Monday, December 18, 2017

A Gold Star Instead of Gold Dust

The list of sheriffs keeps a changing. Adjusting dates, found a sheriff that was overlooked in the first listing and he has been added, located an interim sheriff that wasn't known of before, and found out that one of the early sheriffs resigned part way through his first term to become a '49er gold miner. He came back to serve two more terms. So, you could say, he finally got the gold he sought . . . it just came in the shape of a star.

Right now, I'm reworking the list as there are several new photos to be added. I hear that patience is a virtue . . . but it's a gold-star one that you really have to work for.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

One of of Nodaway County's Unmarried Sheriffs

James M. Enis, a republican, was first elected to the office of sheriff of Nodaway County for 1901-1902, and again for 1903-1904.

Sheriff Enis was one of at least three unmarried men elected to the office. He married Margaret Graham of Clyde, Missouri in 1906. [Update: Some research today, Dec 7, indicates that one other sheriff was also unmarried, at least during his first term.]

During his terms of office, his father, Francis A. Enis, of Clyde, and one of his five sisters, Miss Belle Enis, resided at the jail with him and helped in the duties of caring for and feeding the prisoners.

After successfully completing his second term of office, Mr. Enis went into business, opening a general store and operating it successfully until his death, at the age of 49, from complications following surgery at St. Joseph hospital.

Sheriff Enis was related, by marriage to another Nodaway County sheriff, T.J. Parle. Sheriff Parle's wife and Sheriff Enis' wife were sisters.

Sheriff Enis would later be appointed at a steward for the State Hospital No. 2 at St. Joseph by Governor Hyde. He would, however, withdraw from the appointment, citing his duty to care for his mother-in-law, who was ninety years of age and who lived with him and his wife. He did not want to disrupt her "beautiful" home life.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Busy Season is Upon Us

The year has slipped quickly by and the busy holidays are already gearing up. Thanksgiving in November. Christmas in December. New Years in January. Add to that the current book in progress, for me, a book launch to organize, a jail model to build, and that all equals a lot of sleepless nights to get it all ready for the new year.

In order to finish on time, I am taking an eight-week break from scheduling and conducting interviews. The museums to which the finished interviews will eventually be donated will be closing for the long, cold weeks of winter ahead. I hope to have something to give them when they reopen in March.

In the meantime, I will try to incorporate some blog entries on sheriffs from the past. A list of those has been compiled for Nodaway County and is being checked and updated.

Thanks for checking in!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Nodaway County's Youngest Sheriff - James B. Prather

James B. Prather was elected sheriff of Nodaway County in 1856, just eleven years after the county was officially recognized by the state legislature. He was and remains the youngest man ever elected to the office of sheriff in Nodaway County. He was just twenty-five years old. Mr. Prather was one of the early settlers of the county. He bred high-quality thoroughbred horses. He was a founding member and Master Mason (1867) of the Maryville Masonic Lodge #470. He was a founder of Nodaway Valley Bank in Maryville. And, he was later appointed to serve on the Missouri State Board of Health.

(Photo courtesy of Masonic Lodge #470 of Maryville, Missouri.)

Nodaway County's First Sheriff

Nodaway County was officially founded on February 14, 1845. Its first sheriff was Bartlett Woodward Curl. (Correction:) He was officially elected sheriff in the county's first general election on August 3, 1846. This appeared in the local paper of that date.

Sheriff Curl would serve until August of 1847, when a new sheriff was elected. Later, the elected terms would run from November to November, with sheriff's taking office as soon as their bonds were presented to and accepted by the Nodaway County judges. Sheriff Curl's bond was for $1,500.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Some Expertise Required in Everything

Recent research on another project has me reading the exploits of former sheriffs from Nodaway County's past. 

It is remarkable the wide range of issues sheriffs have to deal with: burglaries, thefts, car accidents, political issues with commissioners, court-related issues, investigations, the day-to-day of administration and personnel management, changes in technology and implementing those in their department, management of the county jail or law enforcement center, and enforcing the laws, drafting and implementing internal policies, managing equipment, and making sure everyone is trained according to state requirements. And, there's usually more than that.. They have to have some expertise in a wide variety of areas in order to do their jobs well. Public relations skills are critical as the biggest part of their day is in dealing with people from every walk of life who may find themselves in difficult circumstances.