Sylvia Garza-Perez MHA, BA.
The office of County Clerk has been in existence in Texas since 1836, superseding the “escribano” (secretary) of Spanish-Mexican rule. The Texas Constitution, Article 5, Section 20 states: “There shall be elected for each county, by qualified voters, a County Clerk, who shall hold his office for four years, who shall be clerk of the County and Commissioners Courts and recorder of the county, whose duties, perquisites and fees of office shall be prescribed by the Legislature, and a vacancy in whose office shall be filled by the Commissioners Court , until the next general election; provided, that in counties having a population of less than 8,000 persons there may be an election of a single Clerk, who shall perform the duties of District and County Clerk .”
Of all the various responsibilities assigned to the County Clerk , the recording of legal instruments is perhaps the most traditional and basic of duties. In terms of sheer volume, legal instruments constitute the major portion of paperwork flowing through the office, require the greatest amount of storage space, and usually take up a larger portion of the clerk’s time than any other single duty.