Sheriffs of Newberry County
Newberry County, South Carolina
contributed by Edith Greisser

The concept of Sheriff dates back to the time when England was divided geographically into county-like areas called "shires." The local official charged with keeping the peace in the shire and carrying out the orders of the King was called the "reeve" or "shire reeve." Time has corrupted the term to what today is the modern word Sheriff. The office of Sheriff is the only officer remaining of the ancient offices. He has evolved from using the cross bow to modern technologies. Thomas Jefferson wrote in his THE VALUE OF CONSTITUTIONS, "the Office of Sheriff is the most important of all the executive offices of the county." For a thousand years or more the County Sheriff  has been enforcer, both judicial and correctional.

In June 1772 Robert Starke was appointed by the Governor of SC as Sheriff for '96' District. At the time that District encompassed all of today's present counties of Edgefield, Saluda, McCormick, Abbeville, Greenwood, Newberry, Laurens, Union, Spartanburg and parts of Aiken and Cherokee.

The Court House and Jail for the '96' District was ordered to be built within a mile of Fort '96'.
Philadelphia, October 10th. 1781
Mr. Robert Starke of South Carolina was appointed Sheriff of one of the precincts of that State since the Revolution, and in the course of his office concerned in the execution of some capital offenders in Ninety Six. He is unfortunately a Prisoner in Charles-Town, has been treated in the most inhuman manner, and excluded from exchange on account (I suppose) of his having put to death under the civil authority some atrocious criminals contrary to the Enemy's proclamations. This exclusion and the reason of it are totally inadmissible; and therefore Congress have passed the Act of the 8th instant, of which you have a copy enclosed.

Your Excellency will also receive the copy of an Act of Congress of the 28th ulto, respecting the depreciation of the pay of the General Officers, which I hope will be acceptable to them. I have the honor to be, with great regard, Your Excellency's most obedient and most humble Servant, Tho McKean President
RC (DLC: Washington Papers). In a clerical hand and signed by McKean RC (DLC: Greene Papers).
1 JCC, 21:1040-41. For the context of this issue, see also McKean to Nathanael Greene, September 21, 1781, note 2.
2 See McKean to the States, September 29, 1781, Library of Congress - American Memory

When South Carolina became a State there were over 50 offenses on the books of English Law punishable by hanging. Buggery, adultery, murder, arson and horse thievery were but a few. There were no jails except in a few more developed towns and court houses were often more than a days ride from the scene of a crime. The offender more often was taken to the nearest Magistrate's residence, court was convened, sentence pronounced and punishment carried out all in the same day. Executions were carried out by the Deputy Sheriff. The first execution in Newberry County was the hanging of William Tate alias William Tannyhill, for the crime of horse stealing. Henry Coates did the honors.

When Sheriff Gordon served his office, Newberry District was a much larger area and took in parts of Laurens. A town of Newberry did not exist. Newberry was a stagecoach stop-over in the woods with a place to change horses and get some food and water. Deputy sheriffs served for the various areas of the District. Since the Constitution of 1778 did not prohibit dual office holding some of the sheriffs served simultaneously as Legislators and judges.

In 1785 (Statutes IV, 661) Ninety Six District became too large to administer and the area was divided into six counties.

Men who served in the office for Newberry County 1785 to 2005 were:

1785  Thomas Gordan 
Served in the Revolutionary War. He was the son of John Gordon, one of the earliest settlers of the Dutch Fork between Enoree and Tyger Rivers. His duties were entered at the first County Court, held at the house of Col. Robert Rutherford on September 5, 1785 for a two year term. On receiving the office of sheriff he appointed Benjamin Gordon as his deputy. Thomas Gordan was justice of the peace in 1775, tax assessor and collector in 1769 and again in 1784-1786 and senator in 1781.  

1787 Robert Gillam
Father-in-law to the sister of Sheriff James Caldwell; Grand father to the cousins of Sheriff William Thomas Caldwell; Grand Father-in-law to sheriff Philomen Berry Waters.

Robert Gillam Sr. was Sheriff of Newberry Co. 1788 - 1790 and died at his rebuilt home on Page's Creek Jan. 1796. Robert Gillam Sr. was married to Mary Rebecca Wallace. In Annals of Newberry by O'Neal Robert Gillam Sr. was described as tall, slim, erect, active, sprightly with goodness of heart but when aroused by injury to act he was violent, impetuous and brave.

An incident was recalled in the Annals which happened around 1780. Robert Gillam Sr. was sitting on a fence cleaning his nails with a knife when a Tory soldier on horseback happened by, making offensive remarks as he passed. Robert Gillam sprang up from the fence, snatched the soldier by his collar, pulled him off his horse and took him prisoner. Perhaps this is why in 1780 the Tory sought out his farm and destroyed it. Robert and his wife had the following children: Joshua Gillam, Robert Gillam Jr., Susanna Martin,  Susan Finley, Martha Smith, Frances Gillam. He and his wife are probably buried at the family graveyard in Chappells known as the Gillam/Wallace graveyard although there are no headstones to verify.

1789 Richard Speake 
Other than the fact that he served for two years as Sheriff I can find no other record of the man. He may have left the District after his two year term or died when in office. The 1790 Federal Census revealed a Widow Speake with herself, 3 male members of the family, one other female and a slave.

There was also a John Speake with a wife, two daughters and a slave in the Census. He would later become Sheriff.

1791 Richard Watts 
He owned a plantation on the Saluda River in today's Laurens County, below Cross Hill, known as Watt's Ferry area. When James Creswell, the owner of the next Saluda River plantation known as Island Ford Plantation died, the widower Richard Watts married the widow Jeanette Creswell. By that marriage he became step-father in law to the future sheriff William Thomas Caldwell, husband of Miss Matilda Creswell, the daughter of Jeanette. Richard died before his second wife Jeanette. He was buried either on the Island Ford Plantation Cemetery at Summerset Bay or at his own plantation now under Lake Greenwood.

1795 William Satterwhite - commonly called Buck Satterwhite.  Was a Deputy Clerk for Newberry County after the resignation of Frederick Nance in 1794. According to Annals of Newberry he was sheriff 1798 to 1803 (see page 84). He kept a tavern in the town of Newberry. His wife eloped in 1799 with Major William Craig, leaving behind an infant child. He took to abuse in alcohol and died an early death. Since he lived in the town of Newberry he was probably buried at the Village Cemetery.

1801 John Speake Esq., Sheriff of Newberry County. 
He could very possibly be the son of Sheriff Richard Speake.

In Annals of Newberry he was Sheriff 1801 to 1805, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, never lived at the Court House. There is a gap in the time table for sheriff with no one being mentioned for the years 1806-1807. (If William Satterwhite served until 1803 as in Annals page 84 then the term for John Speake was
1804 - 1805). He was thought by some to be a little too fond of show. He also served as a Justice of the Peace. His deputy was Henry Coates who performed the first hanging in Newberry County. John Speake was a soldier of the Revolution and died after 1828. His biography mentioned he gave John Sloan thirty nine lashes for passing a counterfeit guinea, knowing it to be counterfeit.

1805 Philemon Berry Waters  
Grand Son-in-law to Sheriff Robert Gillam; Nephew in law to Sheriff James Caldwell; Cousin in law to Sheriff William T. Caldwell
"Sheriff Bill" 1/3/1775 - 2/26/1807. Sheriff Bill, the son of Col. Philemon Waters (Ferry Phil) of Revolutionary War memory, was sheriff of Newberry District 1799-
1801. In the Annals of Newberry, page 91 he was sheriff 1804-1805, which coincided with the statement of William Satterwhite's term of office. Besides being sheriff, Philemon Waters was a surveyor and the librarian of the literary society of the town of Newberry. He married Sarah Gillam  (March 14, 1785 - August 1, 1821), daughter of Elizabeth Caldwell and Robert Gillam Jr. on April 23, 1803. Sarah Gillam inherited fifteen pounds Sterling from her grandmother, Rebecca Park Walkup Caldwell, in 1806 and was an 'enciente' widow with two small children in 1807.

The children of Philemon Berry Waters were Mary Bumpas Gillam, Robert Gillam Waters and Philemon Berry Gillam Waters.

1807 Benjamin Long 
A native of Union, he was in the Battle of Cowpens and was sabered in the fight. Two of the wounds left horrid scars on his face. He was Sheriff Protem to fill in for Sheriff Philemon B. Waters deceased and caused problems when he reported the constables in charge of the court house door, absent from their posts, without leave. The Judge, without any inquiry, ordered the constables to jail. This incident created one of the articles of impeachment against the judge in 1810. Thus was enacted the Act of December 1811 "To prevent any citizen of this State from being sent to goal until he be heard by himself or counsel".  Benjamin Long's deputy was Captain Coates. He died in 1816 and although he had numerous children, few survived him. First wife was Elizabeth Long (nee Turner).

Second wife was her sister, Mary. Another paragraph I found stated he died 1828. In Annals of Newberry his wife was Priscilla Turner who had been twice previously married to James Cheney and Isaac King. So we have two conflicting stories of his death dates and marriages.

1807  James Caldwell 
Father of Sheriff William T. Caldwell; Brother to the daughter-in-law to Sheriff Robert Gillam Sr.; Uncle-in-law to Sheriff Philomen B. Waters.  Born July 8, 1755 in Cub Creek, VA the son of William and Rebecca Caldwell, natives of Ireland. He died Jan. 11, 1813, in Newberry Co., S.C. His birth date is remembered by Historians as the day of the defeat of General Braddock at the Battle of the Monongahela. His twin was Sarah who married Dr. Martin. After the death of Sarah, Dr. Martin married Sarah (Brown) Bennoit, (died 9/10/1822), daughter of John Brown and Sarah Davis Brown, who were both from Virginia. Dr. Martin, his second wife and many relatives are buried in the Quaker Cemetery in Camden, section #16. 

After the Revolutionary War James Caldwell married Mary Elizabeth Forrest, 1764 - 10/3/1822.  She was first cousin to the wife of his brother, William. The grand mother of both wives was Ms. Atwood. James was buried with his wife at the Caldwell Cemetery on Mudlick Road in Newberry and later re-interred at Rosemont Cemetery in the City of Newberry, S.C. (Section B5, there are weather worn headstones)

As a Militia Captain in the Revolutionary War, he entered service 1780 and on 1/17/1781 under General Pickens he was severely wounded at the Battle of Cowpens, receiving multiple slashes to the head and face. James Caldwell carried the scars of war with dignity, yet a first glimpse of his face must have frightened many children. James later served in the State Legislature but could never be induced to be a candidate for re-election stating he was "unfit for the place". He was Sheriff of Newberry District 1807 - 1812 and an Elder at the Little River/Dominick Presbyterian Church.

There are many variations as to the exact circumstances of the overtaking of the execution of Michael Love, the Tory, but whatever account is the most accurate they all place James Caldwell of Mudlick at the center of the lynching.

Michael Love had earned a reputation as a follower of 'Bloody Bill' Cunningham. Mr. Love was said to be the most ruthless follower, hacking bodies after they were dead, piercing the fallen to ensure no survivors of a skirmish. Too many people in and around the "96" area of Newberry District were directly affected by the horrors of the acts of war and wanted revenge. On 11/26/1784 Judge Ędanus Burke started Court proceedings for the trial of Mr. Love and the hearings ending 12/7/1784. The Judge had ruled in Court that the deeds done by Michael Love had been acts of war and were thereby forgiven with the Treaty of Paris.

The Judge ordered Michael Love to pay the costs of Court and be released. Mr. Love swore he was unable to pay the costs and therefore was sentenced for non payment.

Captain Caldwell, with pistol in hand, marched into the Courthouse, taking the prisoner from the Bar, pulling him through the door and throwing him on a horse held by James Atwood Williams. The prisoner was led to a stooping oak tree near a spring and hanged. The judge was so shocked by the action he fled, not pausing until he had reached a friend's house in Springfield. Another version is that the townspeople waited until nightfall when the judge had retired and the prisoner was in jail to seize Michael Love and lynch him, with James Caldwell as the leader of the mob. When Governor Guerand heard of the actions taken he ordered apprehension of all involved. Judge Burke, later being more informed and having time to reflect, wrote an article excusing the rash act. This deed of the Judge ended the enquiry.

Children of James Caldwell were: Samuel Caldwell, William T. Caldwell, Rebecca Caldwell, Frances Atwood Caldwell, Mary Ann Caldwell, George Forrest Caldwell, John H. Caldwell, James Caldwell Jr., Elizabeth Caldwell, Robert Caldwell.

1811 Thomas T. Cureton
He was a native of VA, son of the former Miss Hannah Thweatt, a very infirmed widow.  He was a clerk for Hugh O'Neall in 1807 and was employed in the mercantile business under Elisha Hammond at Stoney Battery section of the county, later running his own business. He became a Major of the 39th Regiment State Militia in 1810. After his term as Sheriff he moved to Laurens in 1817. Not long after he returned to Newberry and was elected 1819 as Ordinary of Newberry County. He resigned 1827, moved to GA and soon after died. He married Mary Manning, daughter of Levi Manning shortly after becoming Sheriff.

1815 William Thomas Caldwell 
Son of Sheriff James Caldwell; A cousin to grand children of Sheriff Robert Gillam; Cousin-in-law to Sheriff Philomen B. Waters
Captain William Thomas Caldwell Esq.  "Long Billy" (Very tall man) was born ca. May 1787 SC and died Jan. 26, 1825 SC. William T. Caldwell was one of the captains commanding the company of cavalry under Col. Tucker's command in the Camp Alston Expedition of 1814. He married twice: Matilda Creswell and  Harriet McDowell. His two children were: William E. Caldwell and James Caldwell. He was buried on the plantation at Island Ford, Newberry Co. SC. The cemetery is located at the Summerset Point Development.

When William T. Caldwell died he was in debt to an equivalent of $1 million in today's currency. The administrator of his estate, Mr. Black Esq. (cousin to his wife) stated his widow should be sure to claim a bed for herself as there would be nothing left.
1819 William Gilliam - (This is questionable - found in the ANNALS  section written by John Chapman but not able to verify elsewhere)
He signed the petition in 1832 to incorporate the town of Newberry and was one of the committee of thirty three who took stock to create a railroad station in Newberry Town in 1836. I believe he was a cousin to the Robert Gillam family of western Newberry County. The family legend is that the records of the Revolutionary Service always wrote Robert Gilliam's name without the 'i' and for the sake of continuity, the family left it that way. For that reason the cousins on east Newberry wrote their name Gilliam and on the west side Gillam. On page 104 of Annals the biography stated John S. Carwile served as sheriff 1820 to 1824 and 1828 to 1832. On page 807 in the Annals of Newberry William Gillam was listed as the sheriff serving 1820 to 1824. (Can find no other proof he ever served as sheriff except page 807 of Annals of Newberry). March 1821 the sheriff, John S. Carwile sold 165 acres of land on Bush River belonging to Benjamin Thomas to Christopher Whitman for $312 (Record Book P. page 100) which appears to be proof that William Gilliam was not the sheriff.

1819  John S. Carwile - this is according to the sheriff's day book, ANNALS and equity records
Born February 17, 1786 in Laurens District he was the son of Zachariah Carwile, a soldier of the Revolution. John Carwile married December 20, 1809 to Elizabeth Williams. They were the parents of eight children: Mary, Zachariah, Sarah, John B., Richard C., Elizabeth and Caroline. His son Stephen died young. In December 1815 he was elected as Tax Collector of Newberry District. On page 104 of Annals the biography stated he served as sheriff 1820 to 1824 and 1828 to 1832. (On page 807 in the Annals of Newberry William Gilliam was listed as the sheriff serving 1820 to 1824). John S. Carwile was one of the founders of Newberry Baptist Church in 1831. After his term as sheriff he served as Clerk and Registrar of the County until his death November 8, 1852. He and his wife Elizabeth were buried at Bush River Baptist Cemetery.

1823 Samuel Cannon
He was a Major in Col. Tucker's Regiment  in  the 1814 Alston Campaign and afterwards the Colonel of the 39th SC Militia regiment, living  in the area known as 'Cannon's Creek'. He was a member of the SC House of Representatives 1816 - 1822. He died July 22, 1849 at 76 years of age with burial at Bethlehem Lutheran Church Cemetery just north of Pomaria.

1827 John S. Carwile
(See above)

1831 Robert R. Nance
Born November 2, 1795, he was the oldest son of Frederick Nance, graduating from South Carolina College in 1813. At first a merchant with Pratt & Nance in the town of Newberry, he married 1817 to Mary S. Pope. In 1818 he succeeded James Fernandis as Ordinary of Newberry County. Robert was tax collector for two terms and then served as Sheriff from 1832 until his resignation in 1835, removing to Alabama. He died July 1846 survived by a widow and six children, two of whom were Frederick Sampson Nance and Rutherford Nance, both Mexican War veterans.

1835 Reuben Pitts
Postmaster of Newberry Court House October 1839, Commissioner of Roads 1845. He lost in a election for office of Sheriff in 1843 with a vote of 555-440 in favor of John P. Kinard, Chairman of the School Commissioners in 1848.

1839 H. H. Kinard
Born March 29, 1806 in the Dutch Fork of Newberry, he was a large slave owner. He was also an auctioneer, selling personal property, land and slaves. He bought and sold cotton, had stables; rented a hearse, blacksmith shop and dray wagons as a few of his sources of income. He was a Guardian and Trustee to many an estate; Treasurer to the Newberry Agricultural Society; was a member of the Committee of Thirty Three who took subscriptions for a railroad through Newberry in 1836. H. H. Kinard was appointed as Commissioner to Approve Public Securities and was appointed as Commissioner of Public Buildings. General Kinard was a broker for a Piano Co. of Augusta and in 1866 was Coroner of the County.

He was the owner of the Farmer's Hotel, later to be known as the Newberry Hotel and his son-in-law W. B. D'Oyley was the manager. Mr. D'Oyley was killed in the Confederate War and his widow Mrs. D'Oyley remarried to Rev. J. W. Humbert. H. H. Kinard married twice, first to Mary Ann Counts who died March 19, 1851. H. H. Kinard died June 17, 1869 and was buried in the Village Cemetery with his first wife. His widow, Mrs. Louisa Kinard, became the third wife of Dr. O. B. Mayer. Only three children survived H. H. Kinard; Mrs. J. W. Humbert, Mrs. A. Coke Smith and Henry Kinard who moved to Brunswick GA.

1843 John P. Kinard  
Brother to Sheriff H. H. Kinard
He was born 1810. His office of sheriff was won in the election over Reuben Pitts with a vote of 555 to 440. He was a member of the Senate, elected Sheriff, a member of the Secession Convention and a signer of the Ordinance of Secession. John P. Kinard, of Co. 'F' 20th Regt at age 72 years, died September 5, 1890 suddenly at the home of his nephew, Henry O. Henson at Kinards, SC. He was buried with his wife, Emeline M. (December 22, 1820 - November 1, 1882) at Beth Eden Cemetery.

At the plantation of John P. Kinard, located six miles out of Newberry, there were eleven slaves working in the fields picking cotton. The following slaves picked the following amounts on 10/6/1859: George picked 501 pounds, Wiott picked 408 pounds, Harriet picked 403 pounds, Page 2, The Rising Sun 10/12/1859
KINARDS COLORED ACADEMY, built by John P. Kinard, quickly burnt and then was rebuilt by Mr. Kinard. It is 6 miles from the Court House in Township No. 5 and was under the supervision of Mr. Spears with an enrollment of 80 students. Last Saturday, examinations conducted by Major Kinard displayed a proficiency in spelling and reading. Short speeches were made by the students. The Newberry Herald 8/17/1870, page 2 

1847 H. H. Kinard
He defeated Major J. H. Hunt in the election for sheriff 975 to 226 votes.

1851 James Bonds
In 1839 his store was a designated polling place. He succeeded H. K. Boyd as Tax Collector and won the election for sheriff without any opposition. He was one of the original Directors of the Bank of Newberry but in 1856 was not re-elected. 1866-1868 he was county assessor. Dr. Bonds married Mrs. Ann Ruff on May 13,1858. He was a member of the Newberry Medical Society and in 1867 had property listed for sale to settle a suit.

1855 William Walter Houseal
He was born August 15, 1818 in Newberry District and married December 23, 1841 to Elizabeth C. Barre. He was a founding father of Betheden Church. From 1850 to 1853 he lived in Florida but returned to Newberry and defeated Jacob Kibler in the election for sheriff 1025 to 422 votes in 1854. He died November 1, 1889 with burial in Rosemont Cemetery survived by the widow and six of his eight children. (See below for further information)

1859 Nathan F. Johnston
He was born December 8, 1820 and was a private in the Seminole War of 1836. Later he was appointed Postmaster of Indian Creek in 1851 to 1853. He won the election for sheriff opposing three other candidates. Squire Nathan F. Johnston, 76 years old, died at the home of his son, Thomas L. Johnston of the Shady Grove section of Newberry on December 27,1896. Burial was at Fairview Church in Newberry beside his wife, Nancy M. Johnson (January 22, 1825 - December 15, 1850).

1863 James M. Maffett 
He was elected while serving in the army and died before reaching home. W. W. Houseal was elected to his place.

1863 William Walter Houseal 
He was a partner of Houseal & Amick mercantile located at College and Main Streets in 1859, bought out his partner and ran the business as sole proprietor. In 1859 the newspaper referred to him as Sheriff and in 1866 as Former Sheriff . Times being what they were he filed for bankruptcy in 1868, ran for office of Probate Judge and was appointed as assessor of the County in 1869. When he died he was the Auditor for the County. (See above for further information)

1867 Thomas M. Paysinger
Born February 2, 1838, in 1859 he was headmaster of Smyrna Academy. In the Confederate War  he was 2nd Corp. of the Quitman Rifles. T. M. Paysinger was elected 1st Lieut. of the First Police Company for the town of Newberry in 1866. He was arrested by a detachment of the cavalry on August 16,1866, taken to Columbia and from there to Charleston to Federal Court. Three weeks later he was back in Newberry and resumed his term of office as sheriff. General Kinard temporarily held office of Sheriff  when Thomas Paysinger was arrested for KKK activity. The Sheriff was involved in an insurrection at the farm of Moses Anderson, composed of about 60 colored men. The Governor had written a critical letter of the conduct of the sheriff and the Grand jury pronounced him inefficient and with a drinking problem. He had not accounted for amounts of money collected. It was recommend he be replaced and Judge Montgomery Moses replaced the sheriff with William Summer on February 1872. At 'Court', he was charged with official misconduct and habitual negligence, found guilty but recommended to mercy. Thomas M. Paysinger died September 9, 1882 and was buried with his wife, Martha A. Werts (10/8/1840 - 7/19/1859) at Mount Zion Baptist Church Cemetery.

1872   William Summer
As acting Coroner he took the office in February 1872 until a new sheriff was elected in October 1872. According to newspaper accounts William Walter Houseal served in the office of Sheriff in William Summer's behalf.

In 1859 at the State Fair William Summer won the silver medals for second best Devon Bull, Best Devon Bull calf, Best Devon heifer, Best Ayrshire Heifer, Second best Southdown Buck 2 years old, Second Best Southdown buck lamb, Best pair Southdown ewe lambs, Best Cotswold buck, best pair Cotswold ewes, Best Pair Cotswold ewe lambs, Second Best Essex Sow, Second Best Chester Co. Boar, Best Chester Co. Sow, Best Southern raised dorkings, Best pair Mexican fowl, Best pair Aylsbury ducks, Best pair Java Ducks, Best Collection of Southern Seedling Apples, Best Southern Seedling Peach Tree, Best Southern Seedling Pear Tree, Best Southern Seedling Strawberries, Best Southern Seedling raspberries. Was there anything left to judge?

In 1866 he was commissioned as assistant assessor for the internal revenue department of the 11th division of the 3rd district and was a strong supporter of the Newberry Immigration Society. Unfortunately the Society had a short life. Because of the unsteady times, in 1868 he filed for bankruptcy. William Summer was elected as School Commissioner for Newberry County and appointed as a Magistrate and later that year his property was advertised for sheriff sale. To subsidize his income he advertised stud service, providing a thoroughbred stallion with papers in May 1869 and introduced the Japanese radish to the county growers. September 1870 while riding his horse he was thrown and severely injured but managed to recover. Back in the farming interests William Summer was awarded many prizes at the State Fair in 1870, 1871 and 1872. In 1872 he was Coroner and temporary sheriff of Newberry County. William Summer of Pomaria, proprietor of the POMARIA NURSERIES, died 11/25/1878 of congestive pneumonia at age 63 and was buried at the Summer Family Graveyard east of Pomaria.

1872 J. J. Carrington 
He was born in Halifax VA. When a boy his family moved to TN and when the war broke out he joined a company known as N. B. Forrest's Escort. He was present at the fight at Fort Pillow and was captured shortly afterwards. He took the oath of allegiance to the US Government and was released, returning to TN. In 1866 he killed a man by the name of Jones. There are several versions, one being self-defense, the other that Jones insulted him and he shot Jones for it intending only to wound him. He fled and the Governor of TN offered a reward of $500 for him. The relatives of the deceased also offered $500. John J. Carrington next turned up in NC, where he worked a year or two on the RR. He came to Columbia SC in 1868. While there looking for work he met Henry H. Blease of Newberry, at the time having a branch of business in Columbia. Mr. Blease brought him to Newberry and put him on his farm. He worked there two years. Then he set up a Bar-Room in "Sling-Alley" and about the same time received an appointment as a mail agent on the G & C RR, which position he held for six months. Considered a carpet-bagger, he served as a manager of elections, County Clerk and sheriff starting October 1872. He married Miss Virginia V. Livingston, only child of J. D. Smith Livingston on December 2, 1873 at the home of the bride's parents. In 1876 on his way home from Albany Penitentiary he stopped off to visit the centennial celebration in Phila. D. B. Wheeler was elected Sheriff November 1876 but the office was never surrendered to him by Sheriff Carrington. The problem was resolved at Court of Common Pleas September1877 and D. B. Wheeler became the acting Sheriff. On July 25, 1877 J. J. Carrington was arrested  on a charge of murder and in December 1877 ex-sheriff Carrington was given a City Tax notice on 3 buildings with $3300 owed in back taxes. He went to Travis TX, taking with him Burt Renwick, colored, and Frank Elford, white, convicts from Newberry county who had recently escaped from the Greenwood and Augusta RR chain gang and others. Post Master Boone returned home from TX saying he went to TX on private business, did not arrest Carrington, though he saw him because he had no requisition for him. Detectives from TN went to TX for Carrington. While they were waiting for a requisition Carrington fled. The newspaper didn't know whether he had been caught. Virginia Livingston Carrington was unable to obtain a divorce from Sheriff John Carrington because the divorce laws of South Carolina were repealed. She finally obtained a divorce in Henderson County NC.

1877 D. B. Wheeler  
The election was contested by J. J. Carrington. Court ruled in favor of Sheriff Wheeler.
Re-elected 1880
Born 1839, he was a brother of George Wheeler and  J. M. Wheeler. He was a member of Co. E, 3rd Regt. Quitman Rifles in the Confederate War. He was a merchant in town and advertised dry goods, leather goods and men's furnishings for sale. Nominated as a candidate for Tax Collector in 1866, Daniel B. Wheeler married Miss Della Williams on November 27,1867 officiated by Rev. J. K. Mendenhall. In 1877 he was Treasurer of Newberry College. After the Court declared he was the legal Sheriff of the county he moved into the jail. He died 1912 and was buried in Rosemont Cemetery with his wife Della W. (1845 - 1931). His daughter Kate Neel Wheeler died January 1, 1878 at 5 years of age. The newspapers mentioned two other daughters: Mrs. John P. Glasgow of Gainesville TX and Mrs. J. H. Harms of Chambersburg Pa.

W. W. Riser
Served 1854-1897

1884 William Walter Riser
Served three terms
Born October 7, 1843, he served as a private in Company B, 1st SCV Regt. W. W. Riser was elected Captain of the newly formed Jalapa Rifle Club in 1877. He was manager of elections for the Fence Law election in Township No. 5  held 12/18/1877. On May 23, 1889 the newspapers reported the sheriff was as happy as he could be having a genuine Yankee Prisoner, complete with Uniform. (Referring to Edmund Wardlaw). His son Forrest was taken to NY City for surgical treatment of a liver abscess in August 1889. After his three terms in office he and his family lived 17 miles from Newberry and about 5 miles west of Whitmire. He was burned out on July 9, 1898, losing everything except some badly broken furniture. There was no insurance and arson was suspected. Captain W. W. Riser had his cow taken by Doc Mangum, colored who then tried to sell it for $30. In 1903 Captain W. W. Riser moved to Saluda to run the Hagood Plantation.

He died February 8, 1926 from pneumonia with burial at Fairview Baptist Church beside his wife Estelle L. (November 19, 1851 - March 30, 1902)

Children of his marriage were: Sally Emma Riser (Mrs. Dr. Andrew L. Longshore), Ada Riser (Mrs. S. Bryce McCarley), Lucy Riser, Miss Willie Riser, Forrest Riser, Thomas Riser, W. W. Riser Jr.

Munson M. Buford
Served 1897-1913

1897 Munson M. Buford 
Served four terms 
He was born February 13, 1846 on Enoree River in Union County SC and entered Confederate service at the age of 16 years with Company K, 5th SC Cavalry in 1862, first time he had been more than 10 miles from home. Munson M. Buford was mentioned in the book by Col. U. B. Brooks - "Butler and his Cavalry in the  War of Secession" as having escorted Gen. Joseph E. Johnson at the surrender 4 miles west of Durham NC on April 23,1865. In 1907 the newspaper informed readers that Sheriff M. M. Buford was seen walking along Lake View Park in Augusta wearing a broad rimmed hat, brave moustache, steel-blue eyes, a Confederate soldier every inch of him. He was the son of Mrs. Caroline Buford and the brother of C. W. Buford and Mrs. T. W. Davis, all of Township No. 5. He was famous for staying on the trail of a convict until apprehended and was instrumental in the capture of Elijah Edwards in 1903 who had murdered J. Butler Kinard a year earlier; Mart Blackburn alias Mart Rook who had murdered in Laurens five years previously; Dock Ruff, alias Richard Ruff who was on trial for assault and battery with intent to kill three years previous and had disappeared during the trial; Bob Woodruff, alias Rufus Pearce, alias Willie Woodson alias William Woodward for the murder of Thomas Lemon four years previous was apprehended in Roanoke VA; Ben Abney alias George Jones for disposing of mortgaged property; Nathan Lindsay Jr. for violation of labor contracts; Wash Carwile Jr. who shot and killed his brother Bluford Carwile seven years prior; Mell Wicker for murder the year before; Robert T. Blair and James Blair for arson and burglary at Pomaria; William Guyton wanted for murder four years previous. John Gray alias John Livingston, alias John Hogidie for various crimes was arrested after seven months of following a trail. Robert McAllister charged with stealing a horse and buggy met the sheriff on a train while en route to the Penitentiary for five years for other offenses in Greenville. Robert Johnson wanted for six years on the charge of assault and battery with intent to kill was too confident of his ability to stay free and was arrested by the sheriff. Tom Alexander, alias Tom Jones was found and arrested after a two year search. James Lamond tried to escape from the third floor of the jail but was foiled by the sheriff. Another prisoner, Riley Hutchinson, did escape but was soon found on a farm in GA and requisitioned back to Newberry. John Miller escaped from the State Penitentiary and was captured in Charlotte NC by the sheriff. By the end of 1908 Sheriff Buford had committed 2385 prisoners to the Newberry jail.

Munson M. Buford kept a diary for 60 years on his life and the happenings surrounding him. The last entry was just shortly before he died August 7, 1930. Burial was at Fairview Baptist Church. His wife, Sallie Bell Buford 9/30/1850 - 9/10/1910 died of tuberculosis and was also buried there with their children James R. and Johnnie B. The names of other children as found in Census and Newspapers were George Fair Buford, William T. Buford, Munson L. Buford, Pope L. Buford, Mrs. W. W. Cromer and Mrs. W. G. Miller.

Cannon Gary Blease

1913 Cannon Gary Blease
Served six terms
He was born January 20, 1884 in Newberry SC, the half brother of Senator Cole L. Blease and a brother of Henry H. Blease of the Staunton VA Bar and the Supreme Court Justice of SC, Judge Eugene Satterwhite Blease. His was six years old when his father died and 17 years old he  was made magistrate's constable. On September 19, 1902 he married Minnie Lee Adams and from the union was one daughter, Miss Colie who married Richard Leon Baker. He was a mail carrier in 1904 and in 1905 became a trial magistrate. C. G. Blease announced his candidacy for mayor in 1908. In 1912 he was elected sheriff. Cannon G. Blease died August 20, 1938. His wife Minnie Adams Blease (4/18/1884 -  6/22/1967) was buried with him in Rosemont Cemetery, not far from the graves of his daughter and son-in-law.

