The Sheriff's of Santa Clara County (1850-Present)
Last modified: 3/7/2012 5:41 PM
Sheriff Laurie Smith
On December 15, 1998 Laurie Smith became the twenty eighth person to hold the position of Sheriff in Santa Clara County.
Sheriff Charles P. Gillingham
Charles Gillingham was the 27th Sheriff to hold office in the history of Santa Clara County. Appointed to the Office of Sheriff by the Board of Supervisors on August 30, 1989.
Sheriff Charles Prelsnick
Charles Prelsnik already had a distinguished career as an FBI agent before joining the Sheriff's Office in 1963. Sheriff Prelsnik was born on May 8, 1911, in Butte, Montana.
Sheriff Mel Hawley
Mel Hawley became our twenty second Sheriff on January 3,1955. Mr. Hawley wrote a brief autobiography for me in 1993. Who better to write about someone than himself?
Sheriff Howard Hornbuckle
Howard Hornbuckle became our twenty first Sheriff when he took office on January 6,1947. Sheriff Hornbuckle attended San Jose High School where he was a star athlete. He was a graduate of San Jose State and the college's Police School.
Sheriff Walter Scott Gaspar
Walter Gaspar was born on April 4,1888, one of a pair of twin boys, in the family home on upper West Avenue, in Waukesha Wisconsin. As he grew up, his father, Frederick, was city clerk and secretary of the school Board.
Sheriff William J. Emig
A lot happened to William Emig while he was Sheriff - a Deputy Sheriff was shot to death, a mob broke into his jail and lynched two inmates, to a criminal conviction that led to the end of his political career.
Sheriff George Lyle
Historian Eugene Sawyer wrote of George Lyle; Exceptionally fortunate in her long line of wide-awake, intrepid sheriffs whose patriotism, intelligence, energetic aggressiveness and personal bravery.
Sheriff Arthur Langford
Arthur Langford was the son of Sheriff Robert Langford and our seventeenth Sheriff. Sheriff Langford was born on May 4,1878 in Concow, Butte County, California.
Sheriff Frank H. Ross
Frank H. Ross was appointed Sheriff by the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors after the untimely death of Sheriff Robert Langford.
Sheriff Robert Langford
Robert J. Langford comes from a long line of pioneering families. His ancestors are amongst the earliest settlers of Jamestown colony, dating back to 1668. They also fought in the Colonial and Revolutionary Wars
Sheriff James H. Lyndon
James H. Lyndon - A faithful, efficient public official, whose record for unchallenged public-spiritedness and personal bravery, and also for exceptionally high integrity, was such that his name will always be held in esteem.
Sheriff George Y. Bollinger
George Y. Bollinger became our thirteenth Sheriff on January 2,1893, serving a single two year term. George's father Christian, whom Bollinger Road is named after, came to California in 1852.
Sheriff Giles E. McDougal
Giles E. McDougall served as our twelfth Sheriff from January 5, 1891 to January 2, 1893. He was not a career law enforcement officer, but a leading builder and contractor in Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties.
Sheriff Jonathan Sweigert
Jonathan Sweigert was voted the eleventh Sheriff of Santa Clara County in the election of 1886. He was a native of DuPage County, Illinois, where he was born in 1842. In early 1851, the Sweigert family left their home state to come to California.
Sheriff Benjamin Branham
Benjamin F. Branham, our tenth Sheriff, comes from a family of early California pioneers. His father, Isaac Branham, brought his family across plains using a team of oxen, leaving Missouri in 1846.
Sheriff Frank E. Williams
Frank E. Williams was the first Sheriff elected under the new State Constitution. The new constitution allowed Williams to serve a three year term instead of the customary two year term of previous and future administrations.
Sheriff Nicholas R. Harris
Nicholas R. Harris, served as the 8th Sheriff of Santa Clara County. Sheriff Harris was born in Boston, Massachusetts on September 9,1836. At the age of 16 years, he came to California crossing the plains in six months and fourteen days.
Deputy Sheriff Martin Roohan
Deputy Sheriff Martin J. Roohan was a large powerful man. Even at the age of 63 years he displayed immense strength.
Sheriff John Hicks Adams
John Hicks Adams is probably the most well known and famous Sheriff in the history of Santa Clara County. Sheriff Adams, the seventh Sheriff of this county, was born in Edwardsville, Illinois, on June 13, 1820.
Deputy Sheriff George T. Headen
Deputy Sheriff George T. Headen had been a deputy for the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office for less than a year and a half when he was accidentally killed.
Deputy James F. Kennedy
James Faris Kennedy, a Nurseryman by trade, became our sixth Sheriff on October 7,1861. He was voted into office in the September Election of 1861, beating out two other candidates.
Sheriff John M. Murphy
John Marion Murphy was an early pioneer to California and well as the fifth Sheriff of Santa Clara County. John's parents emigrated from Ireland to Canada in 1820, where John was born.
Deputy Sheriff Douglas Miller
Deputy Sheriff Doug Miller enjoyed his job. He was working the beat of his choice, the Santa Cruz Mountains. A quiet beat, fantastic views of Santa Cruz and the Santa Clara Valley, large Redwood, Madrone and Oak trees were abundant.
Sheriff Phillip T. McCabe
The fourth Sheriff for Santa Clara County was Phillip Thurman McCabe. Sheriff McCabe was born December 20,1802, in Bear Wallow Grove, Kentucky.
Sheriff William McCutchen
William McCutchen our third Sheriff was a large man, standing well over six feet tall. He was born in Davidson County, Tennessee in 1816. Sometime prior to 1836 the McCutchen family moved to Missouri, where William met his wife Amanda Henderson.
Sherriff Joseph W. Johnson
Joseph W. Johnson, our second Sheriff, was born in North Carolina on the 29th day of October 1818. At the age of 31 years, he left New Orleans by ship and sailed to California, arriving here October 10, 1849.
Sheriff John Yontz
Our first official Sheriff for Santa Clara County was John Yontz. Yontz left his home state of Illinois and arrived here, in California in the Spring of 1849.