History of Office of Sheriff
The Office of Sheriff is the oldest non-military branch of law enforcement. It goes all the way back to the early days of England. Back then, England was divided into many different sections called shires. Each shire had a reeve, an elected individual who was in charge of protecting the shire. Eventually, the words shire and reeve were joined together to form shire-reeve, which eventually turned into the word that is still used today: sheriff. Sheriffs of old would have duties such as keeping the peace, collecting taxes, hunting down fugitives, and keeping jails. Eventually, England formed colonies in North America and appointed sheriffs for these colonies, too. Soon the sheriffs began to be elected instead of appointed. That is why the Sheriff’s Office is the Sheriff’s Office and not the Sheriff’s Department; it is the only law enforcement entity that has an elected official as its head instead of an appointed official.
History of Cache County Sheriff's Office
Cache Valley's first known semi-permanent residents were Native American Shoshoni and Blackfoot tribes who came to hunt deer and other wildlife. Fur trappers and explorers, including Jim Bridger, also spent time in the area. The county derives its name from the "caches" of furs that were temporarily buried in the valley by trappers before being taken to the large fur markets in St. Louis and other eastern cities.
Mormon pioneers, emigrating from the Salt Lake area at the direction of Brigham Young, made permanent settlements in Cache Valley in the early 1850s. Utah became a U.S. Territory on September 9, 1850. In 1854, the Utah Territorial Legislature formally established the office of Sheriff. William Henry Garr was appointed the first Sheriff of Cache County on April 4, 1857. Later sheriffs were elected for two year terms.
The first recorded criminal case in Cache County was a warrant from Salt Lake County for the arrest of William W. Lutz on a charge of larceny in April of 1860. The first prisoner, arrested in June 1860, had to be kept in the new log school house since there was no jail. After three days he was killed during an escape attempt.
The Old Rock Jail was used from 1887 to the early 1960s. At that point a new Cache County Sheriff's Office and Jail building was built in the same location. This building was occupied and expanded until 2004 when Sheriff G. Lynn Nelson's dream came to fruition. In May of 2004 the Sheriff's Office and Jail moved into a new Sheriff’s Complex located at 1225 West Valley View.
Cache County Sheriffs
Sheriff William Henry Garr
Cache County Sheriff from 1857 to 1858
August 16, 1831 --November 24, 1876, age 45
William Henry Garr was appointed by Territorial Probate Judge Peter Maughan as Cache County’s first Sheriff and served during 1857 and 1858. He was born in Richmond, Virginia and at age sixteen crossed the plains with Brigham Young, walking from Nauvoo, Illinois, and arriving in Salt Lake City in the fall of 1847. He was employed as a cowboy at the Elkhorn Ranch, which was near present day Nibley, at the time he was appointed Sheriff. The county population at the time was 150 souls concentrated primarily at Maughan’s Fort (now Wellsville) and the Elkhorn Ranch.
Sheriff Samuel Park
Cache County Sheriff from 1859 to 1860
August 14, 1828 -- May 28, 1898, age 69
Born in Ireland, Samuel Park immigrated to the United States. He was hired as a teamster in the East and drove a wagon to Utah, arriving in Salt Lake City in September 1855. Park was employed as a rock hauler for the Salt Lake Temple. He was appointed Sheriff by Territorial Probate Judge Peter Maughan in May 1859 and had a ten-month tenure to March 1860. By this time, five more towns had been settled in Cache County, including Mendon, Providence, Richmond, Smithfield, and Logan. Sheriff Park appointed the county’s first deputy sheriff, Martin Harris, Jr. of Smithfield.
Sheriff Thomas Edwin Ricks
Cache County Sheriff from 1861 to 1864
July 21, 1828 -- September 28, 1901, age 73
Thomas Edwin Ricks was born in Kentucky and was a prominent explorer of the northern Utah and southern Idaho areas. He discovered Ricks Springs in Logan Canyon. Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho was named in his honor. He was shot three times while pursuing Native Americans who had allegedly stolen his oxen. Sheriff Ricks made Cache County’s first recorded arrest, a thief on a warrant from Salt Lake County. He shot and killed alleged cattle rustler David Skeen during an escape attempt. Having been cleared of the shooting by a coroner’s inquest, Sheriff Ricks was indicted for murder by a grand jury fourteen years later and then acquitted of the crime at trial. He served as Sheriff from 1861 to 1864.
Sheriff Alvin Crockett
Cache County Sheriff from 1865 to 1882
October 19, 1831 -- 1902, age 71
Alvin Crockett was born in Maine, immigrated to Utah in 1849, and settled in Cache County in 1860. He was the first mayor of Logan City and also served as the city marshal of Logan. He was elected Sheriff in 1865 and served until 1882. On Valentine’s Day 1873, Sheriff Crockett’s younger brother, David, was shot to death by Charlie Benson. Benson was arrested and jailed. A few days later, a vigilante mob broke into the jail, overcoming Sheriff Crockett and Logan Marshall Mark Fletcher, and seized the alleged murderer Benson. Benson was taken to Main Street near the site of the Old White Court house where he was hanged by the neck until he died.
