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Sheriffs of Comanche County, Kansas

1885 to 2006

Date listed is the date of election. In most cases officials did not take office until January of the following year. The first county election was held April 21, 1885. A regular election was held the following November.

Emil BowersApril 21, 1885
Emil BowersNovember 3, 1885
Davis T. McIntireNovember 8, 1887
Wm. TaylorNovember 3, 1891
Davis T. McIntireNovember 5, 1895
Elbert SmithNovember 7, 1899
C.A. FridleyNovember 8, 1904
J.E. HarbaughNovember 6, 1906
James M. WilliamsNovember 3, 1908
F.A. McKinneyNovember 5, 1912
W.P. SandersNovember 3, 1914
L.D. HaydockNovember 5, 1918
J.L. WilliamsNovember 7, 1922
W.M. McCraryNovember 2, 1926
W.T. GilesNovember 4, 1930
D. Jay OverockerNovember 6, 1934
George W. Williams       November 8, 1938
Gloyd C. HadleyNovember 3, 1942
George W. WilliamsNovember 5, 1946
Gloyd C. HadleyNovember 7, 1950
Phillip H. HackneyNovember 2, 1954
E.S. HarbaughNovember 4, 1958
Phillip H. HackneyNovember 8, 1960
Gloyd C. HadleyNovember 6, 1962
Laurel PetersonNovember 3, 1964
Phillip H. HackneyNovember 8, 1966
R. Jene AllenNovember 4, 1980
Michael K. BurtNovember 5, 1996
Dave TimmonsNovember 7, 2000 to present

"My name is Heather Puderbaugh and I work in the Register of Deeds office with Guyneth Snyder. We compiled a list of all elected county officers (except commissioners) to be put in the Comanche County History book Vol. II. Guyneth went through the old election records from the County Clerk's office to make the list." - from an email to Jerry Ferrin, 2 June 2006.

The Western Star, March 4, 1927.

About Comanche-co.'s Twelve Sheriffs

Among the twelve different men who have served as sheriff on Comanche-co., seven were democrats and five were republicans, although some of the democrats were elected as fusion candidates, or as the nominee of the alliance or peoples party. Three of the twelve each served one term, and six served two terms each and one served, in all, four terms. One - the present official - entered upon his first term in January of this year. One noticeable fact in the case of the election of sheriffs in this county is that, in a number of cases, the vote was very close, the majority or plurality often being less than 30. All except three of Comanche-co.'s twelve sheriffs are still living. It may be added that so far not one has ever been injured in any way while in the performance of his duty, except F. A. McKinney, and his injury was caused by falling from a moving train while attempting to prevent a prisoner from escaping. To D. T. McIntire belongs the credit of serving the longest length of time as sheriff. He has lived in the county for over 45 years, and is counted as one of our best known pioneers.

We give below a few facts in regard to the candidates for sheriff at the various general elections in this county during the past 42 years, or since the county held its first general election:

At the first election held in this county, in April, 1885, there were two candidates for the office of sheriff - E. Bowers, democrat, and B. F. Robinson, republican. Bowers won by a vote of 1056 to 553. At the fall election that year, Mr. Bowers was re-elected, defeating D. H. Brewer, republican, and E. Huff, greenbacker, the vote being - Bowers, 573; Brewer, 499; Huff, 375. Mr. Bowers thus served two terms. He was first elected on the alliance ticket, and the second time by the peoples party. He continued to make his home in Coldwater up to the time of his death, which occurred in the cyclone which visited this city in May, 1899. Mr. Brewer and Mr. Huff each moved from the county during the early 90s.

Davis T. McIntire D. T. McINTIRE
At the November, 1887, election, there were two candidates for sheriff - D. T. McIntire, democrat and John Ruttman, republican. The vote stood - McIntire, 719; Rutman, 562. Two years later, Mr. McIntire was elected, defeating A. A. Dunnington, republican, by a vote of 456 to 224. In 1895, Mr. McIntire was again elected to the office of sheriff, defeating C. A. Fridley, republican, and A. Heflin, peoples party, the vote being - McIntire, 173: Fridley, 99; Heflin, 84. Two years later, Mr. McIntire was re-elected, defeating Walter H. Meers, republican by a vote of 180 to 158. In 1914, he was again the democratic nominee, but was defeated by W. P. Sanders. Mr. McIntire has thus served a total of eight years, or four terms as sheriff of this county. He is still a resident of this city. Mr. Dunnington and Mr. Ruttman have not lived in this county since the early 90s. Mr. Heflin lived here for a few years after he was a candidate. Mr. Meers died in this city on March 4, 1921. (He also served in the Kansas State Legislature.)

