Thursday, May 23, 2013

Alton T. Young, Erie County Sheriff

Alton T. Young, known as “Al,” served as Erie County Sheriff for four terms, from 1948 to 1964. During Sheriff Young’s tenure, he was connected with several interesting ways to enforce the law. He formed the Erie County Sheriff’s Posse in 1962. Volunteers on horseback assisted in conducing manhunts and missing people searches. He also employed a canine “snooper,” which had been a gift from the Lorain County Sheriff. During the years that Sheriff Young was in office, his family lived in the Erie County Jail.

Featured in the book Elected to Serve  by Patty Pascoe, are several recollections of the children of Sheriff Young. His daughter recalled that the cooks who prepared meals for the prisoners also prepared meals for the Young family. When the stairs of the Sandusky Library were iced over, the Sheriff’s children would slide down the stairs on a sled. The Young children got to know the employees and the residents of the Erie County jail. They never felt they were in danger, even though they resided at the same place as those who had been incarcerated. 

In 1964, Al Young ran for a fifth term as Erie County Sheriff, but was defeated by Albert H. Hess. Mr. Young moved to Arizona, where he died at the age of 80. To read more about elected officials in Erie County, Ohio from 1838 to 2003, see Elected to Serve at the Sandusky Library.

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