Morris County Sheriff’s Office

About Us: Sheriff’s Office History

Although its roots can be traced all the way back to the days of William the Conqueror, the Office of the Sheriff was established in the United States in the 1630s, courtesy of English colonists who settled in Virginia. A century later, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office came into existence and for well over 200 years now, has steadfastly remained committed to serving the residents of Morris County.

The sheriff is a constitutional office and is the only elected law enforcement position in New Jersey. The following individuals have held this office in Morris County:

  • 1739-40 Thomas Clark
  • 1740-42 John Kinney
  • 1742-45 Elyah Gillet
  • 1746-48 Caleb Fairchild
  • 1749-51 John Kinney
  • 1752 Samuel Tuthill
  • 1753-55 John Ford
  • 1756-58 Samuel Tuthill
  • 1759-61 Daniel Cooper
  • 1762-64 Samuel Tuthill
  • 1765-67 Jacob Ford
  • 1768-70 Daniel Cooper
  • 1772-73 Jonathan Stiles
  • 1774-76 Thomas Kinney
  • 1776 Thomas Millager
  • 1777-79 Alexander Carmichael
  • 1780 Richard Johnson
  • 1781-83 Jacob Arnold
  • 1790-92 Pendden Alling
  • 1793-94 John Cobb
  • 1795-96 Hiram Smith
  • 1797-99 William Campfield
  • 1800-01 Frank Canfield
  • 1802-04 Lewis Condict
  • 1805-07 Edward Condict
  • 1808-10 David Carmichael
  • 1811-13 David Mills
  • 1814-16 Samuel Halliday
  • 1817-19 David Mills
  • 1820-22 Jacob Wilson
  • 1823-24 Elijah Ward
  • 1825-26 Jacob Wilson
  • 1827 Joseph M. Lindsley
  • 1828-30 Elijah Ward
  • 1831-33 George H. Ludlow
  • 1834-36 Colin Robertson
  • 1837-39 Benjamin McCoury
  • 1840-42 Jeremiah M. DeCamp
  • 1843-45 Thomas L. King
  • 1846-48 Henry D. Farrand
  • 1849-51 Abraham Tappan
  • 1852-54 William W. Fairchild
  • 1855-57 William H. Anderson
  • 1858-60 Samuel Nanness
  • 1861-63 Garret DeMott
  • 1864-66 Joseph M. Coe
  • 1867-69 James W. Briant
  • 1870-72 James Van Deveer
  • 1873-74 Jesse Hoffman
  • 1875-77 Pierson A. Freeman
  • 1878-80 William Henry McDavit
  • 1881-83 William H. Howell
  • 1884-86 Charles A. Gillen
  • 1887-89 Ira W. Cory
  • 1890-92 Oscar Lindsley
  • 1893-95 Edmund A. Backer
  • 1896-98 Edgar L. Durling
  • 1899-1901 Charles A. Baker
  • 1902-04 Abraham Ryerson
  • 1905-07 George Shaw
  • 1908-10 Calhoun Orr
  • 1911-13 Witt Gillen
  • 1914-16 W. H. Thompson
  • 1917-19 Edwin W. Orr
  • 1920-22 E. Byram
  • 1923-25 Charles E. Estler
  • 1926-28 William N. Beach
  • 1929-31 Fred S. Myers
  • 1932-34 William N. Beach
  • 1935-37 Fred S. Myers
  • 1938-40 Henry Sperling
  • 1941-43 Harry Gobel
  • 1944-46 Henry Sperling
  • 1947-74 Arnold Ladd
  • 1975-92 John M. Fox
  • 1993-2016 Edward V. Rochford

Some Notable Sheriffs of the Past

Sheriff Thomas Clark (1739-1740)
In 1739, the King of England appointed John Kinney to be the first sheriff of Morris County. For unknown reasons, Kinney declined the appointment. Thomas Clark was then appointed and served as the first sheriff of Morris County.

Sheriff John Kinney (1740-1742 and 1749-1751)
In 1740 and again in 1749 John Kinney was appointed and accepted the position of sheriff of Morris County.

Sheriff Joseph Lindsley (1827)
Sheriff Lindsley was also one of the architects for the courthouse off the Green and designed the sheriff’s quarters inside the courthouse.

Sheriff Pierson A. Freeman (1875-1877)
Sheriff Freeman was the first sheriff to be elected to a three year term.

Sheriff Arnold Ladd (1947-1974)
Sheriff Ladd was sheriff for twenty-seven years, the longest term any sheriff has had in Morris County. He was the first to start a program for rehabilitating inmates by counseling.

Sheriff John M. Fox (1975-1992)
Sheriff Fox was instrumental in getting many programs underway including the Reality and Reality Outreach programs, CrimeStoppers, Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program, Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team, K-9, and the Bomb Squad unit.

Sheriff Edward V. Rochford (1993-2016)
Sheriff Rochford held the position of sheriff for 24 years following a 27-year career as an officer, retiring as a deputy chief of his hometown police department, Morris Township. During his leadership as sheriff, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office became the first sheriff’s office in the state of New Jersey to attain national accreditation. Further, he went on to lead the agency to earning the prestigious Triple Crown Award—being simultaneously accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, the American Correctional Association’s Commission on Accreditation for Corrections and the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare. He also served two years as the president and the executive director of the Sheriff’s Association of New Jersey. During those two years, he brought the Project Lifesaver program to all 21 sheriff’s offices in the state and assisted every agency in the state to attain the state accreditation.

Foreclosure Listings
Online up-to-date
database of sheriff’s sales.
Project Lifesaver
Giving caregivers and
families peace of mind.
CrimeStoppers, Inc.
Crime doesn’t pay but
Crimestoppers does!
Video Library
Useful videos produced
by the Sheriff’s Office.
Contact Us
Telephone directory and
form to get in touch.