Click Here to View Sheriff Photos
Click Here to View Sheriffs List
Sheriff Bill Amado became the 26th Sheriff of Josephine County when he was elected in 1986. He began serving his four-year term on Jan. 1, 1987, succeeding James W. Carlton, who was appointed in October 1985.
Amado was born on July 17, 1942 in Whipple Hollow, Vermont. He grew up on a large dairy farm. He attended Dartmouth College and California State University Los Angeles and he is currently working on his Masters at LaSalle University. He is writing his thesis on community policing.
From 1961 to 1966, Amado served in the United States Marine Corps and was a member of the elite force recon unit and is a Vietnam-era veteran.
In 1966, Amado became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department where he remained for nearly 10 years. He moved to Southern Oregon in
1976 and returned to farming for a while before joining the Josephine County Sheriff's Office.
In 1986 --- 10 years after he signed on with the Josephine County Sheriff's Office --Amado ran for Sheriff and was elected. He was re-elected in 1990. In recent years, the Sheriff's Office and Josephine County have struggled with budgetary cutbacks due to the depressed timber industry. The Josephine County Sheriff's Office had 102 employees prior to layoffs in 1990. There now are 89 employees. More than 250 volunteers serve Josephine County Sheriff's Office.
Under Sheriff Amado's leadership, his department was the first in the northwest to adopt community policing. Sheriff Amado is recognized as an expert in community policing and has taught Chiefs and Sheriffs from Washington and Oregon. The Sheriff's Office attack on drug dealers is a model program in Oregon and the United States government has emulated the county's marijuana eradication program. With all the achievements during the past six years, Sheriff Amado is proudest of the committment of the Deputies to the community and their professionalism.
Sheriff Amado and his wife, Kay, have four children John, David, Christina and Julie and three grandchildren.
James Hendershott, a man who went on to become a state legislator, served as the first Sheriff of Josephine County in Southwestern Oregon.
Josephine County was established in 1856 out of the western portion of Jackson County. The 1,641 square-mile county was named for Josephine Rollins, the first white woman to make the county her home. The county seat originally was located in Waldo but was moved to Kerbyville in 1857 because that city was located on the main route between the port of Crescent City in California and the gold mines. The county seat was moved again in 1886 to Grants Pass, where it remains.
The first settlers came to the region because of the discovery of rich gold placers at Sailor Diggings, which later became Waldo. A number of United States Army forts were maintained in Josephine County and many battles during the Rogue River Indian War from 1855 to 1858 took place within the county boundaries.
The county seat was relocated to Grants Pass because it was a new town built on the railroad line that was completed through the state in 1886.
There now are some 64,000 residents in the county, which serves as the departure point for many Rogue River guided fishing and boat trips. Today, timber, tourism and agriculture are the main industries in the county. Points of interest include Oregon Caves National Monument, Wolf Creek Tavern, Redwood Highway, Rogue River fishing and boat trips and the Kerbyville Museum. The Illinois River, one of the tributaries of the Rogue River, has been listed as a scenic waterway.
When Hendershott became Sheriff in 1856, he had only been in Oregon for four years. He served as County Clerk in Josephine County before he was elected Sheriff and was the County Assessor after he served four years as Sheriff.
Hendershott moved to Idaho in 1862 but came back to serve in the state legislature in 1866. He was elected State Senator in 1868. Hendershott also spent time as a farmer and stockman when he was not busy with his public life.
Jefferson Howell became the county's second Sheriff when he was elected to the position in 1860, serving until 1864. Howell was born in 1827 in Chemung, New York and came to Oregon in 1855 via the Isthmus of Panama, which took him to Crescent City. He was a farmer before and after serving as Sheriff. He filed for a homestead and was given a certificate on July 15, 1878.
Howell was succeeded by Thomas Franklin Floyd, who was a Deputy Sheriff under both Hendershott and Howell.
William Chapman, an Englishman, followed Floyd as Sheriff of Josephine County. He came to Oregon in 1850 and was Sheriff from 1868 to 1872. Chapman was a rancher near Kerbyville.
From 1872 to 1878, Dan L. Green was Sheriff of Josephine County followed by John Taylor, who was head of law enforcement in the county from 1878 to 1882. Michael Ryder, a New York native, was Sheriff of Josephine County from 1882 until September 1884, when he died. He was replaced by Charles Abraham Hervey, who served from the time of Ryder's death until 1890. Hervey was born in 1849 in Green County in Tennessee and moved to Oregon in the 1860s, where he took up a Donation Land Claim. Before being appointed Sheriff of the county, he was a clerk in a store in Waldo and Althouse. After he left law enforcement, he was a farmer. He also at one time worked in a sawmill in Southern Oregon.
J. C. Moss was next in line as Sheriff of Josephine County, heading up the Sheriff's Office from 1890 to 1894. Following him was Missouri native Joseph Greenberry Hiatt, who was Sheriff from 1894 to 1898. Before taking office, Hiatt ran a general store in Kerbyville. After he left the office, he went back to running a store, this time in Selma, Oregon. His brother-in-law, George Lewis, later served a number of years as Sheriff of Josephine County. While Hiatt was Sheriff, two convicted murderers were hanged in the county.
Edward Lister, a Canadian, was next in line to serve as Sheriff of Josephine County. Lister came to Oregon in 1877 from Nevada and was elected to serve from 1898 to 1902. When he wasn't Sheriff, Lister was a farmer and worked in the livery business.
George Lewis was Sheriff of Josephine from July 1902 until 1906 and then came back again to serve from 1917 to 1925. Lewis was born in Brownsville, Oregon and was a partner in a placer mine with Lister, his father-in-law.
W. J. Russell was Sheriff of Josephine County from 1906 to 1911. Will C. Smith was Sheriff from 1911 to 1917 when Lewis was back until 1925.
W. M. Hayes was Sheriff of Josephine County from 1925 to 1929. Ernest H. Lister, the son of George Lister, took office in 1929 and was Sheriff of the county until October, 1937, when he died in office.
A. Donley Barnes, a Grants Pass native, was appointed to take the place of Ernest Lister. Barnes, who was the grandson of Sheriff Albert Seymore Barnes in Jackson County, headed up law enforcement in Josephine County until Aug. 3, 1943, when he resigned. Barnes, who was 32 at the time he took over as Sheriff of Josephine County, was one of the youngest Sheriffs ever in the state.
Barnes was Chief Deputy of Josephine County from 1929 until his appointment as Sheriff. He was appointed County Clerk in 1961. He was elected to the County Clerk's office in 1964 and 1968. Barnes resigned from the Sheriff's Office in late 1943 and became, from the time he left the Sheriff' s Office until he was appointed Deputy County Clerk, a clock maker with B. W. Cobb in Portland and Barnes Jewelry in Grants Pass.
Loyd Edgar Lewis, the son of Sheriff George Lewis, was appointed to take the place of Barnes. He ended up serving as Sheriff of the county until 1965. Lewis was born in Holland, Oregon, and was a traveling representative for a number of companies and later, a rancher, before he followed in his father's footsteps and became Sheriff of Josephine County.
Please Click Here To Continuing Reading
Return to "A History of Oregon Sheriffs Index"
Return to "A Place Called Oregon"