Early Hernando County – Government Officials


Government Officials

Sources: Hernando County: Our Story by Alfred A. McKethan; Old Brooksville in Photos and Stories (Oct. 2008), R. G. Martinez, editor and publisher.

Black Hernando County Officials During Reconstruction

The list of black officials of Hernando County during reconstruction which appears in Florida’s Black Public Officials, 1867-1924 by Canter Brown is:

Voter Registrar: Arthur W. St. Clair (1867-1868)

County Commissioner: Henry Harper (1871-1875?), Sampson Jourdan (1873-1875), Joseph Mills (1876-1877), Arthur W. St. Clair (1875-1877)

Justice of the Peace: George W. Geiger (1876-1877)

Territorial Legislature — Representatives

1843 James Stanley
1844 James Gibbons

State Legislature — Representatives

1845 Charles Rupell
1846 Charles Russell
1847 Isaac Garrason
1848 Isaac Garrason
1849 John S. Taylor
1850 R. D. Bradley, Dr. L. Rogers
1851 R. D. Bradley
1852 C. T. Jenkins
1853 C. T. Jenkins
1854 John Parsons
1857 James R. Nicks
1859 James R. Nicks
1860 M. C. Peterson, N. W. Holland
1862 C. T. Jenkins
1864 Samuel E. Hope
1865 Walter T. Saxon
1868 Samuel J. Pearce
1869 Marvel M. Edwards
1871 E. A. Allen
1873 Samuel E. Hope
1875 W. D. Eubank
1879 S. E. Hope, W. K. Baker
1881 Robert E. Bell, Sheldon Stringer
1883 C. C. Keathley, F. M. Townsend
1885 N. A. Carter, B. F. Kirk
1887 J. F. Latham, F. E. Saxon
1889 B. N. Mathes, J. R. Snow
1891 A. S. Mann
1893 William Sherman Jennings
1897 W. A. Fulton
1899 John C. Davant
1901 W. A. Fulton
1903 C. S. Wilson
1905 C. S. Wilson
1907 C. S. Wilson
1909 F. L. Stringer
1911 F. L. Stringer
1913 L. C. O’Neil
1915 M. L. Dawson
1919 M. L. Dawson
1921 Hugh Hale
1923 Hugh Hale
1925 James Mountain
1927 W. A. O’Neil
1929 Isom Beasley
1931 Isom Beasley
1933 A. B. Endsley
1935 M. A. Coogler
1937 M. A. Coogler
1939 Dewey M. Johnson
1941 G. Kent Williams (resigned)

W. P. Tucker (elected)

1945 Dewey M. Johnson
1947 G. Kent Williams
1949 S. Travis Phillips
1951 S. Travis Phillips
1953 Jacob V. Varn
1955 Jacob V. Varn
1957 John Law Ayers
1959 John Law Ayers
1961 John Law Ayers
1963 John Law Ayers
1965 John Law Ayers
1967 John R. Culbreath
1978 Charles R. Smith

State Legislature — Senators

1845 Gabriel Priest
1846 Capt. R. D. Bradley
1848 Capt. R. D. Bradley
1848 Micjah C. Brown
1853 John Eubanks
1859 William B. Ross
1875 Dr. H. T. Lykes
1883 A. S. Mann
1889 B. F. Kiri
1903 B. F. Kirk
1913 Fred L. Stringer
1925 Hugh Hale
1928 Hugh Hale
1933 Hugh Hale
1935 William Pannill
1941 Dewey M. Johnston
1949 Joseph E. Johnston Jr.
1953 James E. Connor

