Photo Left: Darrell Davidson

Darrell Davidson was appointed in May of 1987 to become only the fifth Sheriff of Deschutes County. He finished the term of James LeRoy France, who resigned in 1987.

Davidson has been with the Deschutes County Sheriff's Department for 25 years. The youngest county in Or. was carved from Crook County on Dec. 06, 1916.

Photo Right: Forrest C. "Poe" Sholes

When Davidson joined the department 25 years ago, only a handful of persons were working for the department. Davidson was one of three Deputies and the staff also included Sheriff Forrest C. "Poe" Sholes and two jailers. Today, more than 80 persons work for the Deschutes County Sheriff's Department.

The county has grown from about 23,000 to the present population of close to 80,000.

When Davidson joined the department in 1966, he signed on as a patrolman. He went on to serve as Undersheriff under Sholes and James LeRoy France, who was Sheriff from 1981 until he resigned in 1987. Davidson ran for the office in May 1988, and was elected to begin a four-year term in 1989.

Davidson was born on Aug. 26, 1943 in Redmond. He and his wife, Nancy, had two sons. Their oldest son, Dennis, was killed in an automobile accident when he was 22 years old. Their youngest son, K.C., is 13 years old.


S. E. Roberts, the man who served as the first Chief of Police in Bend, was appointed in 1916 to become the first Sheriff of Deschutes County when the new county was formed in 1916 from Crook County. His appointment came on Dec. 13, 1916, less than a week after the new county was formed. Roberts was appointed by the County Court, which had been named by the Governor.

Located in the center of the state, Deschutes County got its name from the Deschutes River, one of the most scenic rivers in Oregon. The river was named by the French Canadian fur trappers, who called it Riviere des Chutes, which means "river of the falls."

The county seat of Deschutes is Bend. The county covers 3,055 square miles, including the snow-capped mountains of the Cascades and the fertile valley, range and forest lands of Oregon's central plateau.

Timber, agriculture and the raising of livestock play a major part in the economy of Deschutes County. But the county also has a lot to offer recreationalists and tourists. Points of interest include the scenic Cascade Lakes Highway, Lava Lands, Lava River Caves State Park, Lava Casts Forests, Newberry Crater, Pilot Butte, Three Sisters Wilderness Area and the Mount Bachelor Ski Area.

Roberts, the man who was picked to serve as the first Sheriff of new Deschutes County, was born on July 12, 1876 in Wamic in Wasco County. Before being named Sheriff he was Chief of Police in Bend for five years. Roberts came to Bend on Jan. 20, 1910, by horse and buggy from Shaniko, which now is a ghost town northeast of Bend. He came to the central Oregon city with his uncle, D. M. Roberts, and a friend, who were seeking land. However, Roberts did not file a homestead in the area. Instead, he became a locator -- a guide for others seeking land on the high desert.

Roberts was Sheriff of the county when three trappers from Bend were reported missing and feared murdered at Little Lava Lake. When the ice broke the following Spring, the bodies of the three men, who had been shot, came to the surface. Sheriff Roberts and his Deputy, Clarence Adams, headed the investigation into the triple murder.

During his tenure, Roberts was known for his "dry enforcement campaign." Alcohol prohibition was in effect throughout Roberts' service and he vigorously enforced the law. Records show that in 1924, Roberts had confiscated 62 moonshine stills in Deschutes County. Fines for violations of prohibition amounted to $10,000 between 1916 and 1924. An estimated 16,600 gallons of mash and 986 gallons of moonshine were seized and destroyed when Roberts was Sheriff of the county.

After retiring as Sheriff, Roberts was an oil company representative in Deschutes County.

Photo Left: Claude L. McCauley

Claude L. McCauley followed Roberts when he was elected to the first of six consecutive four-year terms as Sheriff in 1929. He was leader of law enforcement in the county until 1953. McCauley was born in 1882 in Freeport, Ill. He attended grade and high school in Rock Grove, Ill. When he moved to Oregon, he signed on as Superintendent of Maintenance and was an engineering aide and civil engineer for the State Highway Division from 1912 to 1918. He owned and operated sawmills in 1919 and 1920 at Bend, Linnton and OdeIl Lake.

Forrest C. "Poe" Sholes followed McCauley with an even longer series of consecutive terms. He first was elected in 1953 and served seven straight terms in four different decades.

Sholes was born in Bend in 1919 and has lived in the area all his life. He got his nickname from his little brother, who had a tough time saying "Forrest."

He graduated from Bend High School and spent time in the Marine Corps after he graduated. When he came back to Bend in 1946, he was hired as a patrolman with the Bend Police Department. In September, 1949, he went to work as a Deputy under Sheriff McCauley. A little more than four years later, McCauley decided not to run for another term and encouraged Sholes -- his only Deputy to seek the position.

For the first few years, Sholes and his wife, who was the jail cook, lived in a little room above the jail.

Photo Left: James LeRoy France

Sholes won seven consecutive elections. Many times, he did not face any opponents. In 1978, he was beaten in the primary by James LeRoy France, who served from 1981 to May 1987.

France, the former Chief of Police in Sisters was born in Salem on May 13, 1943. He served in the Navy from 1962 to 1964. France resigned from the office in April 1983, and Darrell Davidson was appointed to fill the vacancy.

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