Office History

Hon. H.H. Henley


H H Henley

Pasco County was incorporated in 1887.  Pasco is named after Samuel Pasco, a U.S. Senator from Florida.  The County was created when Hernando County was divided into three parts, creating Citrus County to the north and Pasco County to the south.  Pasco County’s first Clerk of Court was H.H. Henley, who took office in 1887 and remained in office until 1904.

In this ledger from the State Library and Archives of Florida shows when Henley first took office.

1st clerk document

Hon. O.L. Dayton 


O L Dayton

O.L. Dayton was the second Pasco Clerk of Court. He took office in 1904 and remained in office until 1909. 

2nd clerk document

Hon. A.J. Burnside


AJ Burnside

Then, came the Burnside era. From 1909 to 1973, a man with the last name Burnside was Clerk of Court in Pasco County. A.J. Burnside is the longest serving Clerk in the History of the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller’s Office, serving from 1909-1949.

Shortly after he took office, the new courthouse in Dade City was completed. County Commission minutes indicate that Clerk Burnside accepted the courthouse on July 5, 1910, and made the first payment of $6,360. After four decades in Office, A.J.’s son Stanley took over.

3rd clerk document

Hon. Stanley Burnside


Stanley Burnside

Stanley Burnside was the Pasco Clerk from 1949-1973. In an interview in 2011, Stanley Burnside said, “The two of us in tandem were elected Clerk of the Circuit Court once every four years, 17 consecutive times,” said the younger Burnside (who was 91 years old at the time of the interview) “My Father was Clerk during the depression, and I remember he went up on the roof and repaired the slate roof on the old courthouse. And he and I together set the clock for 65 years.”

Courthouse and Stanley Burnside

Hon. Virgil Miller Newton 


Virgil Miller Newton

Virgil Miller Newton was the shortest serving Clerk in the history of the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller’s Office, remaining in Office from 1973-1977.

Hon. Jed Pittman 


Jed Pittman

Pasco County voters elected Jed Pittman as Clerk in 1977 and remained in Office until 2009. There are still quite a few Deputy Clerks on staff who started working when Mr. Pittman was in Office.

Hon. Paula S. O'Neil, Ph.D.


Paula ONeil

Dr. Paula O’Neill was the first woman to become the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller and remained in office for a decade from 2009 to 2019.

Hon. Nikki Alvarez-Sowles, Esq. 


Nikki Alvarez-Sowles

Governor Ron DeSantis appointed Nikki Alvarez-Sowles, Esq. to finish out Dr. O’Neill’s term and in 2020, Pasco voters elected Alvarez-Sowles as the eighth Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller.

Ledgers courtesy of Florida Memory, the State Library and Archives of Florida. 

Photos courtesy of