History Timeline

 
 


Ross-Litman

Sheriff Ross Litman

2003-Present


Sheriff Ross Litman has been a life long resident of St Louis County. His father as a judge in the Sixth Judicial District.

 

Sheriff Litman graduated from Duluth East High School in 1978.  He attended the University of Minnesota in Duluth and graduated with a B.A. in Criminology and Political Science in 1983.

Ross was hired as a Deputy Sheriff in 1992 and in 2000 was promoted to the rank of Investigator.

In the fall of 2002 Investigator Ross Litman decided to run for Sheriff. He did this after learning that Sheriff Rick Wahlberg would not be seeking re-election. 

Litman was elected Sheriff of St. Louis County in 2002, and was sworn in on January 6, 2003 by Judge Gerald Martin.

 

 

Sheriff-Rick-Wahlberg

Sheriff Rick Wahlberg

1999-2003

Sheriff Rick Wahlberg served as Sheriff from 1999-2003. He began his career with the St Louis County Sheriff's Office in 1972 and worked his way through the ranks as a Deputy Sheriff, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Undersheriff.

Rick Wahlberg attended the FBI National Academy 173rd Session (1993), which included 257 law enforcement professionals from the United States, as well as military organizations, Federal Agencies and 20 foreign Police Officers. Officers attending the academy are offered, on a cost-free basis, a comprehensive and balanced 11-week program of advanced professional instruction. Throughout this training, particular emphasis is placed on leadership development.

 

 

Sheriff-Gary-Waller

Sheriff Gary Waller

1987-1999

Gary Waller served as St Louis County Sheriff from 1986-1999.

Gary was a Duluth Police officer for 21 years and was one of the lead investigators on the scene of the famous Congdon double-murder at Glensheen Mansion and is a co-author of WILL TO MURDER, a book about the Congdon murders.

In 1995, Sheriff Gary L. Waller, St Louis County, Minnesota, received the FBI Director's Community Leadership Award. Sheriff Waller was very instrumental in implementing D.A.R.E. program in St Louis County schools. This award is reserved for those individuals or organizations that have made an outstanding contribution within the community towards crime prevention and community awareness.

 

 

Sheriff-Charles-Bergquist

Sheriff Charles Bergquist

1986
On September 30, 1986, the St Louis County Board of Commissioners appointed Supervising St Louis County Deputy Sheriff Charles Berquist to complete the term of Sheriff Ernie Grams, who died in a car accident. Berquist served until January 5, 1987, when Gary Waller was elected Sheriff.

 

 

Sheriff-Ernie-Grams

Sheriff Ernie Grams

1983-1986
Sheriff Ernie Grams served from 1983-1986.

He began his career in law enforcement when he was appointed to the Duluth Police Department in December 1948 as a patrolman. He resigned from the police department. In December 1982 to assume the position of Sheriff of St Louis County.

Sheriff Ernie Grams died on Monday, September 22, 1986 when his car crashed into a tree on East Superior Street in Duluth. Grams had been sheriff since 1982 when he tallied 62 percent of the county vote, unseating four-term incumbent Greg Sertich.
 

 

SheriffGregSertich

Sheriff Greg Sertich

1967-1983
Sheriff Greg Sertich served from 1967 to 1983.

Duluth-Cotton Patrol Established in 1968
The St Louis County Sheriff's Department inaugurated around-the-clock patrol service between Duluth and Cotton. Sheriff Greg Sertich, Duluth, said shifts were juggled to free a crew to work daily from midnight to 8am. Prior to this there were no crews on patrol between Duluth and Cotton from 3-7am. Calls were handled by deputies off duty but on call at their homes.

 

 

SheriffSamOwens

Sheriff Samuel Owens

1931-1967
Sheriff Samuel Owens was the county's fourth sheriff in 1931 when he was appointed on 12/19/1931. Sheriff Owens took the oath of office before Walter H. Borgen, county auditor. Owens was the youngest sheriff to hold the office since 1904, when Walter Butchart, aged 21, was appointed to succeed his father, who died. Samuel Owens was a former chief deputy sheriff under Magie.

Sheriff Owens appointed Edward Hanson as chief deputy of the Duluth Office. Hanson served as a deputy for former Sheriff Magie for the last few months of Magie's stay in office. Jeff Cusson was chief deputy in Virginia.

 

 

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Sheriff Charles F. McComb

1931
Dr. Charles F. McComb was the county coroner and was named sheriff to administer the affairs of the sheriff's office pursuant to state law governing vacancies in that office when Emil Erickson resigned. Dr. McComb was appointed as sheriff on 12/11/31.