Tom Fellers
Served from 1937-45 and 1949-1968

1937 Thomas M. Fellers 
Served two  terms
Born December 4, 1894 was a veteran of WW1.
Died January 26, 1980 and was buried in Rosemont Cemetery beside his wife, Mattie Lovelace Fellers (10/13/1901 -  Nov 1992)
Thomas Michael Fellers was born in Newberry County, a son of Luther M. and Chicora Holloway Fellers and a brother of Mrs. Sara F. Hamiter of Columbia. He began his law enforcement career June 14, 1926 as a Deputy Sheriff under Sheriff Cannon G. Blease and served as Sheriff of Newberry County 1936 to 1944 and 1948 to 1968. In 1964, he was honored with the title of South Carolina Sheriff of the Year. He was a member of the Newberry County Law Enforcement Association, the National Sheriffs Association, a member and past-president of the S.C. Sheriffs Association, and member of the S. C. Peace Officers Association, member of the Newberry American Legion Post 24, an honorary member of the 40 & 8 of the American Legion and an honorary member of the Newberry Lions Club. He was a member of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, a member of the Men's Bible Class and was former member of the Church Council; also a Veteran of World War I, having served in the U. S. Army. Tom Fellers married Mattie Lovelace and from that union were three daughters: Mrs. J. Nick (Marie) Nicosia and Mrs. Charles (Joye) Senn, both of Newberry and Ms. Mary Louise Fellers of Spartanburg; one son, Tommy M. Fellers, Jr. of Newberry. Sheriff Fellers died at the Veterans Medical Center in Columbia October 26, 1980 at age 85 years and was buried at Rosemont Cemetery.

Ben F. Dawkins
Served from 1945-49

1945 Ben Frank Dawkins Sr.
Born 8/31/1899 in Newberry he was a son of Bennett and Nannie Hardy Dawkins. He served 34 years as Magistrate, sheriff, commissioner and county councilman. He was a member of Amity Lodge No. 87 and was a member of the Woodmen of the World. He married Janie Harmon and of the union were three children: Ben F. Dawkins Jr., Wallace M. Dawkins and Mrs. Dorothy Hunt. Mr. Dawkins died October 11, 1973. 

Burial was in Newberry Memorial Gardens with his wife Janie Harmon Dawkins (July 14, 1902 - Sept 1995)
1949 Thomas M. Fellers  
Served five terms
 (See above)

1968 Berley Eugene Shealy  
Elected for two terms.
Born February 17, 1912  in Newberry County he was a son of Mrs. Alice Hiller Shealy and Berley C. Shealy. He served as a sheriff for five years and a magistrate for four years, fifteen years with the Newberry City Police Department and was a former member of the Newberry City Council. He was a member of the Newberry Civitan Club, Newberry Moose Lodge, SC Law Enforcement Assoc., SC State Sheriff's Assoc., Past President of the Newberry County Law Enforcement Assoc.

Mr. Shealy married Galdys Eargle and of that union were two children: Milton E. Shealy and Mrs. David (Martha Dell) Bowers.

He died April 9, 1973 while in office shortly after the re-election to second term. Coroner, George Summer, was appointed to fill the unexpired term. Burial was in Newberry Memorial Gardens.

George R. Summer
Served from 1968-73

1973 George Roscoe Summer
- Coroner and acting sheriff until election of successor
Born November 10, 1922 in the St. Phillip's section of Newberry County, he was the son of Charlie W. and Mattie Estelle 'Essie' Shealy Summer.  At age one and a half years he was struck with Polio and he went through life with a severe handicap, which he never allowed to obstruct his goals. He graduated from St. Philip's High School in 1940 and was employed by Caldwell Brothers Construction Company for a number of years. Mr. Summer operated various radio shops in Newberry and was Newberry County Coroner for 28 years. He organized the SC Coroners Association in 1956 and served as president of the organization twice. He was also a member of Newberry County Council. 'Uncle George' was extremely active in the Boy Scouts of America, being Scoutmaster of Newberry Troop 222 for 30 years and received numerous recognitions for his involvement over the years. He was married to Ethel Roton and of this union were two sons: George B. Summer of Newberry and Tony Lee Summer of Prosperity. Mr. Summer died at age 70 years on September 26, 1993 with burial in Newberry Memorial Gardens. 

Laurens L.  Slim' Henderson

1974 Laurens L. Henderson
Born April 6, 1909 in Stamford Texas, he was a son of  Robert Lee and Sarah Jane Crane Henderson. He started the first fingerprint records system and initiated the use of local bloodhounds in Newberry County. He established the first centralized records system for reporting crimes to the Sheriffs office. Mr. Henderson assisted in coordinating and implementing the first central dispatching system throughout Newberry County and the State. He was the first Newberry County Sheriff to use plain-clothes detectives and commissioned and appointed the first juvenile officer in the Sheriff's Department. He always made personal appearances in behalf of crime prevention before the S. C. Parole Board to protest the early release of criminals back in Newberry County before they  served their sentences. In 1984, Mr. Henderson was selected as Police Officer of the Year by the Newberry Exchange Club and was also recognized by the S. C. Association of Crime Prevention Officers. He had membership in varied Law enforcement associations and was active in the Roseboro Lodge AFM and the First Baptist Church.

'Slim' Henderson was married to the former Azilee Cromer and of the union was a daughter, Mrs. Frank (Jane) McGuire of Columbia. Mr. Henderson died January 30, 1989 at age 79 years at Newberry County Memorial Hospital with burial at Newberry Memorial Gardens.

Raymond Roton
Served from 1977-80

1977 Raymond Roton
Born July 3, 1922 in Newberry County, he was a son of Bennie R. and Sudie Fulmer Roton. Mr. Roton was a Navy Veteran WW2 and served as sheriff and deputy sheriff of Newberry County and was a former employee of the Newberry Police Department for 7½ years. He was a member of the SC Law Enforcement Assoc. Raymond Roton married Cornelia Price and of the union were four children: Miss Sandra Roton, Mrs. Kathy R. Bishop, Mrs. Jess (Loretta) Oropeza and Donald Roton.

He died September 12, 1985 at Providence Hospital in Columbia with burial at West End Cemetery

1980 L. L. Henderson  
Served two terms
See above

1988 James Lee Foster  
Still serving 2005
Born January 25, 1957, son of Richard P. Foster and Jennylee C. of Prosperity SC. In 2005 is currently in his fourth term as Sheriff. 
1975 Graduate with honors from Mid-Carolina High School in Prosperity, SC. Received award for highest academic average of any athlete lettering in two or more sports.
1977 Graduate of The University of South Carolina with an Associate in Science Degree in Criminal Justice. Graduated with Highest Honors
1979 Graduate of The University of South Carolina from the College of Applied Professional Sciences with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Graduated Magna Cum Laude.
1980 Graduate from The South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy as a Certified Police Officer. Graduated with highest all around academic average receiving the J.P. Strom Award for academic excellence.

James Foster

1989 Graduate from the South Carolina Sheriffs' Association School for Sheriffs' as a Certified Sheriff.
1995 Graduate of the National Center of Rural Law Enforcement, Executive Management Institute, University of Arkansas
Chief of Police Town of Little Mountain 1978-1979.
1979-1984 Deputy Sheriff County of Newberry. Worked through the ranks to Crime Prevention Officer, Lieutenant of a Shift, Captain of the Patrol Division and Captain of Investigations.
1984-1988 Criminology Instructor with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Worked as an instructor in the fields of firearms and special weapons and driving. Taught courses on civil liabilities and use of deadly force. Assisted in the development of new course of study on semi-automatic weapons and police driving techniques. Obtained the rank of Assistant coordinator of ranges.
Involved in many major investigations during career. Most notable investigations include the homicide of Victoria Lander Beckham that drew National attention, the homicide investigation of Maxine Davis which pioneered a new forensic technique and the Little Mountain/Chapin "Mountain High" drug ring investigation to name a few. Has dedicated many hours in reducing crime. Newberry County has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation. For the year 2000, Newberry County had the highest clearance rate and the lowest crime rate in South Carolina.
Sheriff Foster introduced many innovations since having been elected Sheriff. Has introduced the Deputy in the Sky program placing deputies in airplanes piloted by volunteer private pilots. Has introduced many crime prevention programs to reduce property crimes including Community Oriented Police programs, crime watch and daily checks on elderly citizens. Has an active bloodhound search and rescue program with highly trained volunteer deputies as dog handlers. Recently obtained a boat to patrol the three lakes in Newberry County in an effort to reduce property crimes and accidents. Works closely with other law enforcement agencies to better utilize tax dollars. The City of Newberry and the County of Newberry jointly share the narcotics unit, a training officer, and the school safety officers. Was re-elected and still sheriff of Newberry County 2012.


J.P. Strom Law Enforcement Award
Newberry County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
Southern Bell Law Enforcement Award for Excellence
GTE Crime Prevention Award for Excellence
South Carolina Jaycees' Outstanding South Carolinian of the Year for Community Service
Jaycees Outstanding Young Men of America
Chosen as a speaker at the Partnership for a Drug Free America Conference in Washington, DC
Chosen to meet with Members of Congress and the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning drugs, weapons and violent crimes
1993-1994 recipient of the Strom Thurmond Award for Law Enforcement Excellence in South Carolina Law Enforcement
1994 recipient of Civitan's Citizen of the Year
Honored by Representative Dave C. Waldrop with the House of Representatives' Resolution for Community Service
Serving on an advisory committee for the National Center for Rural La Enforcement as a division of the US Justice Department and the US Department of Agriculture
Awarded the Order of Palmetto by Governor David Beasley on a motion b Rep. Dave C. Waldrop, Jr.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, 2000
Alston Wilkes Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, 2000
Woodmen of the World Outstanding Citizen of the Year, 2000
National Humanitarian of the Year, National Center for Rural Law Enforcement 2000-2001
Outstanding Citizen of the Year, Veterans of Foreign Wars
Mothers Against Drunken Drivers (MADD) Highway Safety Hero
South Carolina Sheriff of the Year, 2003
Patriot's Award from the National Guard Bureau of the Department of Defense
He married Carol Folk of Newberry and of the union have a son Joseph (Adopted from the Republic of Guatemala) and a daughter Amelia, born November 6, 1996.

History of Newberry County by T. Pope, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
Annals of Newberry by O'Neall and Chapman
Articles from The Rising Sun, The Sun, The Newberry Herald , The Newberry Observer, The Observer see Happenings 1858-1908
Munford M. Buford photo and information given by permission from gr-son of M. M. Buford, William Tedford Jr., Dallas TX
Professional Biography of Sheriff Foster from County Files.
Some information was given from clipped newspaper articles that were not dated.
Newberry County Cemetery Book Vol. 1
History of South Carolina, Vol. 4, American Historical Society Inc. Biographies 1934
Obituaries from the Newberry Observer kept at the Newberry County Library

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