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Historical Information About the Marion County Recorder’s Office

Marion County's First Recorders

During the first election of Marion County Recorder in 1821 there were two main parties: the "White Water" Party and the "Kentuc​ky" party. The parties formed around geographic divisions rather than based on national parties. Candidates included: Alexander Ralston, James Linton, Joseph C. Reed, Aaron Drake, John Givan, John Hawkins, William Vandegrift and William Townsend. There were only 336 votes cast from residents of Marion County and area that is now a part of surrounding counties.

Joseph C. Reed, the first county recorder elected in 1822, was also the school teacher in the first log cabin school house, built in 1821. The school was described as being: "where Kentucky Ave. enters Illinois Street, near a large pond." Reed was also indicted by the first grand jury of the county which returned 22 indictments for selling liquor without a license and assault and battery.

Recorders James M. Ray and Dr. Livingston Dunlap arrived in Marion County sometime during the summer and fall of 1820 making them some of the earliest non-native inhabitants of the area.

Alexander Ralston, who helped survey Washington D.C. was commissioned by the Indiana General Assembly to make a city plan for Indianapolis. He moved to Indiana before 1815 after being implicated in the "Burr Conspiracy". Ralston died in 1827 and is currently buried in Crown Hill Cemetery Sec. 3 Lot. 80.

Source: “History of Indianapolis and Marion County” by B. R. Sulgrove, January, 1894​

Listing of Marion County Recorders​

Recorder Dates of Service
Joseph C. Reed  Apr. 1822- Apr. 1829
James M. Ray Apr. 1829- Feb. 1834*
Livingston Dunlap Feb. 1834-Aug 1834
Lewis C. Lewis Aug. 1834-Aug. 1848
Charles  Stephens Aug. 1848-Aug. 1855
Alexander G. Wallace Aug. 1855-Aug. 1863
William J. Elliott Aug. 1863-Aug. 1871
Benjamin F.  Johnson Aug. 1871-Mar. 1872**
Daniel  C. Greenfield Mar. 1872- Mar. 1875**
Edward M. Wilmington Mar. 1875-Oct. 1876
Calvin F Darnell Oct. 1876-Oct. 1880
Jacob L. Birler Oct. 1880-Oct. 1884
William F. Keay Oct. 1884- Dec. 1888
Christian  Brink 1889-1892
Peter Carson 1893-1894
William E. Shilling 1895-1898
Lewis G.  Akin 1899-1902
Lewis Shank 1903-1906
Harry R. Wallace 1907-1910
Joseph P. Turk 1911-1914
Edward A Ramsay 1915-1918
John W. Castor 1919-1926
Frank  Childers 1927-1930
Ira  P. Haymaker 1931-1938
Hannah A. Noone*** 1939-1942
Paul B. Brewer 1943-1950
Harry  B. Alford 1951-1954
Opal Kremer 1955-1958
Marcia Hawthorne 1959-1970
Faye  Mowery 1971-1974
Precious Byrd  1975 -1978
Lucille Camp 1979-1982
Beth O'Laughlin 1983-1990
Joan Romaril 1991-1998
Wanda  J. Martin 1999-2006
Julie L. Voorhies 2007-2014
Kate  Sweeney Bell 2015-
*Resigned  **Died in Office  ***First Woman Elected Recorder