Sheriff Nicholas W. Crookston
Cache County Sheriff from 1882 to 1890 and from 1909 to 1912
October 22, 1857 -- June 7, 1932, age 74
Nicholas W. Crookston was the first Sheriff of Cache County to be born in Utah. He served as Sheriff from 1882 to 1890 and then again from 1909 to 1912. During his term a bank robber was arrested in the Franklin Basin area of Logan Canyon, where his loot is supposedly still buried. Sheriff Crookston saw through the construction of a new rock county jail which stood about a hundred feet southwest of the county courthouse currently located at 179 North Main Street. As a sixteen year old, Nick witnessed the lynching of accused murderer Charlie Benson in February 1873 on Logan’s Main Street during the administration of Sheriff Alvin Crockett.
Sheriff James Kirkbride
Cache County Sheriff from 1890 to 1896
June 29, 1851 -- March 19, 1904, age 52
James Kirkbride, born in England, was brought to the United States by his aunt and uncle and eventually settled in Smithfield. His parents intended to come to America but never made the trip; thus he never really knew his own parents. He was a farmer by occupation as well as serving on the city council of Smithfield, Utah. He served as Sheriff from 1890 to 1896. During his term a prisoner escaped through the roof of the jail and let himself down to the ground by tied-together bed sheets. Sheriff Kirkbride and his deputy later recaptured the escapee. James Kirkbride died in Freedom, Wyoming, after falling from a horse in the winter time and freezing to death before he could be found.
Sheriff Fred Turner
Cache County Sheriff from 1897 to 1898
August 17, 1847 -- March 18, 1915, age 68
Fred Turner was born in London, England. He was a polygamist with three wives. He was active politically, having served as a Cache County commissioner and a Logan City councilman. He managed an implement house in Logan and served as Sheriff during 1897 and 1898.
Sheriff Emer Crockett
Cache County Sheriff from 1899 to 1900
February 25, 1852 -- August 18, 1920, age 68
Emer Crockett served as Sheriff in 1899 and 1900. He was an athletic man, standing over six feet tall, and he often engaged in wrestling matches with local Native Americans. He worked as a logger, a road builder, and a construction worker for the Logan Temple. He farmed six hundred acres in Greenville, which is now known as North Logan.
Sheriff George Clark Rigby
Cache County Sheriff from 1901 to 1904
February 22, 1862 -- April 1, 1921, age 59
George Clark Rigby was born in Wellsville, Utah. He was the ninth person to occupy the position of Cache County Sheriff, serving from 1901 to 1904. At various times he also served as the constable of Newton and the justice of the peace. He was a baseball enthusiast and enjoyed playing the game. Sheriff Rigby tracked down lawbreakers either on horseback or in a one-horse buggy. He lived the majority of his life in Cache County, where he and his wife raised thirteen children. He is buried in the Newton Cemetery.
Sheriff Thomas H. Smith
Cache County Sheriff from 1905 to 1908
January 10, 1858 -- December 4, 1919, age 61
Thomas H. Smith served as Sheriff from 1905 to 1908. He came to Cache County in 1859. He owned one of the first coal companies in the Cache Valley area; his company was located on 600 West and 100 South in Logan. He was also a horse breeder.
Sheriff Nicholas W. Crookston
Cache County Sheriff from 1882 to 1890 and from 1909 to 1912
October 22, 1857 -- June 7, 1932, age 74
Nicholas W. Crookston was the first Sheriff of Cache County to be born in Utah. He served as Sheriff from 1882 to 1890 and then again from 1909 to 1912. During his term a bank robber was arrested in the Franklin Basin area of Logan Canyon, where his loot is supposedly still buried. Sheriff Crookston saw through the construction of a new rock county jail which stood about a hundred feet southwest of the county courthouse, which is currently located at 179 North Main Street. As a sixteen year old, Nick witnessed the lynching of accused murderer Charlie Benson in February 1873 on Logan’s Main Street during the administration of Sheriff Alvin Crockett.
Sheriff John Henry Barker
Cache County Sheriff from 1913 to 1920
November 2, 1863 -- September 17, 1954, age 90
John Henry Barker lived in Providence, Cache Junction, and Newton and served as Sheriff for eight years from 1913 to 1920. He served for many years as a deputy sheriff and was courageous in his duties. He was active in other civic affairs including serving on the draft board during World War 1 and serving as a justice of the peace in the Petersboro District. His telephone number during the time he served as Sheriff was 684R2.
Sheriff Miles L. Peterson
Cache County Sheriff from 1921 to 1926
October 5, 1887 -- January 6, 1938, age 50
Miles L. Peterson was a veteran of World War 1, but otherwise spent most of his life in Cache Valley. He was a farmer in the Petersboro area. During his term as Sheriff from 1921 to 1926 he devoted his full attention to the office, leaving the responsibilities of the farm to employees and family. Sheriff Peterson had one deputy, one car, one motorcycle and one telephone to manage law enforcement in Cache County. After his term as Sheriff, he served as a deputy to Sheriff Will Shaw.
