Penny Williams, Legislative Assistant for Senator David Hoyle, wrote me this morning “In another life time, I worked in the Engrossing Office and Steno Pool in the 1959 North Carolina House of Representatives. Our office was in the stacks on the 3rd floor of the State Capitol. We had to go to the House Floor to work with a Member on their mail, plus that was the year that it was all about getting the funding to build the present Legislative Building.”
Penny returned to legislative staff service in 1987, and has been here since. The State Legislative Building opened in 1963. So when I stated a few weeks ago that: “When he retired in 2002 as Senate Reading Clerk, LeRoy Clark was the last legislative employee to have served when the General Assembly met in the Capitol“, I was incorrect. Clark was elected Senate Reading Clerk June 1, 1959 and served the remainder of the 1959 session, and also served 1963-1966 and 1975-2002. When I said that Anne Cole, who is now the House LA Director, was the current staffer with the longest ago service (1963, 1967, 1980-date) I was also incorrect.
Dot Barber and Shirley Phillips, who came on board in 1965, have the longest current continuous legislative service. Annie Cooper, House Principal Clerk from 1943-1968, and an assistant in that office from either 1921 or 1923-1942, had at least 40 years continuous service. I’m trying to find old records to see her beginning year of service, but the oldest records we have at the General Assembly date back to 1929 which show her service that year. Her daughter, Dora Cooper Beale, told me in a phone conversation this week that her mother started in either 1921 or 1923, which would give Miss Annie either 46 or 48 years of consecutive service. A trip to the Archives may be in order, and I have a call in to State Capitol historian Raymond Beck.
BELOW: 1959 House Journal entry for Penny, click on image to view
Oh, and another current staffer was here every day in 1943, but that’s another story.