The city of Jenkins' hunt for a deputy clerk finally ended after a months long search when the council hired Katie Caswell at the June 8 meeting. It turns out the council chose a candidate with a lot of the experience one would want for a deputy clerk.

“The job description that was laid out had a lot of the things I was looking for,” Caswell said.

Office work was what brought Caswell to the area. Two years ago she relocated to Brainerd from Hudson, Wisconsin, with the company Legend Outdoors. The company built custom fish houses.

“I was primarily the office manager, but I did participate in the shop and do some manual labor when they needed it,” Caswell said. “I did all the office stuff. I did accounts payable, accounts receivable. It's almost a $1.5 million company so there's a lot of money coming in and out. I did payroll and I set up projects, sent out purchase orders and kept track of all the inventory coming in and out for each job.”

This wasn't her first time managing accounts for a company.

“I had been a property manager at a company called GRD Properties,” Caswell said. “I managed five apartment complexes and did tenant screenings and all accounts payable and receivable for that. We did have some other staff so I did payroll for that and did coordinating with all the contracts.”

Many in Jenkins will recognize Caswell from her time as club manager at the Jenkins VFW for the past winter after Legend Outdoors moved out of the area. She knew she would move on eventually.

“I was in the restaurant business for 20-plus years before I started doing office type work, so it was kind of a natural progression,” Caswell said.

Caswell did not come to the lakes area alone, but with husband Gary Hibell. Together they have a daughter, though she is in college and did not move with them.

“That was kind of the reason we moved,” Caswell said. “She was off to school and we didn't have anything holding us back. She goes to Duluth and we bought 40 acres up here. Jenkins is where we plan to plant our roots now.”

Caswell said growing up she never thought she might eventually be a deputy clerk for a city, but she did know she wanted to be somewhere near the outdoors.

“I grew up in Afton, Minnesota, and I have one brother,” Caswell said. “We were pretty much an outdoor family, so we did a lot of camping and hunting and fishing.”

Of course, living in Jenkins, those are some of the very same activities they do now. Given her time with Legend Outdoors it should be no surprise that they especially like fishing in the winter.

“We do a lot of hunting and camping and fishing. We do a ton of ice fishing,” Caswell said. “We do a lot of ATVing and UTVing.”

Caswell is looking forward to being part of Jenkins and its growth.

“I think it's a great opportunity,” Caswell said. “It's a small town that seems to be growing and I kind of want to be part of it and being kind of a new resident, integrating into the community and getting to know more of the residents is something I really look forward to.”

Travis Grimler may be reached at 218-855-5853 or travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Travis.