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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Nodaway County Sheriff Henry J Toel

This picture, c.1884, if from the archives of the Nodaway County Historical Society. It is believed to be a gathering of Civil War Veterans, and that is very likely. It's interesting to note that two of Nodaway County's sheriffs and at least one deputy is shown.

Former Sheriff Henry J. Toel is second row, third from the left, and next to him, in profile,is his successor, Sheriff James Anderson. Far right, the tall gentleman with the cane and the thick mustaches is Sheriff Anderson's brother, Jack.

Sheriff Anderson and Deputy Anderson made a valiant attempt to fend off the mob that came to the rotary jail in Maryville with the intention of taking Charles Stephens, aka Omaha Charley, from his cell so that they might lynch him.

The first and only known gun battle to have occurred at the jail was related to this case. The mob of men were able to get the prisoner, finally, and took him to the Fourth Street Bridge not far from the jail, where they hung Omaha Charley, lifting and dropping his body a half dozen times to ensure he was dead.

You can read more about this case and others in Justice In Nodaway County: 1872-1931 by Don Nothstine and Susan Cronk.


Sheriff Toel was in office when Dr. Perry H. Talbott as assassinated by his sons, Charles and Albert Talbott, near the town of Arkoe, Missouri. Janet Hawley's book, The Murder of Dr. Talbott is an excellent compilation of newspaper articles related to the case. It is available through the Nodaway County Historical Society. The book, Died Innocent, by Don Nothstine, is a fictional story based upon the case. (

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Civil War Divided The County Too

Image may contain: textThe Civil War divided the county, just as it did the nation. No one felt that division more acutely than Sheriff Thomas Jefferson "Mac" McQuiddy who took office in 1860, was arrested by Union Soldiers around July 4, 1861 as a secessionist. His replacement was Thaddeus Koscusko [Koscuisko?] Beal, who would finish the rest of McQuiddy's two-year term, then enlist in the Union Army. Sheriff McQuiddy's son would later be arrested in Illinois, near the Missouri border, along with several other men and some 'pilfered' horses. Spoils of war? 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Some Stats on Nodaway County's Sheriffs

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Forty-six (46) men have served as sheriff of Nodaway County. Of those, one was interim-sheriff and deputy coroner George M. Atchison, Jr.(appointed by Coroner B.F. Byland) after the death of Sheriff Earl M. Anderson in 1958. Mr. Atchison was also Sheriff Anderson's son-in-law, having married Marilyn Anderson a few months earlier, in 1957. He had worked as a jailer part-time under Sheriff Anderson.

Coroner and local physician, Dr. Robert E. Dunshee served as interim-sheriff for twenty-five days in 1969, following the death of Sheriff Fred Newton on June 27, 1969.

John Middleton, deputy and nephew of Sheriff Fred Newton, served as deputy under Sheriff Dunshee until the special election 25 days later, on July 22, 1969, when Middleton was elected. He would serve as sheriff for that partial term, to end Dec 31, 1972. In the election of November 1972, however, he won reelection and would serve a full four-year term. On Aug 4, 1980 and continuing through November 4, 1980, John Middleton served as interim sheriff, after Sheriff Roger Cronk resigned. Danny Estes, who won the Nov election, then posted bond and took over the duties of the office.

Of the forty-six men who served, at least seven entered and completed their first term of office as an unmarried man. At least twenty have served in community, civic, and military organizations during their lives, including Masons, Knights Templar, I.O.O.F, V.F.W, American Legion, 40 & 8, WWI Barracks, Knights of Pythias, G.A.R., Elks, and Lions.

Among the political party affiliation, 16 were Democrats, 21 were Republicans, 1 was of the Greenback Party, 8 are unknown. One sheriff later changed his party affiliation from Republican to Populist when he sought a different office. Another served as a Republican sheriff and later sought another office as a Democrat. At least five served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and two served in the Confederate Army.

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