The objectives of the Pennsylvania State Associations of the Prothonotaries and Clerks of Courts are for the purpose of securing more uniformity and cooperation in the conduct of their offices and improving their service to the public. Read the bylaws.


In the years before 1928, after much writing and many telephone contacts, a small group of Prothonotaries and Clerks of Courts met to discuss ways and means of holding a convention, so that all those in office could meet and discuss proposed legislation to improve the service of the offices to the public as well as increase the respect for those elected to the offices.

The question of organizing a statewide Prothonotaries' Association had long been discussed by some of the Prothonotaries in the immediate vicinity of Lehigh County. It was suggested that a letter should be mailed to every Prothonotary and Clerk of the Courts in the 67 counties of the State.

The call went out to meet in Harrisburg at the Penn-Harris Hotel on Wednesday, July 18, 1928. In response to this call twenty Prothonotaries came to Harrisburg.

It was decided to set up a temporary organization. The temporary officers were Wilson A. Wert, Prothonotary of Lehigh County, President; June E. Werner of Somerset County, Vice President, and V. L. Greely of Crawford County, Secretary. Mr. Wert served as President until 1931.

A committee on organization and constitution and by-laws was appointed.

It was decided to hold the next meeting at Bellefonte, Pa., on July 17-18 -19, 1929.

The next meeting was held as scheduled at Bellefonte and a permanent organization was formed. Wilson A. Wert, Lehigh, was elected President; June E. Werner, Somerset, Vice President, and V. L. Greely, Crawford, Secretary.

Four women officials attended this meeting: Daisy L. Morse, Mercer County, Elizabeth Smoyers, Franklin County, Marian D. Fellsbush, Bradford County and June E. Werner, Somerset County.

It was decided to hold the next annual meeting in Brookville, Jefferson County, on July 16-17-18, 1930. The third annual convention was held at Brookville, as scheduled. The banquet was held at the Mansion House on Thursday evening. William Ragsdale of Pittsburgh, head of the Naturalization Service, was the speaker. Officers elected were Wilson A. Wert, Lehigh County, President; June E. Werner, Somerset County, Vice President; and F.S. Keene, Wayne County, Secretary and Treasurer. It was decided to hold the fourth annual convention at Allentown, Lehigh County on July 15-16-17, 1931.

The fourth annual convention was held as scheduled at Allentown. A feature of the meeting was a trip through the Trexler Game Preserve. The banquet was held at the Americus Hotel. June E. Werner, Vice President, presided. The speakers were Hon. Claude T. Reno, President Judge of Lehigh County and John C.F. Gordon of Philadelphia, Chief Naturalization Examiner. Incumbent officers were elected.

Altoona, PA was selected as the place for the fifth annual convention, July 13-14- 15, 1932. Succeeding years saw the convention cover virtually every area of the Commonwealth.

Through the years 1928 to 1946 with the exception of the war years, 1942-43, the Association held regular convention sessions.

Interest in the Association and the strong desire of its early proponents to legalize it came to being under the Act o f the General Assembly No. 251 of 1947 Session. Hon. Leo R. Poorman, Dauphin County was chairman of the Legislative Committee.

The first convention under the Act was held at Johnstown October 9th to 11th, 1947, with President Leo R. Poorman presiding. A review of the minutes of that convention shows no time was lost in approving the By-Laws. In such forthright fashion, the Association was officially under way.

Every year since Johnstown has witnessed a greater interest shown by the Prothonotaries and Clerks of Court in attending the conventions and taking an active part in its business. The minutes also show wherever the Association met, the membership was greeted with enthusiasm and accorded outstanding hospitality. The list of dignitaries invited to speak at the conventions cover a long and distinguished roster, Governors, Lt. Governors, Senators, Legislators, Judges of the various Courts and many members of the Clergy are included in this group.

The minutes reveal that there are still a number of those who can be classed as the true pioneers of the Associations. These people of vision and constancy of purpose are still active. Their voices, when heard, are respected by an appreciative membership. Those who have passed on to their eternal reward are ever remembered in the prayers of those who carry on.


Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Thursday, October 9, 1947

The Eighteenth Annual Convention of the Prothonotaries and Clerk of Courts Association of Pennsylvania, first Convention under Act of the General Assembly No. 251 of 1947 opened at the Fort Stanwix Hotel, Johnstown, Pennsylvania on October9th, 1947 with President Leo R. Poorman, of Dauphin County, presiding. Members of the Association and their guests were registered and plans discussed for the business session to be held Friday morning.

Friday, October 10, 1947. The convention opened at 10:30 a.m. in the Fort Stanwix Hotel with President Leo R. Poorman presiding. Roll was called and absentees noted.
Minutes of last Convention were read by Secretary Ivan Lambert of Somerset County, and approved. John B. Elliott, of Blair County, introduced Carl Butler, Controller of Blair County, who addressed the Convention and spoke of legislation concerning our Association and other similar organizations. On motion by Mr. Taylor of Erie County, seconded by Mr. Hite of Cambria County, that Mr. John H. Fertig be paid for his service rendered. Motion carried. On motion made by Mr. Gates of Armstrong County, seconded by Mr. Elliott of Blair County, all bills incidental to the Convention be paid by the treasurer. Motion carried. A recess was taken and at 12:30 P.M. a delightful luncheon was held at the Fort Stanwix Hotel for members and their guests.

At 2 00 p.m. the business session was held with President Poorman presiding. David P. King, of York County, Chairman of the Legislative Committee, read the by-laws as prepared by the Committee. On motion by Mr. Gates, seconded by Mr. Dorp, the by-laws were amended and adopted. On motion by Mr. Brady of Fayette County, seconded by Mr. Elliott of Blair County, the election or officers to serve for the next year be held at this time. Motion carried. President Poorman appointed Mr. Elliott, Mr. Taylor and Mr. Brady to serve as a nominating committee. The nominating committee made the following nominations: President, Leo R. Poorman of Dauphin County; First Vice President, Perry M. Paulhamus, of Lycoming County; Second Vice President, David P. King of York County; Secretary, Ivan Lambert of Somerset County; Treasurer, Louis V. Dorp,of Montgomery County; Executive Committee, John L. Hite of Cambria County and Leo Sukala, of Westmoreland County. No additional nominations were made from the floor. On motion by Mr. Wambold, of Bucks County, seconded by Mr. Bechtem of Montgomery County, the nominations were closed and the Secretary was instructed to cast ballot declaring all nominees elected. President Poorman appointed Mr. Edgar of Lawrence County, Mr. Joy of Cambria County, and Mrs. Schrock of Somerset County to serve as an auditing committee. The committee having performed their duty and made their report was discharged with the thanks of the Association. President Poorman appointed Mr. Crawford of Washington County, Mr. Miller of Butler County and Mr. Dorp of Montgomery County to serve as a committee on resolutions. The Committee reported as follows:

BE IT RESOLVED that the Prothonotaries and Clerks of Quarter Sessions Courts here assembled present the following resolutions.
Resolved that the Convention Committee receive a rising vote of thanks for the splendid arrangements and hospitality shown to all members