Skip to Main Content

History of Sheriff’s Office

Andrew County was organized and established on January 29, 1841 from the Platte Purchase and was named after Andrew Jackson Davis, a prominent citizen of St. Louis and Savannah. Savannah was chosen to be the county seat.

Andrew County Courthouse and jail - 1845-1898

In July of 1841, the court ordered the first Andrew County Courthouse to be constructed and to house the courtroom, sheriff's office, petit and grand jury rooms. At a cost of $600 dollars, the building was finished and it was located on the corner of Sixth and Market Street. Appointed Sheriff Ezekiel W. Smith was the first Sheriff to occupy the first Sheriff's Office in this courthouse. In August 1841, the court holding session offered the sum of $5 to be awarded to any person or persons who could present to the court, the best and cheapest plan for a jail to be composed of stone, wood and iron, and the same to be constructed on the public square. In May of 1842, the first jail was completed and stood on the east end of the square. This jail house answered the purpose for which it was constructed until it became necessary to have a more secure place for violators of the law.

In May 1844, it was determined that the first courthouse building was a primitive structure and poorly adapted to public use and was abandoned for public use. The County Court ordered a new courthouse be constructed of brick and be built on the public square in Savannah. The new courthouse was to be forty feet by fifty feet, two stories high, and finished in a workmanlike manner. The new courthouse was accepted by the court on December 17, 1845 at a cost of $6,280 dollars. The old courthouse building was abandoned and later used as a church. Upon completion of the new courthouse, the courtroom and the Sheriff's Office was located on the first floor and the second story was occupied by the petit and grand jury rooms. This courthouse was considered to be one of the finest and best temples of justice in Northwest Missouri.

As the years past, the first jail building proved to be unequal to the expectations of the public and was deemed to be insufficient as a place of incarceration. For several years, the criminals of Andrew County were confined in the Buchanan County Jail until another jail could be constructed.

In August 1866, the County Court ordered a new jail and jailer's residence be constructed on the west side of the Courthouse, now located on the square. This new jail was to be thirty-four feet square and the jailer's residence should be thirty-four feet by thirty-six feet in size, thus making the entire building area of thirty-four by seventy feet. The jail was to be constructed of stone, the walls two feet thick, and all other walls of brick. The foundation to be five feet underground, to contain eight cells, and the entire building to be two stories high. During the building construction, many changes were made to accommodate the changing county government. After many changes, the new jail building was accepted by the Court on November 19, 1867, at a cost of $22,400 dollars. Not only did this building contain the jail and jailer's residence, it now contained the offices of Circuit and County Clerks, Collector, Treasurer, Prosecuting Attorney, and the Probate Judge.

Fifty years of use took its toll on the courthouse building, and in 1899 it was condemned and razed. A new courthouse was built in the exact location where its stands today. The cost of $48,000 dollars was raised from a 27-cent direct tax approved in a special election in August of 1898. The new courthouse continues to serve the public today and is truly an icon of county government. After the opening of this new courthouse, all county government offices that were in the jail building moved into the new courthouse and the Sheriff's Office moved into the jail building.

Six years later in 1906, Andrew County Officials opened a new jail at the corner of Fourth and Market Street, just south of the square. Sheriff Robert Gamble moved his office and jail into this new building. The old jail on the square was later torn down. This new jail was state of the art for that period of time. This jail building continued to operate as the county jail and the Sheriff's residence until the early 1970's. Then, Sheriff Reid Miller was the last Sheriff to live at the jail. A few years later, the Sheriff's residence area in the building was remodeled and became offices and holding cells for female inmates. This building operated as the county jail for 106 years. The building still stands today.

Andrew County Jail

In October 2012, Andrew County opened its fourth new Sheriff's Office and Jail located at 400 East Main Street in Savannah. A new high-tech, state of the art, 18,000 square feet facility that houses 60 inmates. Sheriff Bryan Atkins moved the entire Sheriff's Office and Jail into their new facility, which contains the County Jail, 911 Emergency Center, and the Sheriff's Office.

Past Andrew County Sheriff's

Ezekiel W. Smith
A.G. Clark
Elias Hughes
Allen Crook
Charles Niel
W.K. Roberts
Edward Russell
Amos F. Owen
David C. Stotts
Robert Conover
Julius A. Sanders
Pembroke Mercer
L. D. Caster
W. S. Starr
John Lincoln
John W. Crank
A.C. Trapp
James M. Berry
Benjamin F. Kelley
Henry C. Cottrill
Lyman Holcomb
Robert H. Gamble
William R. Hurst
Frank M. Carter
Thomas G. Walker
Everett P. Evenns
F. M. Carter
Harold J. Holt
Jess Maxwell
Henry Bruns
Fred Keller
George R. Gibbins
Carl E. Field
Dean Boyles
Dean Boyles
Paul Howard
Reid Miller
Reid Miller
N. Gary Howard 1st photo in office
N. Gary Howard
Loren J. Kier
Loren J. Kier
N. Gary Howard 2nd photo in office
N. Gary Howard
Bryan L. Atkins
Bryan L. Atkins
Grant Gillett
Grant Gillett