Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Rankin Scott Kelly - First Sheriff

 Post by Doris McCraw

aka Angela Raines

Before I share the story of Kelly, I want to thank everyone for a great 'book' party. It was great fun and kudos to Julie for overseeing such a wonderful event. 

Now on to the story of Rankin Scott Kelly. I've shared his remarkable story in other places, but it is worth revisiting.

Image from Find a Grave

In El Paso County, Colorado, Rankin Scott Kelly, was the first sheriff taking his job in 1861 and served until 1867. El Paso County was one of the original 17 counties formed when Colorado became a territory in 1861 from parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, and New Mexico Territories.

Imagine if you will, one Sheriff having to enforce the law in an area around two thousand square miles. He did and was well-liked by those who were lawful and feared by those who were lawless.

Rankin Scott Kelly, First Sheriff of El... - Territorial Daughters of  Colorado | Facebook
R. S. Kelly

A lot of his early life is unknown. This may be due in part to the belief he'd killed his sister's fiance' at the age of fourteen. He fled from Holton, Maine, and headed west. He really doesn't show up in census records in those early years.   

You can learn more from two sources. One is the biography, Amazon link for the book, written by former El Paso County Sheriff, John Anderson, and the video linked here: "The Sheriff.

Until Next Time: Stay safe, Stay happy, and Stay healthy. 




Julie Lence said...

Glad you had a great time at the party, Doris! We couldn't have done it without you.
Such a shame not much is known from Kelly's early years. From his years as a lawman, it seems people were happy to have him keeping them safe. Hugs and Thank you for sharing!

Renaissance Women said...

I really had a great time.
I have to say Anderson has done a good job hunting Kelly's story down, and the video is so good.