Office History

  • George A. Landis was picked to serve as the first Sheriff of Lincoln County when the county was established by State Legislature in February 1893 from Benton and Polk Counties. George A. Landis remained as Sheriff until 1898.
  • In 1898 James H. Ross took over and ended up spending more than a dozen years as Sheriff of Lincoln County. A native of Lee County in Iowa, Ross was a Deputy under Sheriff Landis before he was elected Sheriff.
  • In 1911, Bert Geer followed Ross, spending eight years as Sheriff after winning four consecutive two-year terms to the office.
  • In 1919, William E "Billy" Simpson succeeded Geer and was Sheriff until December 1920, when he died in office. His wife, Maybel Simpson, was appointed to take his place and became the first woman to ever serve as Sheriff in Oregon.
  • Ted McElwain spent two, four-year terms as Sheriff of Lincoln County.
  • In 1939, George Robinson began serving the first of what should have been two, four-year terms, but he died in office in 1945 and was replaced by Timothy P. Welp.
  • Timothy P. Welp was nearing his eighth year as Sheriff when he resigned.
  • W.H. Kuhlenbeck replaced Timothy Welp and served as Sheriff until 1955.
  • In 1955, Jack Waterman, stepson of Sheriff George Robinson, spent three consecutive four-year terms as Sheriff of Lincoln County.
  • In 1967, Everett Melvin Hockema, a Lincoln County native, succeeded Waterman and also ended up spending three, four-year terms as County Sheriff.
  • Norman L. Counts was elected to succeed Hockema in 1978 and served as Sheriff from 1979 until his resignation in September 1982.
  • Larry D. Spencer was elected Sheriff and served from 1982 until 1994. Larry Spencer served as the Police Chief for Newport, Oregon prior to being elected Sheriff.
  • In 1994, John O'Brien was appointed Sheriff of Lincoln County and was later elected. O'Brien began as a deputy in Lincoln County in 1973 and worked his way up the ranks to Sheriff. O'Brien retired as Sheriff in 2003.
  • In 2003, Dennis L. Dotson was appointed Sheriff of Lincoln County. Dennis L. Dotson was elected Sheriff in November 2004, re-elected in 2008 and 2012. Sheriff Dotson retired in 2016.
  • In 2016, Curtis L. Landers was appointed Sheriff of Lincoln County. Sheriff Landers began his career with the Sheriff's Office in 1987 and worked his way up the ranks to Sheriff.

Past Staff

View photos of our past staff members.