Click Here to view Sheriff Photos
Click Here to view Sheriffs List
Native Oregonian David Roy Glerup is the 15th man to serve as Sheriff of the largest county area-wise in Oregon. He was elected to the office in the fall of 1984 and began serving in January 1985. Glerup succeeded Roy Keith Boggs, who was Sheriff from 1981 to 1985.
Glerup was born in Ontario, Oregon on Feb. 22, 1951. He graduated from Burns High School in 1969 and went on to attend Southern Oregon State College in Ashland for a year.
He began his law enforcement career with the Oregon State Police as a trooper in 1972 in Medford and remained with them until 1978, when he resigned to start his own business in Burns. From 1978 to 1984, Glerup was the owner and operator of G Squared Enterprises Inc. The business was involved with auto wrecking, repair and towing.
Glerup heads up a staff that includes four corrections officers and three Deputies. Harney County covers 10,288 miles and lists a population of some 7,400 people. There are only two incorporated cities in the county - Burns and Hines.
The sparsely-populated county averages about one murder every two years, according to Glerup.
The Sheriff married his Burns High School sweetheart, Becky. They have three daughters - Tara, a senior at Oregon State University, Heather, a freshman at Boise State University and Angela, a sophomore at Burns High School.
Englishman Anthony A. Cowing was appointed to serve as the first Sheriff in Harney County, the largest county in Oregon that was carved from Grant County on Feb. 25, 1889.
The expansive county was first explored in 1826 by Peter Skene Ogden, the first white man to visit the area. More than 50 years later, the county was formed and named for Major General William S. Harney, who ran the Department of Oregon of the United States Army in 1858 and 1859. Harney played a big role in opening areas of Eastern Oregon for settlement.
Burns ended up being the county seat in 1890 after a fierce political battle in which armed night riders removed the county records from Harney to Burns. The first county courthouse was built in 1890. The area's first newspaper began operations in 1884, several years before Harney was a county. The first church also was established before the county in 1887.
The sparsely-populated county lists only 7,400 residents spread out over 10,228 square miles. Harney County shares with Grant County the largest Ponderosa pine forest in the United States and has more than 100,000 head of beef cattle on its vast rangelands. Principal industries in the county are forestry, manufacturing, livestock raising and agriculture.
An abundance of game, numerous campsites and excellent fishing have stimulated fast-growing recreational opportunities in the large county. Points of interest include Steens Mountain, Malheur Cave, Malheur Wildlife Refuge, Alford Desert and Frenchglen. Other interesting things to see are Hines Lumber and Manufacturing plant, Snow Mountain Pine Lumber and Manufacturing plant, Squaw Butte Experimental Station and the "P" Ranch Round Barn.
The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most important of over 380 bird and animal refuges scattered across the United States. The Harney County refuge was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908.
The county' s first Sheriff, Anthony Cowing, was appointed to the office by Governor Pennoyer shortly after the county was established. He later was elected to serve in that position until 1892. When he left the office, Cowing was selected by President Grover Cleveland to serve as Receiver in the United States Land Office in Burns from 1894 to 1898.
Harney County's first Sheriff was born on the River Thyne in Northumberland, England on Aug. 2, 1850. When he was six months old, his parents immigrated to the United States, settling in Wisconsin. The family later moved to Minnesota, where both parents died.
Cowing came to Oregon in 1875, where he at one time was a druggist and a rancher on property about four miles east of Burns. He married Mattie Colby in 1880 and the couple had three children.
Albert Gettings succeeded Cowing as the county's second Sheriff. He served in the position from 1892 to 1896, when Andrew Johnson "John" McKinnon was elected to the office, heading up law enforcement in Harney County for four years.
Andrew McKinnon, Harney County's third Sheriff, was born in Jefferson City in Page County in Iowa in 1866. The family moved to Tehama County in California before coming to Oregon in 1884.
McKinnon met an untimely death at the age of 36 after he left the Sheriff's Office and moved to Guerneville, Calif. He was struck down by an assassin's bullet on Sept. 8, 1903, in front of the old Joost and Starrett Saloon in the California town. His killer was Ad Garred, who knew McKinnon when he was Sheriff of Harney County and apparently was seeking revenge.
His brother, William McKinnon, was shot and killed in 1898 while Andrew "John" McKinnon was Sheriff ofHarney County.
George Shelley, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, followed McKinnon as the fourth Sheriff of Harney County. He served in the position from 1900 to 1902.
Shelley first came to Oregon in the late 1870s. His father, who had fought in the Mexican War, was in the stock business until his death. George Shelley went to Colorado Springs after his father died and attended school there. He moved on to Colorado City to learn the blacksmith trade before heading to Boise, Idaho in 1875 to ride after stock until 1877. He did scout work during the Indian battles in Eastern Oregon and Idaho before moving to the Grande Ronde Valley, where he worked as a blacksmith until 1884. He married Hallie Carey in 1886 and the couple had two children, a boy and a girl.
