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Colleague remembers Cleo Teague’s integrity, friendliness, honesty

By Paul Huggins · 340-2395

Honesty, integrity and old-fashioned friendliness allowed Cleo Denver Teague to serve six elected terms as Morgan County circuit clerk, a former employee and colleague said.

That’s how Melba Dutton described Mr. Teague’s keys to 30 years in public service.

Mr. Teague, 75, of Decatur died Saturday at Decatur General Hospital.

When elected in 1964, he was 32 and the youngest person ever to hold his position.

He later served as president of the Alabama Association of Circuit Court Clerks.

“He said what he felt and what he thought, and he told the truth,” said Dutton, who worked in the circuit clerk’s office from 1956 to 1977 until serving as the county’s first District Court clerk for the next 24 years.

“He would stand up to anybody he needed to, and he did it with honesty and integrity,” she said.

Linda Clemons, one of three current circuit clerk staff members who worked for Mr. Teague, said he was a good boss because he allowed staff members to do their jobs without always looking over their shoulders.

“He knew you knew your job, and that’s all he was interested in: Know your job and be friendly to the public,” she said.

Mr. Teague’s career as a public official ended in 1994, when he lost an election to John Pat Orr, the present circuit clerk.

From then, he spent his time managing Indian Hills Golf Course, which he owned for 42 years.

The funeral will be Monday at 3 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home.

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