County Commissioners

1845 Charles Russell, John Wiggins, John S. Taylor, Ed J. Knight
1847 John S. Taylor, John Wiggins, John Selph, George Dikes
1848 James L. Terry, Cyprian T. Jenkins
1849 Issac Baker, William McDaniel, John Townsend, Issac Wells
1852 Cyprian Jenkins, John Townsend, William Craig, John Crickton
1853 Levi Whitehurst, John Sylvester, John A. Williams, C. B. O’Neill
1855 Anderson Mayo, John Townsend, Frederick Lykes, Jacob Wells
1857 Frederick Lykes, Anderson Mayo, John Townsend, Jacob Wells
1859 Anderson Mayo, Thomas C. Ellis, Aaron Frierson, Arthur Baker
1863 John Townsend, David L. Hedick, Jacob Wells, Simon Edwards
1864 Anderson Mayo, Thomas Ellis, John Sutton, Allen Mondon
1866 John Sutton, Allen Mondon, A. S. Enochs, J. W. Allen
1869 William W. Wall, others unknown
1872 Josiah B. Law, Joshua Mizell, Sampson Jordan or Jourdan
1874 A. E. Burnside, Cornelious Q. Nevitt, Henry Harper
1876 Josiah Law, Joshua Mizell, J. M. Rhodes, A. W. Levi, Joseph Mills
1877 Anderson Mayo, W. J. Baker, J. B. Law, E. R. King, J. W. O’Berry
1879 Anderson Mayo, J. B. Law, W. A. Cobb, Newton A. Carter, A. Greenleaf
1881 Anderson Mayo, J. B. Law, W. J. Baker, Newton A. Carter, A. S. Mann
1883 Marshall Morton, William Priest, A. C. Sumner, E. C. Peterson, Samuel B. Colding
1885 Virgil Alberson, J. R. Snow, C. O. Mann, Elisha A. Hill, A. C. Sumner
1887 J. C. Clements, Elisha A. Hill, W. J. Baker, H. D. Edwards, A. C. Sumner
1888 William R. Nicks, Z. L. McKay, Henry Van Petten, J. A. Bishop, Warren Springstead
1889 C. C. Keathley, H. W. Lane, W. E. Hope, J. M. Hedick, A. C. Croom
1891 Keathley, Hope, R. W. McIntosh, J. Y. Allen, I. G. Harville, W. Goodman
1893 Hope, David Ayers Jr., J. W. Corman, A. P. McKeown, Harville
1895 C. S. Wilson, L. C. O’Neil, Hedick, M. P. McCall, D. G. Henness
1897 Wilson, A. M. White, Hedick, S. M. Bryan, Henness
1899 Wilson, F. L. Smith, Hedick, R. E. Quinn, Henness
1901 Wilson, Smith, T. D. Graham, W. R. Ayers, H. T. Valentine
1903 J. A. Jennings, Ayers, Graham, W. P. Mills, Harville
1905 Jennings, J. E. Allen, Graham, Mills, Harville
1909 Jennings, Allen, D. L. Freeman, Mills, Harville
1911 Jennings, Ayers, J. W. Gay, W. P. Tucker, Harville
1915 H. D. Evans, Allen, R. B. Grubbs, J. H. Hancock, Harville
1917 S. A. Wilson, J. K. Kilpatrick, C. L. Lowman, Elijah Nathanial Rewis, Harville
1919 Hugh Hale, E. N. Morrow, Lowman, Rewis, Harville
1921 R. T. Hancock, Kilpatrick, J. W. Kimbrough, R. H. Hennes, W. P. Tucker
1923 L. B. Varn, Kilpatrick, Harville, W. E. Barnette, Tucker
1925 Tucker, R. S. Smith, A. B. Endsley, Harville, Varn
1927 Tucker, G. H. Mills, Endsley, Varn, W. O. Lemasters
1929 Endsley, H. G. Thompson, R. S. Smith, J. T. Daniel, A. F. Burns
1931 Burns, Endsley, Daniel, A. K. Skinner, S. S. Moody
1933 J. S. Simpson, J. L. Ayers, R. M. Harville, Skinner, A. K. Bean
1935 Ayers, J. P. Mills, Lowman, Harville, H. S. Simmons
1937 Ayers, Mills, Lowman, W. M. Russell, Harville
1941 Ayers, Mills, Lowman, W. C. Hope, Harville
1945 Ayers, Mills, Ed C. Bloom, R. H. Keeling, Harville
1951 Ayers, Mills, Raymond Underwood, W. F. Saxon, Harville
1953 Philip Roush, James Griffin, Guy Harris, Underwood, A. L. Snow
1955 Roush, Griffin, Harris, Tommy Dawson, L. T. Patrick
1957 Snow, Griffin, Harris, Dawson, Patrick
1959 Harris, Snow, Griffin, Dawson, Patrick
1965 Snow, Dawson, A. S. Eppele, Murray Grubbs, Bennie Rivenbark
1967 Grubbs, Charles R. Smith, Rivenbark, Jack Underwood, John W. Rice
1969 Grubbs, Smith, James T. Stenholm, Underwood, Rice
1971 Grubbs, Smith, Stenholm, Underwood, Rice
1973 Frank Fish, Smith, Stenholm, Underwood, Rice
1975 Fish, Smith, Stenholm, Adrian W. Bell Jr., Rice
1977 Fish, Smith, Marvin E. Hunt, Bell, John H. Magner
1979 Fish, Grubbs, Hunt, Ray T. Harris, Magner
1981 Fish, Grubbs, Hunt, Harris, Magner, Hugh C. McGeehan
1983 Fish, William T. Konig III, Leonard F. Tria Jr., Henry D. Ledbetter, Greg Copeland
1985 Fish, Koenig, Tria, Ledbetter, Thomas E. Lyons Jr., David D. Russell Sr.
1987 Fish, Richard C. Killingsworth, Tria, Ledbetter, Russell
1989 Harold Varvel, J. Richardson, Pat Novy, Killingsworth, June Ester, Tony Mosca
1991 Ginny Brown-Waite, Varvel, Richardson, Ester, Mosca
1993 Nancy Robinson, Richardson, Novy, Ester, Mosca
1995 Robinson, Ray Lossing, Richardson, Novy, Ester
1997 Robinson, Lossing, Bobbi Mills, Novy, Paul Sullivan
1999 Robinson, Chris Kingsley, Mills, Novy, Sullivan
2001 Robinson, Kingsley, Diane Rowden, B. Whitehouse, Mary Aiken
2005 Robinson, Robert Schenck, Rowden, Kingsley, Jeff Stabins, Tom Mylander
2006 Robinson, Schenck, Rowden, Kingsley, Stabins, Tom Hogan
2007 Rose Rocco, David Russell, Rowden, Kingsley, Stabins

