Kane County Sheriff’s Deputy Ted Barnard has successfully completed the case! An eight-year investigation has led to the publication of a fascinating book aptly named The Sheriffs of Kane County.

Barnard said the enormous project originally began when Sheriff Lamont Smith tasked him with finding pictures of former sheriffs to hang on the wall down the hallway of the Public Safety Building. However, photo documentation and history of the former law enforcement officers required much more research than Barnard anticipated. His project morphed into something much larger than its original focus – a book!

The recently-published book The Sheriff’s of Kane County is a historical documentation of not only the men who have held the position of Kane County Sheriff, but a fascinating account of Kane County history, as experienced from details about the men who served!

There are news stories of the arrests of extortionists and murderers; moonshine makers to an attempted murder by strychnine poisoning. The large book is chock-full of history, along the way also relating the political and economic climate here as well.

Beginning with first Kane County Sheriff James Andrus in 1864 (long before Utah became a state), the book documents the different sheriff’s tenures and other interesting details about what was going on in Kane County at the time. For instance, Andrus had a reputation for being able to de-escalate intense situations between the Natives and the Mormon pioneers. He was one of few in his company able to speak the Natives’ language, thus making communication much easier and led to respect being given to him by the Natives.

Barnard was passionate about the project, spending countless hours and exhaustive research as he pored over newspaper articles, county commission minutes, having direct interviews with family members, as well as researching the former sheriffs on Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org.

“I primarily did it while at work, but there were times during the project I’d end up going much longer,” admitted Barnard. “I even had to take a break for awhile.”

He said during the book’s compilation, he’d occasionally hit a roadblock where it was just more difficult to get information on a former sheriff. “But that kind of motivated me to dig deeper.”

Deputy Barnard said perhaps the most difficult aspect of the project was getting the pages camera-ready for the publisher. However, he adds the project seems especially gratifying and worthwhile when he presents the book to the sheriff’s family members. “It really honors the family, and they are thrilled to receive it.”

Barnard said the book was primarily written for those interested in the history of Kane County Sheriffs. “But it’s also great for anyone interested in the historical evolution of the county.”

Will there be any other major writing projects in Barnard’s future? “If it was the right project,” he admits with a grin. “I enjoyed learning about the men and related historical events.”

There were originally 250 books printed, with those initial copies primarily going to the former sheriffs or their families. The Sheriff’s Office also donated one to the Kanab City Library. Additional copies may be purchased from the Kane County Sheriff’s Office. For more information, call 644-4916.

“I want the families and readers to know how much I appreciated doing this project,” concluded Barnard. “It was fascinating to see the way the county has evolved through the years.”