"I needed a job!", he said.
He's been re-elected 24 times since then, possibly giving him the record in the state.
"I don't know how official it is, but no one's challenged it."
Colvin also served Wayne County for more than half his 80 years. In the late 1960s, he says he may have saved Savannah from losing its say in county government. Some members of the board of supervisors for the county wanted votes counted based on the size of the town. If that happened, Colvin would only represent Savannah with two percent of any vote.
"Savannah wouldn't have had a voice up there," he said. "We would have been assimilated with two or three towns."
One of Colvin's other accomplishments was the building of the Montezuma Audobon Center. The wildlife and tourist spot opened in May 2007, but it was 16 years in the making for Colvin.
"Eventually it will be a draw," he said. "There's got to be a shift from farming to something, and tourism is more likely."
And that's just one of the many accomplishments he remembers by the pictures, certificates and dozens of other momentos in his home - the same home he will retire in with his wife, Lynne.
"I'm very proud of him," Lynne said. "He has accomplished a great deal in 48 years."
Colvin says he wishes he could have done more. He wanted to make it to 50 years in office, but the small farm town of Savannah had other plans for him.
"I didn't decide," he said. "(The voters) decided for me. I could keep going forever."