For the week of January 20, 1999   thru January 26, 1999  

Blaine County has been Mary Green’s life

County clerk retires after three terms, 12 years


By JEFF CORDES
Express Staff Writer

You can forgive Mary Green if she slipped out of work a few minutes early on her final day as Blaine County Clerk—Friday, Jan. 8.

She’s put in plenty of extra hours during her 12-year tenure as the county’s recorder.

Green said, "It takes a lot of hours to do the job properly and feel comfortable with what you’ve done."

It wasn’t uncommon for Green to work Saturdays and log extra hours to tackle a workload that has steadily grown, as Blaine County has grown in population and complexity.

But now, in retirement, she and her husband of 45 years, Dude Green, will have time for long weekends and visiting with their beloved children and grandchildren.

Mary said, "Blaine County has been our lives."

Hailey native and Carey resident Green, whose family’s Blaine County roots date back 108 years, decided against seeking a fourth four-year term last year.

At 63, she has retired leaving behind a legacy of steady and sure leadership in the clerk’s office.

She loves Blaine County, and for the last 21 years has worked in the clerk’s office during a challenging time of rapid change and growth.

Mary said, "Sometimes it seemed like things were moving so fast it was hard to keep up. Instead of acting, it seemed like we were always reacting. I told myself that I wouldn’t run out and quit the job in the middle of a term or a year."

Her successor has been carefully prepared for the responsibility.

Green said, "I have all the confidence in the world in Marsha Riemann," who was sworn in by the Blaine County Commissioners as the new county clerk Monday, Jan. 11.

Riemann has been Green’s chief deputy recorder for the last eight years. She ran unopposed for County Clerk in the 1998 fall election. Green said, "I really don’t know how you’d step into a job like this if you didn’t have the background, like Marsha does."

It’s a multi-faceted job.

The County Clerk deals with the county budget, does all the payrolls for the county, pays the bills and handles the elections. All the recording of land transactions, and deeds and mortgages, goes through the clerk and recorder’s office.

If you want a passport or marriage license, you visit the county clerk. The clerk takes the minutes of county commissioner meetings, and administers the district court.

Green oversaw a staff of eight employees in the recorder and auditor’s office, and eight deputies in the district court.

The amount of work in the district court escalated in the 21 years Green worked for the county.

She said, "They say Blaine County has more lawyers per capita than any county in the state. We have such a diverse group of people living here. Any case that comes through Blaine County takes three times longer to deal with, mainly because more money is involved and because of the complexity of some of the cases."

Green has also witnessed enormous changes in technology.

"The county started microfilming in December 1970," she said. "When I first started in 1977, we did all the indexing by hand. Now all the recording is done by computer. I wonder how we did it back then.

"It was time consuming. You would hand-enter into the reception book, and if it was a deed or mortgage you’d index it into a general index, and write it for the first and second parties, and if it was a deed you’d do it another time. My, it seemed like five times you were writing the same document.

"In January 1985 we started recording by computer, and we’ve progressed each year since."

Blaine County’s history has always fascinated Mary Green. Over the years she’s had occasion on her job to visit the county vaults and inspect old papers and documents.

"The first records in the county were 1864. That’s as far back as I’ve found. There were some deeds and commissioner minutes," she said.

Now that she’s retired, she’d like to spend more time in the vault.

"If I ever get bored," she laughed, "I’ll go up and sit down and read things. I’ve always wanted to read them, but I never had enough time on the job.

"Really, there is unbelievable history in those records. Oh, maybe they had four or five deeds recorded in the course of a month. Days went by when there wasn’t a deed recorded. But I’m amazed at all the money that came through, especially with the mining and the money that came from the eastern corporations."

The history of Mary’s family parallels the county’s history.

Her grandfather, Albert Albrethsen, came to Blaine County from Copenhagen, Denmark around 1891. He joined his two brothers, who had already moved to Idaho to pursue ranching opportunities. At one time, shortly after the turn of the century, Albert Albrethsen was a county commissioner and assessor.

