Clerks-Past and Present


Darlee Maylen 1999-PresentDarleeWeb2





Amelia Chavez Sainz 1978-1999

AmeliaChavezSainzAmelia is a native of Graham County, Arizona, and was born to Gregorio and Paula Montez Chavez.  The family moved to Pima when she was very young.  The oldest of twelve children, her siblings are as follows: Vicky (Granillo), Greg, Susie, Sophia (Diaz), Irene (Rodriguez), Tony, Barbara (deceased), Conchita (Grajeda), Henry, Laura (Fehrenback), and Frances.

After graduating from Pima High in 1942, she attended Gila Junior College (now E.A.C.).  Her business career began as a legal secretary to local attorneys for approximately 30 years prior to running for public office in 1978, winning the Clerk of the Superior Court’s position then and re-elected to the post five times…never facing opposition in an election.  She was last re-elected in 1998 and retired in May of 1999.  Some of the attorneys that she worked with the longest were Guy Anderson, Charles M. Smith, Dee Flake, Dudley S. Welker and Jack Williams.  Amelia says “Mr. Anderson really took me under his wing, furnishing me with secretarial books and even giving me a ride to and from work for quite a while; he was a true mentor.”  She served under Judges Ruskin Lines, Dudley Welker and Douglas Holt.  Her greatest joy was serving the public and being able to assist everyone who had business with the attorneys’ office or Court or Clerk’s office.  She married Frank Sainz after World War II and they were blessed with three children Diane (deceased), William and Anna; they have 5 grandsons and 2 great-grandsons.  She spoils her family with their favorite Spanish food and enjoys doing so.  She has been very active with community, business and church organizations.  At present, she is serving as Secretary-Treasurer of United Way, a position she has held since its inception in 1978.  She has been a recipient of the Pride of Safford for her involvement with United Way; board member and officer of some of the following organizations:  Graham County FEMA, Catholic Daughters of Americas, Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center Foundation, Safford BPW, Safford Woman’s Club, Sunshine Valley Apartments, Democratic Party and Graham County Historical Society.  She was twice named “Woman of the Year” for BPW, and was President of Arizona Association of Superior Court Clerks.  She was honored with an award from Zel Hawthorne and Safford High School for her fundraising involvement with the DECCA students.  “Fundraising” has been her forte and she has supplied some of the above organizations with many bottles of her famous salsa, dozens of burros, sold hundreds of boxes of Sees Candy and hundreds of raffle tickets.  She spent a week collecting items and selling raffle tickets for an auction to benefit the Cancer Center.


Lena Hayes Garcia 1958-1978


Cleora Allred Hancock 1947-1957

CleoraAllredHancockCleora was born on May 1, 1909 in a ranch house located just outside of Thatcher, Arizona. She was the third of seven children born to Christopher Anderson Allred and Silva Mae Faulkner Allred. Her great-grandfather was Christopher Layton. Cleora attended school in Thatcher, graduating from the eighth grade in 1924. She also attended high school in Thatcher but did not graduate at that time. In 1927 she fell in love with John William Westphal Hancock and theyCleoraAllredHancockClerkofSuperiorCourt were married on November 3, 1927 in Lordsburg, New Mexico. By 1930, the couple had two children – a son named Max Gilbert and a daughter named Ella Mae. Cleora completed her high school course work at Gila Academy in 1934 and received her Junior College Certificate in Business in 1937 while raising her family and traveling with her husband to various job sites around the state.

In 1941 – to supplement the family income – Cleora got a job as the Deputy Clerk where she worked for Cleve Curtis, the Clerk of the Superior Court in Graham County. Her beginning salary was $50 per month. She was also made jail matron, which paid her an additional $25 per month. After being laid off by Mr. Curtis in August of 1946 and learning that he had decided not to run for reelection, Cleora decided to run for the position of Clerk and went on to win the election. She took office on January 1, 1947, becoming the first woman to serve as Clerk of the Superior Court in Graham County. She was later reelected to the position in 1950 and 1954.

In the early 1950s, a service club was formed called the Pilot Club which assisted those in need. Cleora became very active in this CleoraAllredHancock2organization, serving in several offices including Governor of Arizona for the Club. She also traveled to club conventions throughout the United States.

Cleora was a very devoted mother and grandmother. She lived to the age of eighty-two and upon her passing on Dec 21, 1991, she left behind a growing posterity of two children, twelve grandchildren, and thirty-two great-grandchildren plus three who preceded her in death.



Cleveland Curtis 1931-1946

CleveCurtisClerkOfTheCourtCleve was born in St. David, Arizona on May 15, 1892. His family farmed and freighted goods from Naco, Arizona throughout Arizona and Old Mexico. The family moved to the Gila Valley in 1906 and established a ranch and farm in San Jose. The following year Cleve’s family bought a home in Thatcher where he graduated from the 8th grade and attended the LDS academy which is now Eastern Arizona College. He was very active in sports particularly baseball.

Cleve served a French mission for his church and while in France,CleveLeavingForMissionParis World War I broke out. He was very instrumental in the safety of the missionaries during that time.

Upon his return to Thatcher, Cleve worked at the Thatcher and Miami Railroad Depots and kept busy at the family ranch in San Jose. In 1917, he married the love of his life, Eunice Nelson, and began his family life.

Over the years, Cleve worked as an assistant cashier for the Citizen’s Bank in Thatcher, the Arizona Trust and Savings Bank, and at the Valley National Bank. He was also a Deputy County Treasurer and County Assessor. He was elected as the Superior Court Clerk for 16 years serving from CleveCurtis1931 to 1946. He was also a farmer and automobile dealer for 35 years establishing Curtis Motors in 1933.

Cleve and Eunice Curtis were the parents of 9 children who also were involved in local businesses and community involvement. Cleve was a lifelong member of his church, serving in many leadership positions and also served as a member of the board of education of Gila Jr. College in Thatcher. Cleve died March 24, 1983.