On Jan. 29, 1878, the Savannah Morning News reported that the Governor has appointed Mr. John Morrison as a county commissioner, replacing King, who resigned.


1843 Edward McVane Harville
1845 James M. Bates
1851 Nathaniel M. Moody
1853 Charles J. McMinn
1857 Henry C. Fabian
1859 Charles J. McMinn
1860 Thomas W. Law
1862 T. B. Law
1863 John L. Peterson
1866 Elisha A. Hill
1868 Samuel Pearce
1869 William H. Smith
1870 Thomas Seely
1870 Zachariah Seward
1872 Benjamin Saxon
1877 David L. Hedick
1881 J. B. Mickler
1885 James A. Jennings
1889 J. W. Johnston
1890 M. R. Burns
1899 A. M. White
1901 William E. Law
1920 W. D. Cobb, Sr.
1933 Neil F. Law, Sr.
1949 Simm L. Lowman
1970 W. D. Cobb Jr.
1973 Melvin Kelly
1984 Tom Mylander
2000 Rich Nugent

Edward McVane Harville was elected the first sheriff of Hernando County in November 1843, according to information provided by Linda Hill, who writes that she found the records of a book in the Florida Archives, and that Robert M. Hill counted the votes.

According to Jeff Cannon, Henry C. Fabian held a sheriff sale in Hernando County and signed at least one advertisement as H. Fabian, Shf’. Cannon says that his known service as Sheriff was the 1857-58 term and possibly more.

On June 12, 1858, the Florida Peninsular mentioned H. Fabian, sheriff, Pierceville.

On Oct. 27, 1860, the Florida Peninsular reported that Thomas Law had been elected to fill the unexpired term of Charles J. McMinn, who had died from pneumonia on Sept. 25, 1860.

T. B. Law was apparently Thomas B. Law, and thus it seems reasonable that Thomas W. Law and T. B. Law were the same person, with confusion over the middle name.

A 1927 Brooksville Journal article reported that Cato Mills, “negro sheriff of Hernando County at the time of the ‘radical rule’ in the days following the civil war,” had died. Evidence confirming that he was actually a sheriff has not been found.

