Cumberland County Clerks

Prior to 1776, County Clerks were appointed by the Governor to hold at his pleasure, or during good behavior. From 1776 to the new Constitution in 1844, they were appointed by joint meeting of the legislature for the term of five years. The governor filled all vacancies until the next meeting. Under the Constitution of 1844 they are elected by the people and vacancies filled as before until the next election.

Elias Cotting was the first Cumberland County Clerk to hold the position……Daniel M. Woodruff was the first Cumberland County Clerk elected by the people of the County.

Here is an historical account of the first clerk:

The first court of common pleas was held at Greenwich, May 1748. Atttorneys’ names appearing were, Daniel Mestayer, Rose, Robert Hartshorne. Court sat in meeting house. Judges, John Brick, Richard Wood, John Remington. Sheriff, Annanias Sayre. Clerk, Elias Cotting…..therefore, Elias Cotting was the first Clerk to serve Cumberland County.

The following have held office:


Maskell Ewing

Elias Cotting, appointed May 1748 to hold during pleasure of governor Belcher; Reappointed December 1755 to hold during good behavior; Died 1757.

Daniel Elmer, II, Appointed December 1, 1757; Died May 2, 1761.

Maskell Ewing, Appointed May 1761; Reappointed February 16, 1762 to hold during the pleasure of Governor; Declined to serve under the State Government.

Jonathan Elmer, Appointed by joint meeting September 1776; Reappointed September 29, 1781; Resigned March 17, 1786; Reappointed same date; Resigned November 2, 1789.


James Giles

James Giles, Appointed November 2, 1789; Reappointed 1794 and 1799.

Dr. Azel Pierson, Appointed November 1, 1804; Reappointed October 27, 1809; Died May 1813.

Jonathan Holmes, Appointed by Governor May 1813.

Dr. Edo Ogden, Appointed October 29, 1813; Died December 6, 1813.

Dr. Ebenezer Elmer, Appointed by Governor December 1813.

Ebeneser Seeley

Ebeneser Seeley

Ebenezer Seeley, Appointed February 9, 1814; Reappointed February 5, 1819, December 9, 1923, and November 8, 1828.

Samuel Seeley, Appointed February 27, 1833.

Josiah Fithian, Appointed February 28, 1838; Died July 14, 1842.

Enos Seeley, Appointed by Governor July 1842,

Daniel M. Woodruff, Appointed October 28, 1842; Reappointed by Governor Stratton October 27, 1847; Elected by the November 2, 1847.

Ephraim E. Sheppard, Elected November 2, 1852.

Providence Ludlum, Elected November 3, 1857.

Theophilus G. Compton

Theophilus G. Compton

Theophilus G. Compton,  Elected November 7, 1862; Re-Elected November 5, 1867.

Daniel Sharp, Elected November 5, 1872; Relected November 6, 1877.

Francis L. Godfrey, Elected November 7, 1882; Re-Elected November 8, 1887, Died in Office.

Mulford Ludlam, Appointed by Governor June 1890.

William B. Trenchard, Elected November 1890; Re-Elected November 1894.

George W. Betchner, Elected November 1899.

Samuel M. Sheldon, Elected November 1904; Re-Elected November 1909.

Leonidas H. Hogate, Elected November 1914; Re-Elected November 1919. Re-Elected  November 1924.

Frank Wettstein, Elected November 1929, Re-Elected November 1934.

Earl M. Wescoat, Elected November 1939, Re-Elected November 1944, Re-Elected November 1949, Re-Elected November 1954, Re-Elected November 1959, Re-Elected November 1964, Re-Elected November 1969.

John G. Nardelli, Elected November 1974, Re-Elected November 1979, Re-Elected November 1984, Re-Elected November 1989, Died in Office, February 26, 1994.

Theresa L. Van Sant, Appointed by Governor June 1994.


Gloria Noto

Gloria Noto, Elected November 1994, Re-Elected November 1999, Re-Elected November 2004,  Re-Elected November 2009.

She was the first woman in 250 years to be elected Clerk of Cumberland County, New Jersey serving in this position from 1994 to 2014. As well as, being elected and serving as the first woman Clerk for 20 years; in 1993 Gloria was the first woman in 60 years to receive the Civic Award from the Fraternal Order of Eagles; in 1990 she was the first Republican woman elected to the Freeholder Board; and in 1988 she was the first female member of the local Rotary Club.

The various offices Gloria held as President were the Chestnut & West Mother’s Club, Dane Barse PTA, Our Lady of Mercy Academy PTA, Soroptimist Club, County Commission on Women and County Republican Women’s Club, She was a vice chairperson for Vineland Zoning Board of Adjustment. Gloria served as a board member for Cumberland County Board of Social Services and as advisory board member for Retired Senior Volunteer Program. She was a member of the Board of Directors for Southwest Council Inc. and Cumberland County Women’s Hall of Fame. Gloria was also a Cumberland County Regular Republican Organization State committee woman.


Celeste M. Riley

Celeste M. Riley, Elected November 2014.

Celeste Riley

Interesting information about Cumberland’s history can be found: