Lawmen in Butler County

Memorial to John "Phil" Kearbey - Sheriff 1912-1915

Click On Photo to see Enlarged View

John "Phil" Kearbey

[GO to PHOTO - Lawofficers]
Upon request, there is a larger view of these photos, But too large to use on a web site.

Left - right:
Ed Calvin - 1909 Chief of Police
John D. Henson, 1957-60 Procesuting Attorney
J. A. Busby - was a judge (date? yet)
Samuel G. Gardner, Sheriff 1888-9
E. E. Whitworth, Chairman of Butler County Party
E. E. Whitworth, Poplar Bluff Postmaster
E. E. Whitworth, 1943-44 Assessor

Judge J. A. Busby, - was noted as having one of the first Model T's in P.B. which averaged 42 mph on the road from Advance to Poplar Bluff, MO.

The building behind the law officers is the old City Hall. My father-in-law,(Sherry Link) the late Kenneth M. Link, was sheriff of Butler Co. for 10 years - this photo along with the other one hung in his office all those years.

[GO to PHOTO - Whiskey-Bust]

Illegal Whiskey Seized When Lester Massingham was elected sheriff of Butler County in 1932, Prohibition (1920-33) was still on and illegal whiskey-making was big business. With the help of federal liquor agents, Massingham (standing at the right) & Chief Deputy Eli Sliger (2nd from the left in the white hat) raided numerous bootlegging operations. The location of the photograph is unknown. all the barrels and jugs were full of whiskey.


Another Law officer mentioned in "Complete History of Butler County Missiouri' by Robert H. Forister, is Bill Brent.

page 232:    In May, 1932, a farmer, was held in the county jail charged with breaking into the Dusch Drug Store in Qulin. He admitted stealing carton of cigarettes but denied taking 25 pints and 10 1/2 pint bottles of whiskey. He broke a $20 plate glass window to gain entry. Deputy Sheriff Bill Brent, and his brother, Ben Brent, made the arrest.

page 301-302:    In October, 1947, Poplar Bluff city police officer, Byron "Jelly" Bragg was shot and gravely wounded by a Negro ex-convict, Edward Fuller, after he terrorized police headquarters with a sawed-off shot gun. He also shot two other men before being arrested by Sheriff Bill Brent, Sergeant Earl Bradley, highway patrol, and city policemen, Clifford Shipton, Hubert Powell, and Edward "Red Bird" Brothers.    Bragg lost an eye and had a fractured skull. When Fuller walked in, Bragg had asked what he wanted, and he said it was a hold-up, and then fired. (Bragg did survive, and Fuller was sentenced to life.)

page 233:    1948: A Negro man and a white woman were arrested near Neelyville for adultery by Sheriff Bill Brent.

To my knowledge (& this is mostly from memory & a few notes over the years) sheriff's I remember Dad speaking of were: Bill Brent (1945-52 or 56), Lester Massingham 1931, 1952 or 56 - 1964), Clyde Hendrix (1964-1976), William Stout (1976-1979), my father-in-law Kenneth Link (1980-90), Bill Heaton (1990 - 1991) he completed my dad-in-law's term because he died of a heart attack, Fred Armes (1991-1994), _________ Gilmore & Bill Heaton (elected in 1997) is our present sheriff!

Visit this site   go into Butler county Sheriff History.


© 2000 to Sherry Link -Sherry's Mail




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This page place here May 2000
by:Mary Hudson