Back in the Day



The Office of Sheriff

The office of sheriff is one of the oldest law enforcement offices, having its roots over 1000 years ago in England. In those days The King of England divided the country into territories called “shires” and appointed a representative called a “reeve”, or King’s representative. This person, the “shire-reeve” was the King’s chief law enforcement officer. Over the years as the English language developed the word “shire-reeve” evolved into “sheriff”. In Georgia the office of sheriff is created by Article 9, Section 1 of the state constitution which states that sheriffs “shall be elected by the qualified voters of their respective counties for a term of four years and shall have such qualifications, powers and duties as provided by general law”. Those  powers and duties are enumerated by state law in OCGA title 16, section 15.  A county sheriff has the same authority within the incorporated municipalities of the county as he does in the unincorporated areas. A sheriff has state-wide jurisdiction within Georgia to investigate and make an arrest for any crime which originated within his county.

 Sheriffs of Walker County

 Walker County was created by an act of the Georgia legislature in 1833.  Since then, thirty-five men have served as Sheriff of Walker County. Some of the exact dates of service of the early sheriffs are unknown due to a courthouse fire in the late 1800’s which destroyed many of the records that existed, however this is believed to be an accurate chronological listing of the Sheriffs of Walker County:

 William Faulkner 1834-36

Asa Dickson 1837-38

 William Faulkner 1839-40

 Peter Jackson 1841-42

 Nathaniel Newsome 1843-44

 Hiram Shaw 1845-46

 John Rogers 1847-48

 William Thedford

 Abner Mize

 James Hunt

 Abner Mize

 Thomas Evatt

 Abner Mize

 James Bunch 1861-62

 A.H. Mize 1863-64

 J.B. Rogers 22 days in 1866

 L. Conley

 A.A. Simmons

 Bill Strange

 Joel Withers

 Harvey Mize (served 1 day, killed in office 1879)

 G.W. Patterson 1879-80

 William McClatchey 1881-84

 W.A. Foster 1885-94

 William Riley 1895-96

 Hugh Sims 1897-98

 William Riley 1899-1902

 Robert Garmany 1903-10

 A.G. Catron 1911-14

 Robert Garmany 1915-20

 A.G. Catron 1921-June 1921 (killed in office)

 L.W. Harmon June 1921-1936

 J.C. Keown 1929-36

 Creed Shelby 1936-44

 Perry Scoggins 1945-48

 Bus Harmon January 1, 1949 – Dec 31, 1956

 John Brock January 1, 1957 – Dec 31, 1960

 Bus Harmon January 1, 1961 – Dec 31, 1964

 Ralph Jones January 1, 1965 – Dec 31, 1984

 Mike Ellis January 1, 1985 – Dec 31, 1988

 Al Millard Jan 1, 1989 – June 4, 1996 (Died in office)

 David Ashburn June 4, 1996 – Dec 31, 1996 (Mr. Ashburn was appointed to complete Sheriff Millard’s term).

 Steven B. Wilson  is currently the Sheriff of Walker County. Sheriff Wilson took office on January 1, 1997.

 

Walker County law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty:

 

Sheriff Harvey Mize was killed in 1879 on his first day in office

 Sheriff A.G. Catron, May 28, 1921

 Deputy Sheriff Joseph Washington Morton, March 18, 1922

 Deputy Sheriff D.C. Doss Alexander, August 11, 1934

 

 

 More to come on the history of the Sheriff’s Office…