webster records have been placed in deep freeze to stop the deterioration process and help dry the paper out, Bishop said.

     Thanks to the ongoing diligence of the Lincoln County chancery clerk’s office, our records will likely be safe and sound even if we do have to face such an unimaginable situation here.