On March 2, 1870, the Florida Peninsular reported that Thomas Seely was appointed sheriff, replacing W. H. Smith, who was removed.

On April 27, 1870, the Florida Peninsular reported that Z. Seward was sheriff, replacing Thomas Seely, who was removed.

Benjamin Saxon, died on Nov. 27 or 28, 1876, in Tallahassee, at age 32. David L. Hedick was appointed sheriff in Feb. 1877.

Clerk of Circuit Court

1845 Charles Goodrich
1847 Malcolm C. Peterson
1850 Malcolm C. Peterson
1851 Malcolm C. Peterson
1853 William Garrison
1855 Malcolm Peterson
1862 John McNeill
1863 John L. Peterson
1865 Thomas S. Winn
1866 William J. Barnett
1869 William L. McMinn
1870 Christopher C. Keathley
1875 John C. Law
1887 Frank E. Saxon
1888 John C. Law
1893 Frank E. Saxon
1909 M. H. Snow
1916 J. C. Burwell
1917 Harry C. Mickler
1949 Leamon Q. Varn
1966 James A. Brooks
1967 Beth Varn McCoy
1969 Norman Hinchman
1971 Harold Brown
1989 Karen Nicolai

County Judges

1843 William W. Tucker
1845 Isaac Garrison
1849 Perry G. Wall
1852 Elias Knight
1853 John Eubanks
1854 Joseph M. Taylor
1856 Perry G. Wall
1863 Samuel J. Pearce
1864 William M. Garrison
1870 Henry Rountree
1874 W. B. Center
1879 William L. Frierson
1881 Virgil Alberson
1883 G. V. Ramsey
1887 James C. Preston
1888 William Sherman Jennings
1893 G. V. Ramsey
1924 Willis M. Russell
1929 John Whitehurst
1922 E. S. MacKenzie
1949 Monroe W. Treiman
1977 Edwin Malmquist

1922 perhaps should be 1932 since it is out of order. This information is taken from McKethan.

Supervisors of Registration/Elections

1887 William J. Daniel
1890 B. F. Corman
1891 A. Y. Chapman
1910 B. F. Kirk
1912 T. L. Sewell
1914 John A. Sewell
1929 Lillie Sewell
1939 Marie E. M. Duren
1953 Ada C. Law
1961 Agnes Goethe
1972 Neil Kinnear
1988 Diane Hysell
1991 Beth Shields
1991 Ann Mau
2001 Annie Williams

Tax Assessors/Property Appraisers

1869 Berry E. Bagwell
1874 Frank E. Saxon
1876 D. H. Thrasher
1876 William M. Garrison
1881 Frank E. Saxon
1883 R. J. Bradley
1885 James Shands
1889 C. S. Wilson
1891 J. P. Cobb
1893 A. B. Whelpley
1916 M. H. Snow
1917 B. F. Kirk
1921 F. Elmore Saxon
1941 Sidney F. Dick
1966 Charles E. Allen, Sr.
1966 Owen B. Smith
1969 Thelma Wimberly
1974 Lester Samples
1997 Alvin Mazourek

Tax Collectors

1851 Ezekiel L. Selph
1856 Francis B. Hagan
1858 James A. Boyet
1862 William D. Eubanks
1869 William L. Frierson
1876 M. Atkinson
1877 Henry D. Edwards
1879 F. M. Townsend
1883 F. M. Hedick
1885 John E. King
1887 George T. Marshall
1888 Robert D. Krik
1896 John C. Law
1917 F. Elmore Saxon
1921 C. C. Kirk
1933 J. T. Daniel
1953 Irene B. Kilpatrick
1976 Leona B. Bechtelheimer
2000 Juanita Sikes

Superintendents of Public Instruction

1871 Theodore S. Coogler
1875 J. M. Rhodes
1877 Sheldon Stringer
1881 D. H. Thrasher
1883 A. M. C. Russell
1885 W. C. Zimmerman
1887 J. R. Temple
1893 A. M. C. Russell
1909 W. A. Thaxton
1917 W. O. Lemasters
1920 R. R. Ray
1920 L. D Hathaway
1929 Ira B. Turnley
1937 Algernon Keathley
1941 Edwin R. Russell
1944 Algernon Keathley
1945 Ira B. Turnley
1947 Louis L. Fisher
1956 John W. Hull
1965 John W. Hull

