George C. Eckstein took office in 1965 and ended up serving less than a year when he resigned in December that year to become the Chief of Police in Grants Pass from 1966 to 1970.
Myron Dean Snider was appointed to take Eckstein' s place and later was elected to a four-year term, serving until 1971. Snider had plenty of law enforcement experience when he was appointed to take over for Eckstein. From 1955 to 1960, he was with the Grants Pass Police Department before joining the Josephine County Sheriff's Office in 1966. Snider was born in Tilden, Nebraska on Nov. 3, 1916, and moved to Oregon in late 1945. He spent time with the United States Navy in the South Pacific from 1941 until moving to Oregon.
Louis R. "Bill" Brandt was elected to serve a four-year term from 1971 to 1975, succeeding Snider. Before joining the Josephine County Sheriff's Office, he was with the Oregon State Police.
From 1975 to 1979, California native James H. Newby was Sheriff of Josephine County. He joined the Sheriff's Office as a Deputy in 1966 and was a detective in 1967 and a Detective Sergeant beginning in 1968. Newby was born in Huntington Beach, Calif. His military service included time with the United States Army Infantry in the European Theater from 1941 to 1945. He was a First Lieutenant in Korea from 1950 to 1952 and later, a military policeman from 1953 to 1957. He moved to Oregon from Downey, Calif. in 1966 and was a general manager of a theatre company from 1972 to 1975.
Merle J. "Jim" Fanning went from Undersheriff to Sheriff of Josephine County when he was elected to begin serving a term in 1979. He resigned from the position midway through his second term in September 1985. Fanning was born in Keamey, Neb. in 1917 and moved to Oregon in 1967, when he joined the Josephine County Sheriff's Office as a Deputy.
James W. Carlton, who was the Undersheriff under Fanning, was appointed to fill out the rest of Fanning's term, serving until 1987 when Bill Amado was elected. Carlton was born in Hoyt, 0kla., and later moved to California. He came to Oregon in 1972 from Matin County in California after spending 16 years with the San Rafael, Calif. Police Department. He resigned from the police department as a Lieutenant.
Carlton was a criminal justice planner from 1973 to 1979 with Jackson and Josephine counties before joining the Josephine County Sheriff's Office.
Murder on Sexton Mountain
The death of peace officers in the line of duty always is a traumatic experience for those who served with them. But the brutal slaying of Oregon State Police Trooper Burrell M. "Milo" Baucom on July 1, 1933, was almost more than E.H. Lister could handle.
The veteran Josephine County Sheriff knew Burrell as a tough, honest, hardworking lawman who would not back down from any dangerous confrontation and a man who was especially tough on traffic violators. But at the same time, Lister knew the 33-year-old Trooper did not go out deliberately looking for trouble. Unfortunately, trouble found Baucom that hot July afternoon on Sexton Mountain, some 10 miles north of Grants Pass. Some passing motorists who knew Baucom saw him near the summit of Sexton Mountain talking to two young men next to a dark colored roadster. They waved and drove on, thinking the trooper had stopped the pair for speeding.
Moments later, the driver heard a blast and pulled to the side of the road, figuring one of his tires blew out. But when he looked back down the road, he was shocked to see Baucom on the ground, bleeding from a chest wound. One of the youths standing over the wounded trooper then shot the motionless trooper twice in the head.
The young man looked up and fired an errant shot at the terrified witness, who dashed back to his car and drove off. The driver made his way to an auto camp two miles down the road and telephoned the Josephine County Sheriff's Office.
By the time Lister and two of his Deputies arrived at the scene, Trooper Milo Baucom was dead. Lister swore he would find the killers.
But they did not have much to go on. The couple that saw the Trooper with the two men could not provide a clear description, other than to say they looked like teen-aged boys. Both were wearing blue shirts and blue jeans and neither was wearing a hat, the couple recalled.
An initial search of the murder scene, however, did turn up the butt of a handrolled cigarette, found along the shoulder of the road where Deputies believed the roadster was parked. The tobacco was still moist and the hot-afternoon sun hadn't yet bleached the cigarette paper. Lister was encouraged by the find.
He immediately telephoned all law enforcement offices in the county and as far north as Eugene. Authorities quickly set up roadblocks, on the chance the killers might try a hasty getaway.
At first, Lister and his men focused on revenge as the motive for Baucom's murder. Knowing that all policemen have enemies, they began checking out persons who had been sent to jail or prison by Baucom over the past few years.
