Sheriff Emmett Edmonds
Term: 1963 - 1968
EMMETT OLIN EDMONDS
1918 - 1968
Emmett Olin Edmonds was born September 16, 1918 in Ozark County, Missouri, to Olin E. and Docia (Baker) Edmonds. They moved to Sacramento, CA, in the 1930s during the Depression. They had eight children. Olin was a policeman. Docia was a teacher.
Emmett married Pauline Powell on January 1, 1947 at Cotter. Three children were born to Emmett and Pauline: Jackie Lonell, Joe Howard (both at Rollins Hospital in Gassville), and Susan, at Yellville.
Emmett was in the army during WWII. He worked at Bull Shoals Dam and Hackler & Fisk Chevrolet as a salesman.
Emmett was an avid coon hunter. In 1950, he wrote a story about coon hunting, which was published in the Full Cry, a periodical in Ava, Missouri, where he lived and worked as a salesman for the Chevrolet company there.
He was an Arkansas State Policeman for five and a half years. He was elected sheriff in 1963.
Early in the morning on May 4, 1968, the peace and quiet of our calm community was shattered by the news that Sheriff Emmett Edmonds had been killed in a jail break. He was serving his third term as sheriff when he was killed.
Sheriff Edmonds' death launched the biggest manhunt these hills have ever witnessed. Television and newspapers from all over Arkansas and Missouri covered the hunt. Frightened citizens carried rifles and pistols with them, until the escapee was captured 65 hours later at Cotter.
Soon after Edmonds' death, his widow, Mrs. Pauline Edmonds, was sworn in to complete her husband's term. And when Edwin Odus Pittman went on trial the following March for Edmonds' death, Mrs. Edmonds and her sons took the witness stand - asking that Pittman not be given the death sentence. Pittman received the sentence of "life at hard labor in the State Penitentiary," where he died in 2004.
History and Families, Baxter County, Arkansas, published by Baxter County Historical & Genealogical Society, 2003.
History of Baxter County, Centennial Edition 1873-1973 by Mary Ann Messick, pub. 1973.
Baxter County History, Vol. 32, Number 1, published by Baxter County Historical & Genealogical Society, 2006.