Converse County was named for a stockman and Cheyenne banker, Amasa R. Converse. The county was established March 9, 1888. Currently there are 4265 square miles, 22 townships and 5 zip codes under the Sheriff’s jurisdiction. Douglas was established as the county seat on May 18, 1888 were the Converse County Sheriff’s keeps it’s offices, as well as a satellite office in Glenrock.
Malcolm Campbell was sworn in as Territorial Sheriff until the election in November of 1888. Newly elected Sheriff John T. Williams narrowly beat out Campbell by 39 votes becoming Converse’s first sheriff. Since that time 19 men have served as the county’s top lawman.
Malcom Campbell and John Torrence Williams. Courtesy of Ann Gorzalka
|Josiah “Joe” Hazen||1897-1899|
|Thomas S. Cook||1899-1900|
|John W. McDermott||1901-1906|
|John W. Owens||1959-1962|
|Charles “Chuck” Widick||1979-1982|
|John F. Bey||1983-2006|
|Clinton B. Becker||2007-Present|
Sheriff Joe Hazen was killed while performing his duties attempting to apprehend a group of train robbers including the infamous Kid Curry. Sunday June 4, 1899 Sheriff Hazen and Natrona County Sheriff Oscar Hiestand led a posse after the outlaw group accompanied by Deputy Samuel Jenkins and and Sheriff Jesse Tyler of Grand County, Utah along with Patrolmen Robert Saylor and William Dinwiddie of the Knoxville, Tennesee Police Dept. That fateful day Patrolmen Saylor and Dinwiddie were gunned down and Sheriff Hazen took a bullet to the stomach, dying the next day as a result of the wound.
Kid Curry was subsequently tried and convicted for his involvement in the murders, yet escaped from the local jail before being transported to prison.