History of the Sheriff of Brooke County

Serving Brooke County, WV Since 1897

Our History

On November 30, 1796 the Virginia General Assembly formed Brooke County, from parts of Ohio County, and made “Charlestown” the county seat. However, confusion existed because across the Appalachian Continental Divide to the east in Jefferson County, another Charlestown had been incorporated, which is now known as Charles Town, and yet another Charleston had been established at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers in 1788. Addressing this confusion, the Virginia General Assembly on December 28, 1816 changed the Brooke county seat’s name from “Charlestown” to Wellsburg, supposedly to honor Charles Wells, who had married Charles Prather’s daughter.

Located in the Wellsburg Historic District, the Brooke County Courthouse, is the second structure to bear that name. The construction of the first county courthouse was authorized in August 1797, and completed in April 1799. The carpenter of that building, Samuel Herdman, was alive to see his handiwork torn down and replaced by the present structure in 1849. The current courthouse is a two-story brick building with gable roof and octagonal cupola. Although altered in the early 20th century to the present appearance, the Brooke County Courthouse retains classical elements and remains one of the oldest continuously occupied buildings in the community.

The voters of each county shall elect a sheriff, who shall hold their respective offices for the term of four years.  A person who has been elected or who has served as sheriff during all or any part of two consecutive terms shall be ineligible for the office of sheriff during any part of the term immediately following the second of the two consecutive terms. The person holding the office of sheriff when this section is ratified shall not be prevented from holding the office of sheriff during the term immediately following the term he is then serving.

The Sheriff is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the county as well as the Treasurer of the county, who collects taxes and sign all county business issued checks and deposits.

Our Previous Sheriffs

John Beck 1797-1799
William Griffith 1799-1801
Richard Elson 1801-1803
George Cox 1803-1805
Jacob Cochran 1805-1806
John Swearingen 1807-1809
William Brown 1809-1811
Richard Brown, Jr. 1811-1813
James Blair 1813-1815
Moses Congleton 1815-1817
William Strain 1817-1819
John Rogers 1819-1821
John Edie 1821-1823
Thomas Swearingen 1823-1826
Patrick Tiernan 1826-1828
John Patterson 1828-1830
John Wylie 1830-1832
John Pittinger 1832-1834
George Parkinson 1834-1836
John Hindman 1836-1839
David Pugh 1839-1840
John McMillan 1840-1842
George Swearingen 1842-1844
Elisha Talbott 1844-1846
Andrew Henderson 1846-1848
Joseph Rose 1848-1849
Ephraim Barnes 1849-1852
Joseph Latimer 1852-1854
Harrison Connell 1854-1859
James Kuhn 1859-1863
Samuel George 1863-1867
W.C. Barclay 1867-1872
John McElroy 1872-1877
Jacob Curtis 1877-1881
Unknown 1881-1884
Unknown 1885-1888
Joseph Curtis 1889-1892
William Cowans 1893-1896
Unknown 1897-1900
Brown 1901-1904
Charles Kyle 1905-1908
Charles Kyle 1909-1912
Geoerge Patterson 1913-1916
John R. Litten 1917-1920
Harding H. Duval (LODD) 1921-1922
Thomas H. Duval 1922
John W. “Happy” Stephens 1923-1924
Robert Lowe 1925-1928
Irwin Charnock 1929-1932
Robert Lowe 1933-1936
Herbert Traubert 1937-1940
Herbert Traubert 1941-1944
Hoyt Allen 1945-1948
Richard Hogg 1949-1952
Tom Boyd 1953-1956
E. David Rees 1957-1960
William “Russ” Craft 1961-1964
E. David Rees 1965-1968
William “Russ” Craft 1969-1972
E. David Rees 1973-1976
Richard D. Ferguson 1977-1980
Gary Young 1981-1984
Gary Young 1985-1988
Michael Allman 1989-1992
Michael Allman 1993-1996
Bernard L. Kazienko 1997-2000
Bernard L. Kazienko 2001-2004
Richard D. Ferguson 2005-2008
Richard D. Ferguson 2009-2012
Charles W. Jackson 2013-2016
Larry C. Palmer, Jr. 2017-2020

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