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 July 23, 2017  
Sheriff's Office History Minimize

After visiting our site, you may wish to visit www.historiceffinghamsociety.org for more Effingham County history.

History of Office of the Sheriff, Effingham County

Effingham County Georgia was developed in 1733 under the Treaty of Savannah and established as Saint Matthew Parish. Effingham County was one of the eight original counties created by the Georgia Constitution of 1777. John Adam Treutlen, Georgia’s first governor, was appointed as the first Justice of the Peace for the parish of Saint Matthew, now Effingham County. He served as one of the 15 members of the Council of Safety, formed on June 22, 1775. The Council of Safety was responsible for issuing orders to apprehend. In 1796, Saint Matthew Parish became Effingham County. The county sheriff was responsible for the collection of taxes and for maintaining order. Stockades were the common punishment for minor criminal acts and for severe acts of crime the sentence was public hanging.

The earliest records of sheriff for Effingham County are as follows:

(click on the thumbnail pictures to view a larger picture) 

  1852-1863 John Dasher
  1864-1870 Cletus Rahn
  1871-Unknown Nathanial Shearouse
  1887-1889 Littleton B. Smith
  1890 T. R. Tarver
  1891-1902 W. W. Griffin
  1904-1913 W. A. Jaudon
  1914-1919 R. B. Seckinger
  1920-1924 W. A. Jaudon
  1925-1936 Benji F. Marsh
  1937-1960 Hubert O. Carr
  1961-1972 Harry Lindsey
  1973-1980 Lloyd Fulcher
  1981-1983 James Randall
  1983-1996 Van Findley
  1997-2002 J. C. (Jay) Space
2002 Richard J. Bush
  2002-Present Jimmy McDuffie

The Jail's History

Those persons jailed before 1918 were housed in a small blockstructure located in the City of Springfield near the intersection of Pine Street and Early Street. The custom was in place that the wife ofthe sheriff would cook and provide meals for the inmates. In 1934, a two-story Jail was built near the block jail. The sheriff and his family resided downstairs in the jail house. Inmate cells were upstairs. The cells were reinforced with "tool proof" steel bars and metal meshing over the windows. The floor of the second story was a six inchreinforced concrete slab, supported on steel beams. A three inch concrete slab covered the entire cell block section dividing it from the roof above. The sheriff's office remained in this location until 1992 when the organization and inmate housing became too large to occupy the site. In 1993 the current sheriff's office and jail was completed at 130 First Street Extension, Springfield, GA.

Recent historical firsts have been made in the organization.

  • June 2002: Interim Sheriff Richard Bush organized and launched a full time Crime Scene Unit dedicated to the collection, preservation, and presentation of evidence. The unit was originally staffed by Sgt. Roy C. Willis and Deputy Allen Elliott.
  • September 2002: Sheriff McDuffie organized and staffed a full time drug unit.
  • February 2003: Sheriff McDuffie, with the cooperation of the City of Guyton, Georgia and Planters Telephone Cooperative, the first Sheriff's substation in Guyton, Georgia, which boasted a 911 hotline outside of the station for public use.
  • September 2003: Sheriff McDuffie organized a K-9 unit.
  • April 2004: Sheriff McDuffie opened sheriff's substation in Faulkville.
  • July 2004: Sheriff McDuffie launched Sheriff's web site. 
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