Sheriff William Henry Shaw
Cache County Sheriff from 1927 to 1930
April 28, 1870 -- January 3, 1963, age 92
William Henry Shaw was born and died in Paradise, Utah. Sheriff Shaw was appointed by the Cache County Commission to fill the tern of Don C. Benson, who was elected Sheriff in 1927 but who never took office because of an extended illness. Sheriff Shaw served from 1927 to 1930.
Sheriff Jefferson Stowell
Cache County Sheriff from 1931 to 1946
February 8, 1884 -- May 17, 1957, age 73
Sheriff Stowell, who served from 1931 to 1946, was active in attempting to enforce the Volstead Act in Cache County. As a child he lived in Arizona on the Navajo Indian reservation where his father had a trading post. Sheriff Stowell was well respected, compassionate, and loved by children. He often took prisoners that needed a helping hand to his own home, where they were given a meal and had their clothes washed by the Sheriff’s wife. He was a “J. Edgar Hoover era” sheriff, as is evident from his photograph; he had been commended by FBI Director Hoover for his service in law enforcement.
Sheriff Wesley G. Malmberg
Cache County Sheriff from 1947 to 1969
August 26, 1907 -- March 24, 2000, age 92
Sheriff Malmberg was born in Clarkston, Utah and spent his life in Cache County. He was a deputy to Sheriff Jeff Stowell for over nine years before being elected Sheriff in 1947. Retiring twenty four years later in 1969, he held the office longer than any other Sheriff in the county’s history. He helped to bring modern methods of criminal investigation such as fingerprinting to county law enforcement. It was during his administration that a law enforcement building, including a jail, was built in 1963 at 50 West 200 North in Logan. This replaced the old rock jail built in 1887. He had a reputation for impeccable honesty and fairness which was made evident by the fact that he, as a Democrat, was elected to term after term in an overwhelmingly Republican County.
Sheriff Darius W. Carter
Cache County Sheriff from 1970 to 1978
April 30, 1939 -- May 20, 2012, age 73
Darius W. Carter was born in Park Valley, Utah, and served as Sheriff from 1970 to 1978. Prior to being elected, he served as a deputy to Sheriff Malmberg. He grew up ranching in Park Valley, and worked as a security officer at Utah State University and for the Logan City Police Department prior to coming to the Sheriff’s Office. One of the first peace officers from Cache County to attend the FBI National Academy in Washington, D.C., he negotiated some of the first contracts between the Sheriff’s Office and municipalities for law enforcement services.
Sheriff D. Douglas Bodrero
Cache County Sheriff from 1979 to 1985
August 16, 1948 --
D. Douglas Bodrero joined the Sheriff’s Office as a dispatcher under Sheriff Wesley G. Malmberg, advancing to chief deputy sheriff under Sheriff Darius Carter. He held a degree in police science from Weber State University and was a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Washington D.C. Elected Sheriff in 1979, he held the office until 1985, when he joined Utah’s Department of Public Safety; he was eventually appointed commissioner. Sheriff Bodrero was very active in state public safety and political circles as well as lecturing on law enforcement subjects throughout the state.
Sheriff Sidney P. Groll
Cache County Sheriff from 1985 to 1997
July 19, 1951 –
After graduating with a degree in social work, Sidney Groll became a deputy to Sheriff Carter in 1973 and was appointed Sheriff in 1985 to fill the remainder of Sheriff Bodrero’s term. He was a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Washington, D.C. and obtained a degree in police science from Weber State University. He prevailed in the next election and held the office until 1997 when he accepted a position as the director of the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Academy in Salt Lake City. Sheriff Groll was exceptionally active in state law enforcement organizations including the Utah Sheriffs’ Association, the Crime Victim’s Reparations Board, and the UPOST Council. During his administration the jail was expanded and an emergency operations center and new administrative offices were added to the Sheriff’s Office complex.
Sheriff G. Lynn Nelson
Cache County Sheriff from July 1997 to Janurary 2015
July 29, 1956 --
G. Lynn Nelson became a deputy sheriff in 1979. He holds a degree from Weber State University in criminal justice and computer science and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Washington, D.C. He was appointed Sheriff in July 1997 to fill the remainder of Sheriff Groll’s term and was elected in November 1998 and served as Sheriff until January of 2015. In 2003 to 2004, Sheriff Nelson administered the construction of the current Sheriff’s Complex and the relocation of the Sheriff’s Office and Jail. Sheriff Nelson led the Sheriff’s Office during unprecedented growth as the Cache County Sheriff’s Office entered the New Millennium, marking its 143rd year of service.
Sheriff D. Chad Jensen
Cache County Sheriff from January 2015 to present
May 25, 1968 --