W. M. Taylor, democrat, was the successful candidate for sheriff in 1891, defeating I. G. Howard, republican, and E. Bowers, democrat, the vote standing - Taylor, 221; Howard, 216; Bowers, 128. Two years later, or in 1893. Mr. Taylor was again successful, defeating I. N. Powell, republican, by a vote of 187 to 157. Mr. Howard and Mr. Powell lived in the county for a few years after the time they were candidates. Mr. Powell died in this county during the early 90s.

There were two candidates for sheriff at the November, 1899, election - Bert Smith, democrat and A. C. McDonold, republican. The vote stood - Smith, 230; McDonold, 201. Mr. Smith was re-elected three years later, defeating, D. G. Gallaway, republican by a vote of 235 to 172. He served as sheriff for five years. Mr. Smith is now a resident of Oklahoma City. Mr. McDonold died in this city on March 17, 1922. Mr. Callaway moved from the county about ten years ago.

The two candidates for sheriff in 1904 were C. A. Fridley, republican, and W. B. Newman, democrat. Fridley won by a vote of 221 to 206. At the general election in 1906, Mr. Fridley was a candidate for re-election, but was defeated by J. E. Harbaugh, democrat. Mr. Fridley died in this city on December 21, 1920.

The result of the election in 1906 was J. E. Harbaugh, 254; Fridley, 243. Mr. Harbaugh served just one term. He moved from this county to his ranch near Hooker, Okla., about ten years ago, and still lives there.

J.M. Williams, Sheriff of Comanche County, Kansas.  Photo courtesy of Nella Hartley. J. M. WILLIAMS
The republican candidate, J. M. Williams, was elected in 1908. He defeated C. M. Cole, democrat, by a vote of 366 to 286. Two years later, both Mr. Williams and Mr. Cole were again candidates for sheriff. Mr. Williams was again successful, the vote being 378 to 365. Mr. Williams is now a resident of Lake City, Barber-co. Mr. Cole is a resident of this city.

F. A. McKinney, democrat, won for sheriff in the 1912 election. There were two other candidates - Z. J. Bratcher, republican, and Walter James, socialist. The vote stood - McKinney, 609; Bratcher, 461; James, 68. They are still residents of this county.

There were three candidates for sheriff in 1914 - W. P. Sanders, republican, D. T. McIntire, democrat, and H. R. Marley, socialist. The vote was: Sanders, 871; McIntire, 584; Marley, 89. Mr. Sanders was re-elected, defeating Walter James by a vote of 1490 to 278. Mr. Sanders and Mr. James continue to make their home in this county. (He also served in the Kansas State Legislature.)

There were two candidates for the sheriff at the 1918 election - L. D. Haydock, republican, and Oscar Taylor, democrat. Haydock won by a vote of 791 to 760. Mr. Haydock was re-elected in 1920, having no opposing candidate. He is now a resident of Winfield, Kans., and Mr. Taylor lives in this city.

The candidates for sheriff in 1922 were J. L. Williams, democrat, and W. G. Jarnagin, republican. Williams won by a vote of 950 to 837. In 1924, Mr. Williams was re-elected, defeating W. S. Lytle, republican, by a vote of 936 to 794. Each still live in this city.

The race for sheriff in 1926 resulted in the election of W. M. McCrary, independent, over Louis Nehrt, democrat and W. S. Lytle, republican. The vote stood - McCrary, 572; Nehrt, 526; Lytle, 446.

Also see:

Comanche County in the State Legislature
A Few Facts About the Men Who Have Represented This County in Topeka

The Western Star, January 7, 1927.

Comanche-co's Eleven County Treasurers
The Western Star, February 4, 1927.

Sheriff's Sales, The Western Star, December 3, 1887.

Comanche County Officers, 1885 - 2007

Donald Jay Overocker, "Jay farmed in Avilla township until his retirement in April, 1965 at which time he and Leona moved to their present home in Coldwater, Kans. During this period he served two terms as sheriff and two terms as Commissioner of First District in Comanche county.", The Western Star, September 4, 1975.

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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