Board of Public Instruction

1877 W. L. Frierson, D. G. Hennis, A. D. Lane
1881 Jacob C. Clements, James E. Burnside. J. R. O’Berry, J. W. Geiger
1884 Burnside, Hennis, O’Berry, James L. Colding
1885 Capt. A. H. Ravesies, Dr. J. D. Bennett, J. J. Higgins, Stephen Weeks, L. R. Eichenlamb
1887 Higgins, M. R. Burns, M. P. McCall, J. F. Shands, N. A. Williams
1890 Higgins, Burns, McCall
1894 Burns, C. E. Lockhart, McCall
1895 J. R. Temple. Lockhart, McCall
1897 J. A. Sewell, T. D. Graham, H. T. Valentin
1901 D. S. Cappleman, James W. Gay, Virgil Alberson
1905 Cappleman, J. T. Daniel, A. P. McKeown
1909 Cappleman, Daniel, J. A. Morgan
1911 Cappleman, J. K. Kilpatrick, J. A. Morgan
1913 Cappleman, Kilpatrick, J. D. Bradley
1914 Cappleman, Bradley, L. C. Lee
1917 W. A. Fulton, B. B. Smith, J. M. Hedick Jr.
1919 J. C. Fleming, J. W. Morgan, Smith
1921 A. W. Amos, E. B. Morton, Smith, Mrs. Minnie Lee
1923 J. M. Rogers, Morton, Lee, James Mountain
1925 Rogers, Morton, J. L. Sellars
1930 Rogers, A. K. Skinner, G. W. Fogg
1931 Rogers, R. B. Grubbs, Fogg
1933 Rogers, Grubbs, R. H. Cofer
1935 Rogers, Grubbs, J. P. Jernigan
1937 Rogers, R. O. Mountain, Jernigan
1939 Rogers, Franklin Smith, Jernigan
1941 Rogers, H. G. Thompson, J. B. Grimes
1942 Rogers, Thompson, J. P. Kimbrough
1946 Rogers, Thompson, Julius Batten
1947 Thompson, Batten, C. Dent Lanier
1948 Thompson, Batten, Lanier, Horace E. Gant, T. J. K. Funderburk
1949 Lanier, Batten, Gant, B. A. Crum, Funderburk
1951 Crum, Frank W. Springstead, Batten, Gant, Funderburk
1953 Crum, Springstead, Batten, Roy Kirby, Funderburk
1955 Crum, Springstead, Pierce Kimbrough, Kirby, Fletcher Weston, Fred G. Lewis
1957 Crum, Springstead, Kimbrough, Lewis, Ed J. Cook
1959 Crum, Springstead, Kimbrough, Lewis, Cook
1961 Crum, Springstead, Kimbrough, Lewis, Cook
1965 Crum, Springstead, Cook, Wilbur Messer, H. F. Coburn

