General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, at a County Courthouse reception, asked anyone who was working at the courthouse in 1966 to raise their hand.
Only Circuit Court Clerk Paula Thompson was able to do so.
Judge Shattuck said he believes only Edna Camp of the Criminal Court clerk's office, has been at the courthouse longer.
Ms. Thompson did not seek re-election, and County Commissioner Larry Henry will be taking over the post next week.
Judge Shattuck said he was living in North Chattanooga in 1964 when Ms. Thompson was a 16-year-old cashier at a grocery store in Riverview. She went to the county two years later.
The judge remembered swearing in Ms. Thompson to her current post, noting that she informed him during the oath taking that a Black Widow spider was crawling on him.
Ms. Thompson commented on the oft-told tale, "Now it's a Black Widow."
Judge Shattuck said the 48-year county employee "has done a tremendous job over the years. She has been faithful to the citizens of Hamilton County.
"She is very understanding, helpful, cooperative, dedicated and loyal.
"She operates one of the best clerk's offices in the state."