Michael Davis was recognized this week as the state’s longest-serving magistrate, with 45 years of service on the bench in Richland County.
Davis began his career when he was 26 years old and elected by the public. Nowadays, magistrates are appointed by local senators.
He plans to continue as the Lykesland magistrate through 2016, when he’ll be required to retire, according to a news release issued Friday by Richland County government.
Davis’ family has a legacy of public service: Several ancestors served as magistrates in Richland County and his father was a sheriff’s deputy. For a year, in 1977, Davis had dual roles, also serving as the Richland County coroner when the coroner became incapacitated.
“I don’t think I slept for three days,” he said.
Davis has three loyal staff members, Julia Anderson, Amber Brazell and Judy Reeder. Two of them have worked for him at the Lykesland magistrate’s office for more than 15 years.
He was recognized by Richland County Council as the longest-serving magistrate in state and county history.
“I never thought about doing anything else all these years,” Davis said. “I’ve enjoyed coming to work every day.”