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Courtroom renamed to honor career of long-time employee

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Courtroom 2B at the Richland County Judicial Center on Main Street has been renamed to honor the service of a long-time employee who recently retired following a lengthy career in public service, business and education.

Ada Harper James, 85, was surrounded by friends and family as county officials, attorneys and staffers joined in Monday’s celebration, during which the wood-paneled room was rededicated as the Ada Harper James Courtroom.

Ada Harper James, 85, speaks during a ceremony renaming Courtroom 2B at the Richland County Judicial Center in her honor.  (Photo/Provided)James worked for 22 years as an administrative assistant to Circuit Court Judge L. Casey Manning before she recently retired. She took that job, which she thought would be short-term, after retiring from the Small Business Administration.

“I’d like to thank Judge Manning and . . . the law clerks who accepted me as I was on that first day all those years ago,” James said. “I looked forward to each day with anticipation.”

Richland County Councilman Seth Rose, District 5, led the effort to have the courtroom renamed to remember James’ legacy.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to see Ms. James recognized for her decades of service to the citizens of Richland County and the judicial system,” Rose said. “County Council wanted to recognize her in this historic way. She is beloved by many and this recognition is well-deserved.”

A portrait of James was unveiled on the courtroom wall, beneath her name in gold letters.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this moment today, for Ms. Ada James, is worth a thousand pictures,” Manning said.

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