Nancy Silvertooth’s relationship with Winchester began when she drew her first breath at “Winchester Hospital” almost 80 years ago. Nancy Rebecca Wiseman was the first-born of Herbert Earl Wiseman and Myrtle Arnold Wiseman. She and her four siblings, Sarah Wiseman Davis, Alice Marie Wiseman, Jim Wiseman, and Linda Wiseman Arms, spent their childhood in Marble Plains on their Grandfather Wiseman’s farm in Wiseman Bend. The farm is now under the waters of the Tims Ford Lake, except for the hilltop, where the Bear Trace Golf Course is now located. Life on the farm for Nancy and her siblings consisted of milking cows, and other farm work, and finding creative ways to entertain themselves. The family attended Marble Plains (then) Methodist Church.
When Nancy turned sixteen, she went to work part-time at the National Store in Winchester. She graduated from Franklin County High School, attended Martin College in Pulaski one year, worked at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville for a year, then got married in June of 1959. Maurice Edward Silvertooth, her husband, passed away October 8, 2005. November, 1959, found Nancy job-hunting. Mr. Joe S. Bean, a Winchester lawyer, needed a secretary. She knew nothing about the law, but was desperate for a job. Mr. Bean must have been desperate as well, because he hired her. Mr. Bean was a bit intimidating and the law very intimidating. At the outset, it was a daunting situation for a 20-year old with no legal experience. She might well have given upon this undertaking had she not discovered she was a little bit pregnant. She would have been unable to obtain another job. Thus, began her invaluable “legal education” and a life-long passion for the law and legal work. For the next 25 years, with the exception of three brief stints at AEDC and time off for three babies, she went to work in Mr. Bean’s law office at 205 1st Ave., S.E., just off the square in Winchester. Nancy was working for Mr. Bean when she received a phone call from (then) General Sessions Judge Floyd Don Davis telling her that Mr. Bean had collapsed in night court and had been taken to the hospital. He passed away later that night. It was Election Day, August 2, 1984. Nancy spent the next year helping Mr. Bean’s family get his law practice closed. She was then fortunate to be hired by Attorney Clinton H Swafford. She went to work for Swafford, Peters, and (then) O’Neal and actually worked for Attorney Robert S. Peters, whose secretary was leaving to go with her husband to a job in another state. Working for Mr. Bean and then Mr. Peters was challenging at times, but their legal expertise and positive influence for “doing it right” and her own passion for the law compelled Nancy to run for Circuit Court Clerk in 1986. She was fortunate to be elected and served in that position from September 1, 1986, to August 31, 2010, when she retired. She is eternally grateful to her fellow Franklin Countians for this privilege. Since retirement from the clerk’s office on August 31, 2010, Nancy has enjoyed:
- Working in the Franklin County Re-entry Program for Christine Hopkins for about two years,
- Completing requirements for an Associates Degree at Motlow Community College in 2013. Nancy claims to be a fast learner and completed her college education in just 56 years.
- Helping people with health insurance issues,
- Serving in the Fox Run Estates Homeowners’ Association,
- Working in the Franklin County Democratic Party, and running for 39th District State Representative in 2016 (and losing), and
- Playing the organ at First Baptist Church, Estill Springs.
She is especially enjoying working for Attorney Clinton H. Swafford in the Swafford, Peters, Priest & Hall law firm, since July 2017. Nancy finds herself, again, in a law office just off the square in Winchester, but on the other side, next to The Livery.
Nancy also enjoys spending time with her growing family, consisting of children: Camilla (and Randy), Becky (and Bob), Carl (and Mary), and grandchildren: Doug, Ross, Jordan, Mikayla, Zach, Sunny, Summer and Nena (and their significant others). Two little great-grandsons, Vaden and Pace, have joined the growing clan!