Mary’s father, Alex Albrethsen, was born here in 1895. The family lived in the Picabo and Silver Creek area, near the location of the present Hofstetter ranch, and then moved over the hill up into Little Wood River country northwest of Carey. Like her grandfather, Mary’s father Alex was a rancher.

Born in Hailey, Mary has lived in Carey her whole life.

She graduated from Carey High School in 1953 and a couple of months later, in October 1953, married Dude Green. Dude’s family came to Carey from Hagerman when he was eight. Dude was a couple of years ahead of Mary, graduating from Carey High School in 1951.

Dude went into the U.S. Army right after the end of the Korean conflict. He and Mary were stationed in Wisconsin, 90 miles north of Chicago. That’s about as far as they’ve been away from home, although they’ve been to Portland, Ore. once, and normally visit their daughter in Arizona.

Mary had the first of her four children in 1955, and had three more children over the next nine years.

The kids kept her busy. And Mary and Dude now have 10 wonderful grandchildren.

But she has worked hard her whole life. While raising her family Mary had plenty of productive years to serve her beloved home. She went to work, part-time, driving bus for the Blaine County School District.

Then Mary worked for Sun Valley Company for eight years as assistant housekeeper, after the Union Pacific days and during the ownership of Bill Janss. She came back closer to home and worked at Silver Creek Supply in Picabo.

In 1977, she started as a deputy in the county recorder’s office. Mary became chief deputy recorder for county clerk Hazel Barber in 1981, and then was elected to her first term as county clerk in 1986.

So, retirement is brand new to Mary Green, although her husband Dude has grown accustomed to it.

Dude worked for the Blaine County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy for 26 years from 1962-1988. He’s been retired for 10 years, minding the sheep on their 40-acre spread outside of Carey.

"I guess he’ll get used to having me around, but he’s been footloose and fancy free for the last 10 years," said Mary with a laugh.

There’s still plenty of work to be done around the house. They are back up to 50-60 head of sheep, and they’re lambing now, in January.

What really keeps Mary and Dude busy is getting in the car and visiting their family. They love going to football games and basketball games and baseball games and seeing how well their grandchildren are doing.

For instance, their daughter Sheila Hunter used to live in the Wood River Valley but she and her husband Steve moved to Hagerman several years ago. It gives Dude a chance to visit his old stomping grounds, where he grew up.

Sheila’s eldest three children are Nicole, Camille and Clayton Karrels. All grew up playing sports and participating in many activities in the Blaine County School District. Sheila has two younger kids with Steve.

The Hunter family has made a successful move to Hagerman.

Camille did very well in basketball and track and field for the Pirates, and junior quarterback Clayton Karrels led Hagerman into the state football championship game this past fall. Nicole and Camille attend Idaho State University. All three have been good students.

Mary and Dude travel to as many of Hagerman’s games as they can.

Connie McDowell, 43, a registered nurse in LaGrande, Ore., is Mary’s oldest. Another daughter is Debra Hurst, a teacher in Flagstaff, Az. Their youngest is Kyle Green, 34, a deputy sheriff with the Blaine County Sheriff’s Department.

Mary and Dude don’t have any elaborate plans for retirement.

For a Christmas present they received from one of their daughters the gift of a trip to Alaska. They’re still working out the details, but Mary said they’ll probably cruise one way, fly another, and rent a motor home. They’ll fish and visit with friends who’ve moved to Alaska.

They have their team of mules, and they plan to enjoy Idaho’s long summer days and pack and drive their horses up into Little Wood River backcountry.

For Mary, it will be a luxury to string out their time in the country, instead of hurrying back home for the start of the Monday work week.

"It will be nice to take some extra time," she said.

Her job and her life in the workplace have been rewarding.

She said, "It’s been enjoyable, although it was stressful at times. You’d never in your life get to meet all the people I’ve met.

"Blaine County is just a good place."

 

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