Comanche-co. has had in all eleven different county clerks during the past forty-two years, or since the county was organized. Six of the number were elected as republicans and five as either democrats, fusion or alliance candidates. One served in all four terms, or eight years, another, the present incumbent, is now serving his third term, one served five years, four of the number each served four years and four served for one term, or less. Below will be found a few facts concerning each election and the various candidates for county clerks in this county:
F. A. HOLMES
At the first election held in this county for the purpose od choosing county officials, F. A. Holmes was the successful candidate for the office of county clerk. He was elected as a republican, and received 1053 votes. His democratic opponent, J. A. Flattery, received a total of 551 votes. Mr. Holmes served just one term - a short term of less than one year. He was a candidate for re-election at the fall election in 1885, but was defeated by Thos. P. Overman, democrat, the vote standing - Overman, 651; Holmes, 412; B. D. Baxter, greenbacker, 363. Mr. Holmes moved from the county during the early 90s.
THOS. P. OVERMAN
As stated, Mr. Overman was the successful candidate for county clerk at the election in November, 1885. Two years later, he was again the democratic nominee, but failed of election that year. During the early 90s Mr. Overman, returned to his old home in Indiana, where he still lives.
CHAS. P. KERN
Mr. Kern was the successful candidate for county clerk in 1887. He was the republican nominee. The vote stood - Kern, 630; Thos. P. Overman, 560. During the 90s Mr. Kern moved from this county to California, where he was living when last heard from in Coldwater.
JAMES B. CURRY
The race for county clerk at the general election in 1889 was very close. There were two candidates - J. B. Curry, democrat, and Ira B. Kirkland, republican. The vote stood - Curry, 344; Kirkland 339. Mr. Curry was a candidate for re-election in 1891, but was defeated by Darcey Dunne. During the latter 90s, both Mr. Curry and Mr. Kirkland moved from this county - the former to Arkansas and the latter to Oklahoma. Mr. Kirkland is now a resident of Muskogee, that state.
DARCEY E. DUNNE
There were three candidates for county clerk at the general election in this county in 1891. They were - Darcey E. Dunne, republican, 248 votes; J. B. Curry, democrat, 131 votes, and R. A. Strain, alliance, 180 votes. Mr. Dunne served two terms, having been re-elected in 1893. His opponent that year was W. J. Pepperd, democrat. The vote stood - Dunne, 173; Pepperd, 167. Mr. Dunne moved form this county to Wichita about 28 years ago, and is still a resident of that city.
J. E. HARBAUGH
The race for county clerk in 1895 was quite a lively one, there being three candidates, they were - J. E. Harbaugh, the nominee of the peoples party, W. W. Baxter, republican, and W. J. Pepperd, democrat. The vote stood - Harbaugh, 160; Baxter, 132; Pepperd, 9. Two years later, Mr. Harbaugh was re-elected without opposition. Again, in 1912, Mr. Harbaugh was the democratic nominee for county clerk, and was elected, defeating W. H. Hakes, the republican nominee, by a vote of 619 to 450. Mr. Harbaugh was re-elected in 1914, defeating Wm. Rein, socialist, by a vote of 1144 to 240. In 1916, and again in 1918, Mr. Harbaugh was the democratic nominee for county clerk, but failed of election. In all, he served four terms, or eight years, as county clerk. He also served as sheriff for two terms and as county commissioner from the Third District for a couple of terms. He has lived on his ranch near Hooker, Okla., for several years past. Mr. Baxter still lives in Protection, this county, and Mr. Pepperd in this city.
F. M. McINTYRE
There were two candidates for county clerk at the general election in 1899. They were F. M. McIntyre, the fusion candidate, and J. M. Williams, republican. The vote stood - McIntyre, 225; Williams, 197. Mr. McIntrye served in all five years - a three years term and a two years term. In 1902, he was elected as a democrat over A. M. Thornhill, republican, the vote standing - McIntyre, 264; Thornhill, 145. In 1904, Mr. McIntrye was a candidate for re-election, but was defeated by Jay T. Botts, the republican candidate. He is still a resident of this city.
JAY T. BOTTS
As stated, Mr. Botts was the successful candidate for county clerk in 1904. He received 244 votes, and his opponent, F. M. McIntrye, 189 votes, Mr. Botts served two terms, having been re-elected in 1906 without opposition. He is still a resident of this city.
Two candidates - Ralph Maris, republican, and Eyman Phebus, democrat, made the race for county clerk of this county at the general election in 1908. Mr. Phebus was successful, the vote standing - Phebus 360; Maris, 293. In 1910 Mr. Phebus was elected for a second term, without opposition. He is now a resident of Ashland, Kans., and Mr. Maris still lives in this county.
At the 1916 election, Ray Bachman was the successful candidate for county clerk. The vote stood - Bachman, republican, 931; J. E. Harbaugh, democrat, 909; C. N. Tharp, socialist, 75. Mr. Bachman served for only a little over a year, having resigned to enter the World War. He is now a resident of Protection.
CURTIS G. MURRAY
Mr. Murray succeeded Ray Bachman as county clerk, having first been appointed to serve out the term for which Mr. Bachman was elected. At the 1918 election he was the republican candidate and J. E. Harbaugh the democratic nominee. The vote stood - Murray, 970; Harbaugh, 577. At the 1920 election, Mr. Murray was re-elected without opposition. Soon after retiring from office he moved to Ft. Worth, and later to Hereford, Texas, where he now lives.
The candidates for county clerk at the general election in 1922 were: Earl Martin republican, and R. Z. Shipp, democrat. Mr. Martin was elected, the vote standing - Martin, 929; Shipp, 825. In 1924, Mr. Martin was re-elected without opposition, and at the general election in 1926, he was again the republican nominee, and was re-elected. He is now serving his third term in that office. Mr. Martin was opposed in the 1926 election by John McMoran, democrat. At that time, the vote stood - Martin, 924; McMoran, 570. Mr. Shipp has been a resident of Arkansas City for about four years. Mr. McMoran is still a resident of this county.
"Walter W. Ferrin was county treasurer, county clerk, a retired employee of the People's State Bank, Coldwater city clerk, the treasurer of Camp Lark, treasurer of the Red Cross, a member of the American Legion, Coldwater Lion's Club, Masonic Lodge and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Walter also served for many years as elder in the Presbyterian church." -- The Western Star, 11 Sept 1975.
Comanche County Officers, 1885 - 2007
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