Former Sheriffs of Richland Parish

Former Sheriffs of Richland Parish

01.) 1866-1878, A.J. Liddell, Democrat

02.) 1878-1896, Lem Scott, Democrat, Girard

03.) 1896-1912, William Neal Traylor

04.) 1912-1916, W.T. Oliver

05.) 1916-1924, Mark A. Cooper

06.) 1924-1936, Archie A. Abell, Democrat, Rayville

07.) 1936-1952, J. Foster Jones, Sr., Democrat, Mangham

08.) 1952-1976, Earl E. Hill, Democrat, Mangham

09.) 1976-1980, W.H. “Bubba” Thomason, Democrat, Rayville

10.) 1980-1984, J. Foster Jones, Jr., Democrat, Mangham

11.) 1984-2000, Lorell Graham, Democrat, Mangham

12.) 2000-2012, Charles McDonald, Democrat, Mangham

13.) 2012-2016, Lee Harrell, Republican, Rayville

14.) 2016-Current, Gary Gilley, Independent, Mangham


LIDDELL, A.J., Mr. Liddell, well-known throughout North Louisiana, died at his home in Rayville on the 24th inst. He was elected sheriff of Richland at the formation of the parish and held the office for several terms.  He was a generous, big-hearted man and for a long time was counted the most popular man in his parish. The Monroe Bulletin, Wednesday, February 3, 1886, Page 2, Column 1

SCOTT, Lem. The second Sheriff of Richland Parish. Scott is buried in Scott-Wright Ford’s Cemetery, just northeast of Rayville. He was married to Annie

TRAYLOR, William N. The third Sheriff of Richland Parish. He was born in Louisiana. His father was born in South Carolina. His mother was born in Mississippi.  In 1920 he lists farmer as his occupation. His father died in 1862 in Vicksburg when he was a small child. His wife died at the age of 45, but Traylor lived until 1933, at the age of 81.  He is buried in Little Creek Cemetery, in Archibald.

OLIVER, William T. – later became the postmaster from 1919-1922. Immediately after the election, the District Attorney, Tobin R. Hodge, brought a suit against Oliver, alleging malfeasance. After being appealed, the suit was dismissed.

ABELL, Archie A., sheriff of Richland Parish, is a very capable and experienced officer, and has proved a citizen of reliability and trustworthy performance in all the relations of his life.He was born at Winnsboro in Franklin Parish, October 17, 1877, son of E. C, and S. M. Abell. E. C. Abell, though a boy, rendered some service with the Confederate troops in Louisiana during the Civil war, and afterwards for many years was in business at Winnsboro as a merchant, in the abstract and real estate business, and for a long time clerk of the police jury of Franklin Parish. He died in 1908 when sixty-one years of age and his widow resides at Rayville. There were two sons, Archie A. and Percy T., the latter an accountant for the Phoenix Utility Company at Memphis.Archie A. Abell received his education in the public schools at Winnsboro, and had considerable experience as a salesman in Stores there and at Rayville. Soon after he was twenty-one years of age, he became deputy sheriff under Sheriff Traylor, and subsequently served as deputy under Sheriffs Oliver and Cooper. For a few years, during intervals of this service, he was in the livery business at Rayville, and also connected with local merchandising firms.Mr. Abell was elected sheriff in 1924. He has most efficiently performed the duties of his office. Mr. Abell is unmarried and is a member of the Masonic fraternity. A History of Louisiana, (vol. 2), p. 251, by Henry E. Chambers. Published by The American Historical Society, Inc., Chicago and New York, 1925.

HILL, Earl E., politician, farmer. Born, Richland Parish, La., December 8, 1910; son of Elbert Hill and Etta Logan, both of Mississippi. Educated in local schools. A cotton farmer. Elected to Richland Parish Police Jury for term 1948-1952. Elected sheriff, Richland Parish, 1952; served in that capacity until 1976. Member, Masonic Lodge, National Sheriffs Association; helped to organize Dixie Boys Baseball teams in parish. A Baptist. Married (1) Betzel Eppinett, (2) Lois W. Hill. Children: Frances, Sandra Kay, and Winston. Died October 10, 1983; interred Lynn Cemetery, Archibald, La. G.R.C. Sources: William E. Skaggs and J. B. Lux, eds., Louisiana Business and Professional Directory (1955?); Richland (Parish) Beacon-News, October 17, 1983.

MCDONALD, Charles. McDonald is a lifelong resident of Mangham. He graduated from Mangham High School in 1972 and from Northeast Louisiana University with a degree in law enforcement in 1976. While still in college, he worked for the Mangham Police Department under Chief Lorell Graham. After graduating from college, he joined the Richland Parish Sheriff’s Office for four years under Sheriff W.H. “Bubba” Thomason. Four years, later he left the sheriff’s office briefly to work for himself but returned as Chief Deputy when Lorell Graham was elected sheriff in 1984. When Graham retired 16 years later, McDonald ran for sheriff himself as was elected in 2000.

HARRELL, Lee. Harrell was born in Delhi, LA, and resides in Rayville. He was elected in November of 2011, and was sworn in as Richland Parish’s 13th Sheriff in July of 2012. Harrell was previously a retired Lieutenant with State Police.

GILLEY, Gary.  Gilley is from Mangham, LA and was elected in 2015 and sworn in as Richland Parish’s 14th Sheriff in June of 2016.

3 replies »

  1. I really like this post. It is very interesting and, in a way, can show the history of an area. I have thought about compiling one for a county in TN where I keep running across the same surname when researching court records! thank you.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  2. Thanks. I have found it to be a great “landing spot” for a lot of interesting stuff I come across while doing family research. I suppose I also ultimately like the idea of having 'free-range' on how and what I post. Appreciate the comments!

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