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Southern Indiana sheriff's office marking 200th anniversary

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Monday, March 11, 2013 - 12:34 pm

PRINCETON — A southern Indiana sheriff's department is preparing to mark the 200th anniversary of the office's creation in what was then a wilderness dotted with pioneer settlements.

Gibson County's first sheriff was appointed on March 31, 1813, some three years before Indiana won statehood. Current Sheriff George Ballard tells the Princeton Daily Clarion he's recently looked into the origins of the elected post he's held for the past 20 years.

Ballard says it's good "to know where we've been and where we are going." He says the sheriff and his deputies were the county's only 19th century law enforcement until towns started their own police forces.

He says Gibson County's only legal hanging was the November 1872 execution of a convicted murderer who had escaped from the county jail.