Donaldson Recognized by Bar Association

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Published on May 1 2014 2:58 pm
Last Updated on May 1 2014 2:58 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

A man who retired from one career was honored for his second pursuit Thursday by the Effingham County Bar Association.

Local historian Delaine Donaldson was recognized as the Bar Association's 2014 Distinguished Service Award recipient.  Donaldson was honored for his work to preserve the former Effingham County Courthouse as a museum and cultural center.  Bar Association President Bryan Kibler also noted Donaldson's work to "preserve our past" and for his work as a history educator.

(DELAINE DONALDSON SPEAKS TO THOSE GATHERED FOR LAW DAY AFTER RECEIVING THE EFFINGHAM COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION "DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD")

Donaldson shared that he always knew Effingham County had a history worth sharing.  Once he retired from 35 years of teaching, he began research that has uncovered a treasure trove of information.  He noted that there is a display of Effingham County's history regarding the law at the Old Courthouse.

Kibler said he and other attorneys who began their careers practicing law in the Old Courthouse "have a soft spot in their hearts" for the facility and are glad it has been preserved.

(EFFINGHAM COUNTY RESIDENT CIRCUIT JUDGE KIMBERLY KOESTER SPEAKS TO THOSE GATHERED FOR LAW DAY)

Effingham County Resident Circuit Judge Kimberly Koester also took part in the ceremony, which was held at the start of Law Day activities for county students.  Judge Koester discussed her project to identify all of those from Effingham County who have served as a judge.  She has uncovered that Theophilus Smith was the first judge from the county in 1833, just two years after the county was established.  She said Judge Smith's first duty was to appoint John Sprigg the first Effingham County Circuit Clerk.

The judge has had photos placed in the courtrooms at the County Government Center of those judges she has identified as judges from Effingham County.