The Clay Courthouse Historic Archive Center chronicles its latest artifact: A video documenting the ceremony naming the courthouse will be placed into the Historic Archive Center in March 2020.
The official resolution of the Clay County Board of County Commissioners naming the building is featured in the video. When future generations ask how the courthouse got its name [The William A. Wilkes Judicial Complex] the video will reveal many historic details.
Clerk of Court Tara Green said “The archive center is rich with local history going back centuries, and this video will be a new jewel in the collection of antiquities accessible to the public at the Clay County Historic Triangle in Green Cove Springs.”
During his life, Circuit Judge William A. Wilkes was a well known public figure in Clay County.
His wife Deloris Wilkes said “our family has been blessed to be able to call William 'husband, father, grandfather’ while many others called him friend."
William Wilkes was Born 1939. He graduated from Clay High School, University of Florida, Cumberland School of Law, and in 1969 was honorably discharged from the US Navy Reserves. After returning to Clay County to practice law during the 1970’s, Wilkes was the founder of the Clay County Bar Association.
Serving as both County Judge and Circuit Court Judge, Wilkes was elected by the people and appointed by the Governor; a unique distinction for any judge to hold. His election to Clay County Judge was in 1980, until his appointment to Circuit Court in 1985.
During his time as Administrative Judge, Wilkes was integral in shepherding the construction of the new Clay County Courthouse which was dedicated in 2008.
Wilkes passed away in 2018, and in 2019 the Clay County Board of County Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution which finally gave Clay County’s courthouse its permanent name.