Mayors of Brooksville

Source: Old Brooksville in Photos and Stories

Oct 1880 William J. Barnett
Jan 1882 Christopher C. Keathley
Oct 1882 A. M. C. Russell
Oct 1883 D. Turnbull
Oct 1884 W. C. Alexander
Oct 1885 Thomas Palmer
Oct 1886 J. A. Marshall
May 1887 Barney Rhodes
Oct 1887 Charles Bowden
Oct 1890 Y. B. Trammell
Oct 1891 M. R. Burns
Oct 1892 J. S. Brunner
Oct 1896 James C. DeVant
Oct 1897 Dr. Sheldon Stringer
Nov 1898 A. N. Chelf
Nov 1900 John F. Hedick
Nov 1905 G. V. Ramsey
Nov 1907 W. E. Law
Nov 1908 Fred Stringer
Nov 1913 Charles Price
Nov 1915 William Chalker
Nov 1916 Hugh Hale
Nov 1919 P. W. Humphries
Nov 1920 William Chalker
Nov 1921 Charles Price
Nov 1923 F. B. Coogler
Jan 1926 Charles Price
Jan 1928 H. S. Simmons
Jan 1929 Mrs. Lena Hawkins
Jan 1930 Charles Price
Jan 1931 William M. Russell
Jan 1932 P. H. Grelle
Jan 1938 W. P. Murphy
Jan 1943 S. R. Collins
Jan 1944 J. C. “Doc” Bacon
Jan 1945 Oanan Whitehurst
Jan 1947 J. C. Emerson Jr.
Jan 1948 J. C. “Doc” Bacon
Jan 1952 William G. Underwood
Jan 1954 J. C. “Doc” Bacon
Jan 1956 William G. Underwood
Jan 1957 J. C. “Doc” Bacon
Jan 1960 James Brooks
Jan 1966 Edwin R. Reagan
Jan 1979 Alvin Mazourek
Jan 1980 Franklin Emerson
Jan 1983 Tom Varn
Jan 1984 Franklin Emerson
Jan 1985 Alvin Mazourek
Jan 1986 Pat Fagin
Jan 1987 Joe Bernardini
Jan 1988 Tom Heard
Jan 1989 William C. Hutto
Jan 1990 John C. Tucker
Jan 1991 Joe Bernardini
Jan 1992 Luther Cason
Jan 1993 Joe Bernardini
Jan 1994 John C. Tucker
Jan 1995 Pat Brayton
Dec 1996 Joseph E. Johnston III
Dec 1997 Ernie Wever
Dec 1998 Richard E. Lewis
Dec 1999 Mary A. Staib
Dec 2000 Joseph E. Johnston III
Dec 2001 Ernie Wever
Dec 2002 Richard E. Lewis
Dec 2003 Mary A. Staib
Dec 2004 Joseph E. Johnston III
Dec 2006 David Pugh

Marshals of Brooksville

Source: Old Brooksville in Photos and Stories

Oct 1880 Frank Saxon
Jul 1882 J. T. Hancock
Oct 1883 Frank Saxon
Oct 1884 J. D. Godsman
Oct 1885 N. B. Rhodes
Oct 1886 John W. Johnston
May 1887 J. B. Trammell
Oct 1887 J. W. Steel
Oct 1888 N. B. Rhodes
Oct 1890 C. C. Harrison
Oct 1891 C. W. Walker
Oct 1892 W. D. Cobb
Oct 1895 T. S. Coogler Jr.
Oct 1896 A. Y. Chapman
Oct 1897 F. I. Robertson
Jul 1901 Matt C. Gainey
Oct 1902 William O’Neal
Oct 1903 R. L. Bracey
Oct 1904 Julius Higginbotham
Oct 1905 J. A. Sewell
Oct 1906 R. D. Garrett
Oct 1907 E. E. Brown
Oct 1909 M. W. Smith
Oct 1910 George Ramsey
Apr 1911 J. H. Whidden
Jul 1911 Clarence Lockhart
Oct 1912 O. A. Lawhon
Aug 1913 A. F. Burns (acting)
  No records available
Dec 1917 J. W. Johnson
Jul 1919 J. A. Sewell
Oct 1920 W. D. Cobb
Oct 1921 J. W. Crum
Oct 1923 J. W. Morgan
Oct 1924 W. P. Redding
Oct 1928 J. B. Kennedy

Police Chiefs of Brooksville

Source: Old Brooksville in Photos and Stories

Oct 1929 W. D. Cobb Jr.
Oct 1930 W. H. Kendrick
Nov 1931 J. W. Morgan (see note)
Feb 1942 W. D. Cobb Jr.
Apr 1947 J. T. Varn (see note)
Feb 1969 Jack Newlands
Apr 1974 Fred Fatic (acting)
Jun 1974 Ronald Novoy
Jan 1983 Bob Johnson
Feb 1984 Tim Vitt
Feb 1985 Boyce “Ed” Tincher
Mar 2007 Frank Ross (interim)
Sep 2007 George Turner

Note: J. W. Morgan was put on unpaid leave from June 4, 1935, through 1942 because of financial conditions

After Varn was appointed in 1947, City Manager Cobb served as police chief and other roles until 1969

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