Our History

History of DeSoto County

DeSoto County came into being in 1887, when Manatee County was divided into DeSoto County and Manatee County.  In 1921, DeSoto County was further divided into Highlands, Glades, Hardee, Charlotte, and DeSoto Counties.

Previous Sheriff’s

The first Sheriff of DeSoto County was O. H. Dishong in 1887 to 1894. He was followed by F. C. Bethea in 1893 to 1895, A. L. Pearce in 1895 to 1897, O.H. Dishong, 1897 to 1901; L. E. Fielder in 1901 to 1905, A. C. Freeman in 1905 to 1913, J. L. Dishong in 1913 to 1921, J. L. Hampton in 1921 to 1937, J. E. Albritton in 1937 to 1945, T. M. Anderson in 1945 to 1950, Floy Shelfer 11-11-50 to 11-22-50, Lloyd Holton in 1950 to 1965, Floy Shelfer 06-11-65 to 06-30-65, Inez Holton in 1965 to 1966, Frank Cline in 1966 to 1980, Robert A.Thomas in 1981 to 1985, Joseph L.Varnadore in 1985 to 1993, Vernon Keen in 1993 to 2001, John J. Fugate in 2001 to 2005 ,Vernon L. Keen in 2005 to 2009 and William P. Wise in 2009 to present.

Sheriff’s Star Article on Deputy George Brown
Click on the link above to read the article on Deputy George Brown written in the Sheriff’s Star in 1987