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Historical Facts

Although the office of sheriff is thought by many to have originated in ancient England, there are biblical references to such a position existing as early as 600 B.C. There are also those who believe that the United States of America was actually named for a Richard Amerycke, who was the High Sheriff of Bristol, England at the time King Henry VII authorized John Cabot's voyage to seek the New World in 1497. Upon Cabot's return to England, he was paid his pension by Amerycke.

Brown County has a very rich historical background. For over 200 years after the arrival of Jean Nicolet in 1634, fur traders and missionaries made this area a base for their operations. The boundaries of Brown County were established by the governor of Michigan Territory in the year 1818 as part of the Northwest Territory, after the American Revolution.
The first sheriff in the State of Wisconsin was George Johnston, who was originally installed as the territorial sheriff, and later became the first sheriff of Brown County. Sheriff Johnston played an important role in the trial of Chief Oshkosh, which took place in Brown County. In 1957 with the election of Artley Skenandore, Brown County became the first county to elect a full-blooded Indian to the position of sheriff.

Today in Wisconsin, the sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer of each county and is elected every four years on a partisan ballot. According to state law, his duties are to enforce the law in the county, take custody of the jail, attend the courts, and serve all processes. The sheriff is responsible to the electorate and can be removed from office by the governor, and then only for just cause.

SHERIFFS OF BROWN COUNTY

1818-1829 George Johnston
1829-1836 Ebeneezer Childs
1837-1840 Charles Tullar
1841-1842 David Jones
1843-1844 Seth Rees
1845-1846 Peter B. Grignon
1847-1848 Peter Brunette
1849-1850 John F. Lessey
1851-1852 John F. Lessey
1853-1854 Orlo B. Graves
1855-1856 Lorenzo Brown
1857-1858 H.G. White
1859-1860 John F. Lessey
1861-1862 Danil M. Whitney
1863-1864 George M. Langton
1865-1866 George M. Langton
1867-1868 George M. Langton
1869-1870 Octavian J.B. Brice
1871-1872 George M. Langton
1873-1874 Ephraim Crocker
1875-1876 Gerhard Bong
1877-1878 Daniel Lee
1879-1880 Arthur Kellogg
1881-1882 Edwin R. Smith
1882 George M. Langton
1883-1884 Damien Geyer
1885-1886 Otto Gutbier
1887-1888 Henry Watermolen
1889-1890 Frank Hammes
1891-1892 Edward Gaffney
1893-1894 John Bartelme
1895-1896 Joseph Delaney
1897-1898 August Schauer
1899-1900 Charles Prust
1901-1902 Timothy Burke
1903-1904 William A. Gauerke
1905-1906 Peter A. VanVeghel
1907-1908 Clement Killman
1909-1910 Frank Deviley
1911-1912 Peter A. VanVeghel
1913-1914 George Kolocheski
1915-1916 Henry VandenHeuvel
1917-1918 Nicholas M. Ryan
1919-1920 Henry VandenHeuvel
1921-1922 Nicholas M. Ryan
1923-1924 Jake Geurts
1925-1926 Nicholas M. Ryan
1927-1928 Joseph Francis
1929-1930 William J. Nickolai
1931-1932 Joseph Francis
1933-1934 Joseph Francis
1935-1936 Joseph Coleman
1937-1938 Clifford Kellner
1939-1940 Clifford Kellner
1941-1942 Andrew H. Lom
1943-1944 Andrew H. Lom
1945-1946 Clifford Kellner
1947-1948 Merle Streckenbach
1949-1950 Gordon Zuidmulder
1951-1952 Gordon Zuidmulder
1953-1954 Reuben Lasee
1955-1956 Reuben Lasee
1957-1958 Artley Skenandore
1959-1960 Artley Skenandore
1961-1962 William Swanson
1963-1964 William Swanson
1965-1966 Norbert R. Froelich
1967-1968 Norbert R. Froelich
1969-1970 Norbert R. Froelich
1971-1972 Norbert R. Froelich
1973-1974 Norbert R. Froelich
1975-1976 Norbert R. Froelich
1977-1978 Norbert R. Froelich
1979-1980 Norbert R. Froelich
1981-1982 Norbert R. Froelich
1983-1984 Leon R. Pieschek
1985-1986 Leon R. Pieschek
1987-1988 Leon R. Pieschek
1989-1990 Leon R. Pieschek
1991-1992 Leon R. Pieschek
1993-1994 Michael W. Donart
1995-1996 Michael W. Donart
1997-1998 Thomas J. Hinz
1999-2000 Thomas J. Hinz
2001-2002 Thomas J. Hinz
2003-2006 Dennis N. Kocken
2007- 2010 Dennis N. Kocken
2011 - Present John R. Gossage
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