Shelley worked as a blacksmith in several areas of Eastern Oregon before settling down in Burns and entering into a partnership with J. C. Foley until 1900, when he was elected Sheriff of Harney County. After four years as leader of law enforcement in the expansive county, Shelley went back to his blacksmith trade. He died in October 1905.
Tom Allen followed Shelley as Sheriff, serving from 1902 to 1906. He was born in Benton County in 1854. After Allen left the Sheriff's Office, he turned to cattle ranching and was Superintendent of the Frenchglen Livestock Co. for awhile.
A.K. Richardson served as Sheriff of Harney County from 1906 to 1915. He ran a sawmill in the area before taking office and later owned a mercantile business in Burns, which he lost in the Great Depression.
Richardson was followed by William "Austin" Goodman, one of only eight Sheriffs in Oregon to be killed in the line of duty. Goodman was born in Kansas City, Kansas on June 6, 1870 and moved to Oregon in 1884. He was a wood cutter, sheep shearer and worked on a cattle ranch south of Burns before 1890.
Goodman was elected to his first term as Sheriff of Harney County in 1915. He served two more two-year terms and was elected to a four-year term that he never finished. The Sheriff was gunned down on Aug. 24, 1924 by Archie Cody. (See chapter on Sheriffs Killed in the Line of Duty).
Rodney Winn Cozad was appointed to finish Goodman' s term, serving only four months. Cozad had law enforcement experience, having served as a Deputy in Grant County under Sheriff William W. Howell. Cozad was a well-rounded man and held a number of jobs over the years, including work as a typesetter with the Blue Mountain Eagle newspaper in Pendleton, a butcher in Canyon City, and a rancher in Harney County. At one time, he even held a mail contract to and from Izee. He retired as a Supervisor from the State Highway Division, where he was a right-of-way agent.
Cozad was born on May 26, 1880 in Canyon City, where he served as Mayor from 1911 to 1914 and on the City Council from 1935 to 1941. He also at one time was Chairman of the Canyon City School Board.
Clarence Nelson Young was elected as Sheriff to succeed the appointed Cozad. Young headed up law enforcement in Harney County until 1929. Before being elected, he served as a Special Deputy in 1918. After he left the Sheriff's Office, he was with the Burns Police Department from 1930 to 1933.
When Young was Sheriff, he had two regular Deputies who wore star badges and drove a car provided by the county. The first county jail in Burns was built by his father in 1894. It burned down in 1897.
When Young left law enforcement, he was a State stock inspector, County Surveyor and Watermaster. He also had experience as a rancher, butcher and carpenter.
Charles Wilson Frazier was elected Sheriff of Harney County in 1929 and ended up serving four consecutive four year terms, which was the longest term so far in the county. The Centralia, Illinois native was born on May 11, 1881 and came to Oregon in 1907. He was a barber for eight years in Council Grove, Kansas and worked for Bison Mercantile in LaCrosse, Kansas.
When he came to Oregon, Frazier was the ranch foreman for Diamond & P Ranches and was Harney County Roadmaster from 1925 to 1929, an elected office, before he was elected Sheriff.
Eldon Sitz, who was a Deputy under Sheriff Frazier, from 1942 to 1945, succeeded Frazier and ended up serving 28 years as Sheriff of Harney County from 1945 to 1973. During Sitz' term of ofrice, he instigated the use of the teletype and working with other County Sheriffs through the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association. Harney County, the City of Burns and the Oregon State Police now share the same facility.
Sitz grew up on a cattle ranch at Lawen, about 20 miles east of Burns. When Frazier decided to leave, he suggested that Sitz run for the office. Sitz won the election and was returned to office unopposed every election for the next five terms. In 1968, two Democrats filed for the position but Sitz received more writein votes than the other two candidates together.
Sitz was followed by Frank Hickey Sr., who served as Sheriff from 1973 to 1977. D. Frank Rader took office in 1977 but never finished his four-year term. He died in office in March, 1980 and the County did not have a Sheriff until Roy Keith Boggs was elected later that year, taking office in January 1981.
Boggs was Sheriff of Harney County for four years. Before joining the department, the Ontario, Oregon native worked at several other law enforcement agencies. He was with the Burns Police Department from 1965 to 1969 and moved on to the Linn County Sheriff's Office from 1969 to 1978. He spent two months with the Crook County Sheriff' s Office in the Spring of 1978 before going back to the Burns Police Department, where he was a Sergeant from 1978 until he was elected Sheriff in 1980.
Boggs spent time in the Idaho Army National Guard from 1962 to 1965 while living in that state. When he moved to Oregon in 1965, he linked up with the Oregon Army National Guard until 1968. David Roy Glerup was elected in 1984 and began to serve a four-year term in 1985. He was re-elected in 1988 to another four-year term as Sheriff of Harney County.
Please Click Here To Continue Reading
Return to "A History of Oregon Sheriffs Index"
Return to "A Place Called Oregon"