Claremore Daily Progress

March 11, 2013

‘Ollie’ Douglas to retire after 36 years with Rogers County

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — Rogers County will be celebrating the retirement of Olga “Ollie” Douglas on March 15 from 3 to 5 p.m. in Judge Sheila Condren's courtroom on the third floor of the Rogers County Courthouse.

Douglas has worked for Rogers County as the courthouse law librarian for 36 years.
“Judge Jack Mayberry asked me if I would be interested in the job. That was way back before he was a judge,” Douglas said.
She gladly accepted the position and the responsibility. 
“In those days it was real work, there was paperwork and that is not done anymore. It is now all on the computer,” Douglas said.
Things have changed over the years, she added.
Although technology has changed the job, it is not the reason Douglas decided to retire.
When she heard of plans to build a new courthouse, Douglas said maybe the time to retire had come.
“I decided that when the new courthouse was finished or when I turned 90, I would retire,” Douglas said.
The courthouse is scheduled to be complete in April so Douglas will retire just a few months shy of her 90th birthday.
Her age has not slowed her down at all and she currently works each morning in the library.
One of the things Douglas said she is looking forward to in retirement will be going to the Claremore Recreation Center to workout.
Douglas said she currently works out during the week, but retirement will allow her to follow a more convenient schedule.
As far as changes in the courthouse throughout her 36 years of service, Douglas simply says, “It has been a good run.”
“I have seen a lot of changes and a lot of people come and go, but many of the attorneys are still the same as when I started,” she added.
Douglas adds that she only has good memories of her time at the courthouse.
“They have always been real god to me and no one has ever spoke a cross word to me,” Douglas said.
 Raised in Hamburg, Germany during WWII, Douglas came to Rogers County in the 1950's.
She married an American service man from Chelsea and became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
A survivor of the war, Douglas's story actually started in 1943 when she was receiving treatment in Kiel for an eye infection.
Her eye became infected after entering a Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD) camp in Erfde, Germany.
Girls ages 17 thru 21 had to serve in the camps for six months, according to Douglas.
“For most of us from Hamburg, it was a reprieve from being killed in air raids and from being hungry much of the time,” Douglas said.
The girls would leave the camps during the day and work on local farms.
It had been three and half years since the start of WWII and Douglas said she had learned to take it one day at a time.
While seeking treatment for the eye infection, an air raid occurred and she took shelter with others, however Douglas was injured in the attack.
Her leg was hit with shrapnel. Mangled and in need of an operation, she spent a year in the hospital trying to recover.
A survivor of the war, Douglas has many stories of her life in Germany.
She has shared many stories like this one with visitors at the Rogers County Courthouse.
Although Douglas has led a very interesting life she found the law library to be “peaceful”.
It was just one of many reasons she has enjoyed her work as a librarian, according to Douglas.
Beloved by courthouse employees, Douglas and her stories will truly be missed.
The public is invited to attend the retirement celebration.