History of the Sheriff

The Office of the Sheriff dates back to England over 1000 years ago.  As the first settlers came to North America, they brought the title with them.  Though times have changed many of the duties remain the same.

In Kansas, Sheriffs were established prior to statehood when Kansas was still a territory.  In some areas of the Kansas Territory the Sheriff served as the only law enforcement official.

General Statutes for the election of a Sheriff in the State of Kansas were set in 1855.  When Kansas became a State in 1861 the Office of the Sheriff was one of the first established offices.  Sheriffs are elected for four year terms to serve one of Kansas’ 105 counties.

A Sheriff’s Office is a full service law enforcement agency providing professional law enforcement services to unincorporated and some incorporated cities.  Some smaller counties do not have municipal police departments.  In that case, the Sheriff’s Office assumes responsibility for all law enforcement within that county.  Other municipalities enter contracts with their local Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services.


1855-1856 – William Godfrey

1856-1857 – James Johnston

1857-1860 – Jessie Morris

1860-? – J.C. Redfield

1871-? David Worst

1871-1900 – No Data Available

1900-1903 – Harmon Hobart

1903-1915 – No Data Available

1915-1918 – Ed Dunfee

1918-1920 – No Data Available

1920-1928 – Edwin Sutherland

1928-1935 – No Data Available

1935-1939 – Bunt Warren

1939-1943 – Beatty Ray

1943-1947 – Homer V. Troxel

1947-1951 – John Page

1951-1953 – Lee Stith

1953-1955 – Ray Emmons

1955-1959 – B.E. Lorance

1959-1962 – Ray Emmons

1962-1965 – B.E. Lorance

1965-1969 – Delmar Call

1969-1973 – Ross Wade

1973-1980 – Glen Cooper

1980-1981 – James J. Setter

1981-2001 – Ronald D. Moore

2001-2005 – Robbie N. Atkins

2005-2013 – Thomas R. Williams

2013-Present – Bryan J. Murphy