University of Idaho

Manuscript Group 383

Latah County, Idaho. Sheriff

Records, 1891-1984
15 cubic feet

The records of the Latah County Sheriff were transferred to the University of Idaho Library by Sheriff Kenneth Buxton between July 1986 and January 1991. They were processed by Judith Nielsen in June 1997.


The county sheriff is the principal county law enforcement official in the county and is elected every four years. Sheriffs and their deputies patrol county highways and roads, investigate crimes, pursue fleeing criminals, and make arrests. Idaho law gives county sheriffs the authority to provide police services throughout the entire county, but sheriffs leave law enforcement in the larger cities almost entirely to city police forces. In Latah County the sheriff has a contract with the U.S. Forest Service to provide police protection for Forest Service lands for a fee. The sheriff's office and other local police officers are charged with the primary duty of enforcing state liquor laws. (Sydney Duncombe. State and Local Government in Idaho and the Nation, Moscow, University Press of Idaho, 1984. p. 136)


The records of the Latah County Sheriff span the years 1891 to 1984, with the bulk of the material covering the years 1895 to 1977.

Included in the records are Sheriff's ledgers, journal and cashbooks, fee books, a sale and execution docket, records of prisoners, and a U.S. commissioner's record of proceedings in criminal cases.

Sheriff's ledgers v.6-8, November 15, 1942-August 6, 1946, are lacking.


The majority of records in this group are bound volumes. They are labeled on the spine, and are in sequential order by type.

The sheriff's ledgers, 1895-1977, contain records of court documents delivered by the sheriff's office. Each transaction lists the case name, attorneys, nature of action, date and nature of service, and amount charged to the plaintiff or defendant.

The journal and cashbook, 1895-1917, are both bound in the same volume.

The sheriff's fee books, 1891-1925, lists plaintiff, defendant, for what paid, and amount.

The sheriff's sale and execution docket, 1933-1976, lists property (e.g., buildings, land, automobiles, farm equipment, etc.), sold at sheriff's sales. Other information includes adversaries, lawyers involved, costs including the sheriff's costs.

There are two types of prisoner records, the first, 1914-1976, includes the name of the prisoner, the crime, when committed and released, and by whom. The second is a record of prisoner fees charged to agencies and includes the name of the prisoner, amount of time served and the amount due, usually from another city.

The United States Commissioners Record of Proceedings in Criminal Cases, 1937-1941 is a bound volume of printed two page forms. Only nine cases are recorded in the volume.

The final items in this manuscript group are the sheriff's accounts/budgets for 1972-1984. Records of expenditures are listed by account name.

Sick leave and compensatory time records for employees for the years 1975 through 1977 were discarded. Guidelines from the Oregon state archives retention schedule suggests that communications records be retained for a maximum of one year, therefore radio and telephone logs for 1975 through 1980 were also discarded. This reduced the records by 2 cubic feet.



Box Folder Description Items

1-19	Sheriff's ledgers, 1895-1932; 1946-1977	19
20-22	Sheriff's Journal and Cash Book, 1895-1917	3
23-25	Sheriff's Fee Book, 1891-1925	3
26	Sheriff's Sale and Execution Docket 2, 1933-1976	1
27-30	Record of Prisoners, 1914-1976	4
31-31	Record of Prisoner Fees charged to Agencies, 1928-1982	2
33	United States Commissioners Record of Proceedings in Criminal Cases, May 1937-October 1941	1
34	Sheriff's accounts/budgets, 1972-1984	13

July 1997/ mg383.htm

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