 

 

1931-Emil-M-Erickson

Sheriff Emil M. Erickson

1931

Sheriff-Elect Emil M. Erickson left office 12/9/31 after a court decision that he was not an American citizen at time of election.

In November 1930, Sheriff Frank L. Magie contested Emil M. Erickson's right to the office of sheriff on the ground he was not a citizen and contends that Erickson was born in 1886 and his father was naturalized in 1908, when Erickson was more than 21 years old.

In December 1931, Judge Albert H. Enerson decided after hearing evidence that Emil M. Erickson was not a citizen at the time of his election as sheriff and never has been a citizen. With Erickson declared an alien, Frank L. Magie had a legal right to attempt his reinstatement as sheriff.

 

 

SheriffFrankMagie

Sheriff Frank L. Magie

1918-1931
Frank L. Magie served as sheriff from 1918 to 1931.

In November 1930, Sheriff Frank L. Magie contested Emil M. Erickson's right to the office of sheriff on the ground he was not a citizen and contended that Erickson was born in 1886 and his father was naturalized in 1908, when Erickson was more than 21 years old.

 

Sheriff John R. Meining

1914-1918
Meining served as sheriff of St Louis County from 1911 to 1918, and was active in civic affairs. He ran for re-election in 1918 but lost the primary election which was on June 17, 1918.

 

Sheriff Edward McKinnon

1912-1914

 

Sheriff John R. Meining

1911-1912
Meining served as sheriff of St Louis County from 1911 to 1918, and was active in civic affairs. He ran for re-election in 1918 but lost the primary election which was on June 17, 1918.

 

 

1910 Sherif W. J. Bates

Sheriff William Jones Bates

 

1905-1911
Sheriff William Jones Bates first took office in 1905 and served until 1911.

He was born at Waitsfield, Vermont on April 18, 1859 and educated in the public schools of Chippewa County, WI. He began an active career in the lumber business at Chippewa Falls, MN. He re-located to Duluth in 1884 and continued in the lumber business, looking up timber lands in Northern Minnesota. He became a Deputy Sheriff of St Louis County in 1889 and continued until 1905 when he was elected Sheriff and assumed office on January 1, 1905.

 

 

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Sheriff Walter B. Butchart

 

1904-1905
Walter B. Butchart, aged 21, was appointed to fill out the unexpired term of his father, William B. Butchart, also known as "Old W. W.", when the later died in his sleep August 8, 1904. The following day, Walter pinned on the gold star and became the youngest sheriff on record in St Louis County and one of the youngest in the nation.

 

Sheriff W.W. Butchart

 

1903-1904
Sheriff William W. Butchart served two terms in office. The first from 1895-1897 and the second from 1903-1904.

 

Sheriff William C. Sargent

 

1897-1903
William C. Sargent, one of the earliest residents of Duluth and a public office holder for many years, was born in Boston, MA in 1859. He came to Duluth at the age of 10, arriving at the Head of the Lakes on the steamer Meteor, Captain Thor Nelson.

William C. Sargent turned to politics and gained recognition in his nomination for sheriff in 1896. He was elected by a handsome majority, and was re-elected in 1898 and 1900.

 

Sheriff W.W. Butchart

 

1895-1897

 

Sheriff Paul Sharvey

 

 

1889-1895
Sheriff Paul Sharvey was nominated to run for Sheriff by the Republican Party in 1888. He retired from his elevator position in January of 1889 and assumed the duties of Sheriff the same month. He retired from the Sheriff's office in January 1896 after serving for 6 years.
 

Sheriff Henry Truelsen

 

1887-1889
Casper Henry Truelsen was born in Schleswig, Germany on October 20, 1844 and came to the United States in 1866. Three years later he settled In Duluth; engaged in the grocery and general merchandise business until 1855; was Sheriff of St Louis County from 1887-88 and mayor of Duluth in 1896. 

 

Sheriff Samuel McQuade

 

1876-1887
In 1877 Mr. McQuade was elected Sheriff of St Louis County and was re-elected five times, serving ten years in all in that incumbency, where his services proved most satisfactory to all concerned. In 1891-1892 he was chief of police in Duluth and in that position also displayed executive ability and tact of high order.
 

Sheriff Paul Sharvey

 

1874-1876

 

Sheriff George Berkelmann

 

 

1873-1877

 

 

Sheriff E.H. Brown

 

 

 

1870-1872

 

Sheriff Michael Houle

 

1867-1869
 

Sheriff Jerome Merritt

 

1864-1866
 

Sheriff Michael Houle

 

1863-1864
 

Sheriff E.H. Johnson

 

1862-1863
 

Sheriff Michael Houle

 

1861-1862
 

Sheriff A.J. Ellis

 

1856-1860
 

Sheriff Zach J. Brown

 

1855