Past Sheriffs of Clatsop County

April 1845 to November 1846

December 1846 to 1847

1847 to September 1848

1850 to July 1851

July to September 1851

September 1851 to 1852

1852 to 1853

1853 to 1855

1855 to 1856

1856 to 1859

1859 to 1868

1868 to 1870

1870 to 1872

1872 to 1880

1880 to 1884

1884 to 1888

1888 to 1894

1894 to 1898

July 1898 to December 1898

1899 to 1906

1906 to 1911

1911 to 1919

1919 to 1923

1923 to 1933

1933 to 1937

1937 to September 1958

September 1958 to 1959

1959 to 1983

1983 to 1987

1987 through 2004

2005 - present


Thomas Owens

Joseph Caples

Obadiah Cephus Motley

David Egbert Pease

James Wilson

James Welch

Ira Hicks McKean

Thomas Hart

John Bartlett

Hiram Bliss Parker

John Montgomery

William Chance

Joseph Franklin Barrows

William H. Twilight

A.M. Twomby

William G. Ross

H.A. Smith

James W. Hare

Jack W. Williams

Thomas Linville

Merritt R. Pomeroy

Jack V. Burns

Ole Nelson

Harley J. Slusher

Jack V. Burns

Paul Kearney

Clem Ingalls

Carl Bondietti

Almond L. Eastman

John P. Raichl

Thomas Bergin

Pioneer Thomas Owens was elected in April 1845 to serve as the first sheriff of Clatsop County. He had come to Oregon two years earlier. He held the position for about 1-½ years before resigning.


Joseph Caples was appointed to take his place until Obadiah Cephus Motley was elected in 1847. Motley, a Virginian, had moved to the Oregon Territory in 1846. He had fought in the Indian Wars before 1836 and was a member of the First Madison County Volunteers in Iowa. He had also been a navigator, running a maritime service on the Mississippi River.


Motley resigned as sheriff in September 1848. The records aren’t clear as to who succeeded him.


David Egbert Pease, who had come to Oregon from New York a year earlier, became the sheriff in 1850 and resigned in mid-1851.


James Wilson put in two months as sheriff. He was followed by James Welch, a native of Kentucky, from 1851 to 1852. Welch had been a brick and stone mason in Oregon City and worked in the mines in California during the Gold Rush of 1849.


Ira Hicks McKean was elected in 1852 and served through 1853.


Thomas Hart served as sheriff from 1853 to 1855. He was born on the East Coast and was a carpenter and owned a butcher shop. Records show that H.S. Badollett received sheriff’s pay for a period in 1855.