Clarence Love, retired Somerset city clerk, recalls that Norfleet later used the building as a Studebaker garage and Shell service station. The building was converted into city hall during the administration of Mayor A.A. Offutt.
Offutt, a very popular but crusty “what you see is what you get” type of mayor, owned an insurance agency and served as a part-time mayor for a total of about 20 years. He insisted being mayor of Somerset was not a full-time job, and it probably wasn’t at the time.
A “Hello, how are you?” greeting often triggered an Offutt grin and wry response: “And why do you care, you’re not a doctor.” He loathed dull meetings and long-winded speakers, often getting up and walking out without apology.
Love was city clerk for 29 years, from 1955 to 1984. His wife, Mabel, a 20-year city employee, was city assessor and manager of the Sewer Department.
Members of Somerset City Council who approved the conversion of the building into a city hall sound like a who’s who of early Somerset: Varna Holt, Otis Chaney, Chester Copeland, Dr. A.A. Weddle, W.H. Cundiff, Roy E. Greene, Ira Bogle, Bob Muse, Victor Sams, G.W. Rowbottom, Ed Bugg and Clyde H. Ping.