After today the Logan County Clerk’s office will never be the same again for Sheila Hazel is retiring.
Hazel, like the numerous bound books telling the history of Logan County, has been a fixture at the clerk’s office for the past 30 years, but now it’s time for her to turn the page of her book, and start another chapter in her life.
Hazel was only 20 years old when she first walked through the doors of the clerk’s office. At that time Kenny Chapman served as clerk, and when Hazel entered the office to get a marriage license, he seemed to be shorthanded at the time having to fill it out himself. After jokingly asking Chapman if she could type it up for him, she found herself working at the office just a few weeks later.
“I never expected to come to work here,” said Hazel. “It just kind happened.”
Hazel graduated from Russellville High School and later attended Bowling Green Tech, where she studied accounting. Working at the clerk’s office was not part of Hazel’s plans. It’s funny how life has a way of stepping in and moving you in the direction you’re actually supposed to go, which for Hazel was helping the citizens of Logan County.
“The best part of working here all these years is all the people that I’ve met, and been able to help along the way.” said Hazel. “I will truly miss the many relationships that I have made throughout the years, both those coming into the clerks office and those I have become very close with working beside everyday.” Hazel says although it’s not an easy move for her to make, it’s one that she is looking forward to.
Hazel turned 50 this year and is way to young to actually hang up her shingle just yet. This is why she will be going to work for local attorney Joe Grant Clark part-time, which will give her more time to spend with her family and work in the very large garden she and her husband Moe grow each year.
Hazel and her husband have two daughters, Cotton who is 20 and Stephanie 26. They also have two granddaughters Ava 4 and Aubrey 6 months. Hazel admits that spending more time with her granddaughters is something she is really looking forward to.
Hazel’s co-workers say it’s going to be very quiet around the office after she leaves Friday. Apparently she not only served as the backbone of the office, but has earned the title of “prankster” as well. They say is was common to find Hazel standing behind a door in the office ready to jump out and scare the wits out of someone, or grab a leg or two behind the counter. Rubber mice and snakes and plastic spiders were common and could be found all over the office at the hands of Hazel. However, joking aside, she has always been very professional when it came to her job. The citizens who came through the clerk’s door knew her on a first name basis, and were always greeted with a smile and a helping hand.
Diana Hinton has worked with Hazel for 25 years and considers Hazel a good friend, says she will be missed. It seems she has been the life of the office. Hinton said when Hazel was out sick not to long ago she got a glimpse of what it’s going to be like when she is really gone, which is not a happy one.
“We have had great times here. We have laughed and we have cried. We’ve watched our kids grow up and have shared a lot,” said Hinton.
There are so many job duties Hazel was responsible for over the years at the clerk’s office, almost to many to name. From taxes and record keeping, to voting and deeds, Hazel has kept busy keeping Logan County organized. Scotty Harper said it has been his pleasure to work with Hazel over the past seven years he has been clerk and agrees she will definitely be missed.
“Her knowledge will be greatly missed and her help has always been appreciated,” said Harper of Hazel. “This has been a bittersweet moment for all of the staff at the office. I wish Sheila lots of happiness and joy in anything she may do in the future.
For Hazel her future couldn’t be any brighter, as for her past she says, “The pleasure has been all mine.”