Friday, July 31, 2009


In the early sixties I was approached by some business men from Minneapolis to run for sheriff of Ottawa county. The only thing I knew about the sheriff's department was when I was in high school one night some of us kids were racing around the town square at Delphos. It was gravel at that time and you could slide around the corners so that was tempting. They had a night watchman that mainly checked the store doors and tried to keep the peace. He had no gun, just a long flashlight that he carried. That night he went in the pool hall and called the Sheriff so they came to Delphos and told us to report to the jail in Minneapolis. We all drove to the jail then they took us in to the booking room and lectured us on the danger of racing in town and then told us to go home.

I didn't know any thing about running for an elective office. The men that asked me to run carried a petition for voters to sign, that way it wouldn't cost me 10 % of my salary and they also said they would take care of the advertising. There was a bunch of high school kids that said they would back me in this campaign. They had a lot of energy, sometimes too much. They were putting up posters for me but when they would see one of the current Sheriff's posters they would take it down and put up one of mine. The Sheriff caught them tearing down his sign so he put a stop to that. There were ads in the paper for me that I never read until the paper came out. It was a fun time because you wouldn't know what the High school kids would come up with to support the election.

When the election day drew closer I thought 'why did I ever tell those men I would run for sheriff?'. I didn't want to be sheriff. The day of election came. We went to the newspaper office where they had a large board out front with all the candidates on it and we watched as they put the votes from each precinct on it. As the night went on you could see it was close. After all the votes were in there was one vote difference between us, he had one vote more than I had. Some people wanted to recount but I was relived so said no recount. That was my first to run for a office in our county.

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