They located a local gas station attendant who told them that a former prison inmate who had been arrested by Baucom for burglary was asking about the Trooper and threatening to get even with him. He was traveling with another man in a black car and neither man was wearing a hat. The ex-con told the attendant he and his buddy were heading for Roseburg to look for work in a lumber mill.
Roseburg Police informed Lister they had picked up the two men, lifting the Sheriff's hopes that the killers had been apprehended. But his jubilation was shortlived. The two said they stopped for coffee at a Wolf Creek cafe at about 4 p.m. -- the approximate time of the shooting. The cafe owner later confirmed that two men matching the description of the ex-con and his friend had come into the cafe that same time.
And when Lister asked the men to show him what kind of cigarettes they smoked, both produced regular, commercial-brand cigarettes.
The frustrated Sheriff decided to organize a manhunt. His men rounded up nearly a dozen local residents, all armed with guns, and swore them in as special deputies. The hastily-formed posse combed the rugged Sexton Mountain terrain for any clues or evidence of the murder and the two who committed the violent act.
Some of the Deputies located a black, 1932 Ford roadster at the bottom of a steep embankment, about five miles north of the murder scene. A check of the car turned up another butt of a hand-rolled cigarette inside the crumpled vehicle. The car had no license plates and no registration papers, leading Lister to assume it had been stolen.
A few minutes later, Sheriff's Deputies were notified by the owner of a nearby tourist camp who reported two young men had just arrived and rented a cabin. The owner said the youths told him they were hitch-hiking from Portland to California, and they decided to bed down for the night at the camp.
Lister and his men converged on the camp, surrounded the cabin and burst in with their guns drawn. But the two said they had left Portland that day and had spent the whole day trying to thumb rides south. Deputies called their parents in Portland and learned the two had indeed set out early that morning.
In desperation, Lister asked them if they smoked. To his chagrin, they both produced commercial-brand cigarettes.
Just when all their efforts seemed in vain, State Trooper Raleigh Taylor and a few of his volunteers located an old farmer who said two youths had been by his place less than an hour earlier. One of the young men rolled his own cigarettes, the farmer recalled. He said he fixed them sandwiches and coffee, they paid him, and went on their way down a path leading away from the highway.
State Police and Josephine County Sheriff' s Deputies quickly converged on the farm and began their hurried search. They finally caught up with the two and ordered them to stop. When the pair started to run, Trooper Taylor and his posse fired several shots at the fleeing youths. None of the shots hit the running targets, but it was enough to convince the youths to surrender.
Back at the Sheriff's Office, Lister and Capt. Lee Bown began interrogating the two. They identified themselves as Harry Adolph Bowles, 21, of Van Nuys, Calif., and John Alvin Barrier, 17, of nearby Huntington Park, Calif.
At first they denied any part in the murder of the State Trooper. But Lister called their bluff. He convinced them that the saliva on the hand-rolled cigarette butts found at the murder scene and in the car, when compared with their saliva, would tie them to the murder.
Bowles broke down under pressure, said Barrier had killed Baucom with a .45-caliber automatic pistol they had taken from one of their many burglaries in Southern California. The two then told authorities they began burglarizing homes in Huntington Park and Van Nuys, then moved onto Los Angeles. They said the Ford roadster was stolen from a car dealership in Los Angeles after a salesman took them out for a test spin.
They then drove north to Sacramento, held up a couple of gas stations, then headed north for Portland and Seattle. One of the men said he knew two girls in Seattle they were going to look up.
But their plans changed when Baucom stopped them on Sexton Mountain, the two admitted. He noticed that the car did not have visitor's stickers which were then required of all vehicles crossing the Oregon border. When Bowles, who was driving, could not produce ownership papers for the car, Baucom told them he would have to take them back to Grants Pass. It was then that Barrier pulled out his gun and shot Baucom three times.
When he failed to shoot the motorist who witnessed the shooting, Barrier said he and Bowles got back into the stolen car and headed north. But figuring there would be roadblocks posted ahead, the two abandoned the car five miles up the road, pushed the vehicle down the steep embankment and fled on foot.
The two men were charged with first-degree murder by Josephine County District Attorney Sherman Smith. A Grand Jury indicted both men for first-degree murder. Barrier was found guilty as charged by a jury which deliberated 19 hours. Bowles was found guilty of second-degree murder following 15 hours of jury deliberations.
On July 21, 1933, Circuit Judge Harry D. Norton sentenced both men to life imprisonment.
Seven months after Baucom's tragic death, his fellow Oregon State Police Troopers and members of the Oregon National Guard erected a monument to their fallen comrade on the site of the fatal shooting on Sexton Mountain.
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