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Parke County Sheriffs


Thanks to Alberta Butler, Randy Wright  and Karen Zach for this data


Early Sheriffs

  The first official appointed by the Governor in Jan 1821 when the county was organized was the sheriff -- Andrew Brooks.  He held office until August when Henry Anderson was elected the 1st Sheriff of the County (according to the Parke Co IN Atlas. Chicago: Andreas, 1874).  Up to 1840, the sheriff was the Assessor and Collector of the taxes of the county, as well.

Written by: Randy Wright -- "A Brief History of Parke Co. Indiana Sheriffs, 1821-1997" (Randy said he got the information from several old newspaper articles).

Captain Andrew Brooks was Parke County's first sheriff.  He was appointed sheriff of Parke and Vermillion Counties on Jan 9, 1821, to serve until an election could be held.  On the first Monday in August, 1821, Henry Anderson was elected sheriff.  He served four years.  Including Capt. Brooks, there have been at least 46 men serve as Sheriff.  This includes those who were elected or appointed.  The first sheriff who died in office was John Davis.  He was commissioned on March 12, 1833.  He served one month and ten days.  Austin Puett then served from April 22, 1833 until August 18, 1833 when William Kilgore was commissioned.  Sheriff Kilgore served two terms.  The term of office changed from two years to four year sin 1950.  Earl Dowd, Jr. was the first sheriff to be elected to the new four year term, in 1950.  He served two terms, and later was elected Prosecutor and then Circuit Court Judge in Parke Co.  Some of the closest elections for Sheriff include those of Jacob P. Smith (Dem) who won in 1926 by 16 votes.  Also, Fred Botts (Rep) who gained office by 122 votes in 1948.  William D. Mull was the first sheriff killed in the line of duty.  He and Deputy William Sweem were shot by Alfred "Pete" Egbert.  Egbert had evidently become "insane" and he also killed a woman and two children.  He then committed suicide.  The Sheriff and deputy died in front of the national Bank Building on the Square in Rockville, April 25, 1896.

1821 - 1821 -- Andrew Brooks 

1821 - 1825 -- Henry Anderson 

1825 - 1827 -- Isaac J. Sillman 

1827 - 1829 -- William C. Noel 

1830 - 1833 -- Austin M Puett       

1833 - 1837 -- William Kilgore

1837 - 1841 -- Aaron Hart

1841 - 1845 -- Jesse R. Youmans  

1845 - 1849 -- Gabriel Houghman 

1849 - 1853 -- James W. Beadle 

1853 - 1857 -- David Kirkpatrick 

1857 - 1861 -- Abram Darroch 

1861 - 1865 -- George B. Inge 

1865 - 1867 -- James Phelon (died in office, Feb 1867)

1867 - 1867 -- Jesse Bartlow (served after Phelon died for a few weeks)

1867 - 1872 -- Norval W. Cummings

1872 - 1874 -- Christian Steinbaugh 

1874 - 1876 -- George B. Chapman

1878 - 1882 -- Zimri D. Maris 

1882 - 1886 -- John R. Musser

1886 - 1890 -- Edward Nicholas 

1890 - 1894 -- George S. Jones 

1894 - 1896 -- William D. Mull (killed in office, succeeded by Hiram E. Newlin, Coroner)

1896 - 1898 -- Cornelius R. Hanger

1898 - 1901 -- Perry Benson (sources vary on when he served)

Nov 6, 1900 -- Perry B. Benson, served two terms (R)

Nov 4, 1902 -- T.E. Aydelotte, served one term (R)

Nov 8, 1904 -- Edwin M. Carter, two terms (R)

Nov 6, 1906 -- Edwin M. Carter

Nov 3, 1908 -- Robert J. Finney, two terms (R)

Nov 8, 1910 -- Robert J. Finney

Nov. 5, 1912 --Edward R. Nicholas, two terms (R)

Nov 3, 1914 -- Edward R. Nicholas

Nov 7, 1916 -- Charles A. Thompson, two terms (R)

Nov 5, 1918 -- Charles A. Thompson

Nov. 2, 1920 -- William J. Peare, served one term (R)

Nov. 7, 1922 -- Jacob P. Smith, served one term (D)

Nov 4, 1924 -- Homer Mitchell, served one term (D)

Nov 2, 1926 -- Jacob P. Smith, served one term (D) (see above)

Nov. 6, 1928 -- Claude Robison, served one term (R)

Nov. 4, 1930 -- William Moore, served two terms (D)

Nov. 8, 1932 -- William Moore

Nov. 6, 1934 -- Lawrence Smith, served two terms (D)

Nov. 3, 1936 -- Lawrence Smith (see above)

Nov. 8, 1938 -- Froman Clouse, served two terms (D)

Nov. 5, 1940 -- Froman Clouse

Nov. 3, 1942 -- Osmer Chaney, served two terms (R)

Nov. 7, 1944 -- Osmer Chaney

Nov. 5, 1946 -- Fred Botts, served two terms (R)

Nov. 2, 1948 -- Fred Botts

Nov. 7, 1950 - 1954-- Earl M. Dowd, Jr. 

Nov 4, 1958 -- 1962 -- Charles A. Cooper

Nov 8, 1964 -- Max Webb

Nov 3, 1970 - 1974 Gar Cooper

Nov 7, 1978 - 1982 -- Dennis "Mike" Eslinger

Nov 4, 1986 -- Gene Hardman

Nov 6, 1990 - 1994 -- Mark Bridge