History

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The Russell County Sheriff’s Office was established in 1872, and started out as a one room jail, originally located in Bunker Hill, Kansas, with C. W. Ingersoll as the Sheriff.  Eventually, the Sheriff’s Office was moved to Russell, where a limestone office and jail were constructed behind the County Courthouse on Kansas Street.  In 1955, a new facility was constructed, which relocated both the Sheriff’s home and the jail to the current facility at 210 E. 4th Street in Russell.  The jail was remodeled in 1977, 1984, 2000, and again in 2005.  As the facility evolved, so did the office of the Sheriff itself.  From the humble beginnings of a one man force, to four officers in 1980, seven in 1998, and finally nine full-time officers serving the citizens of Russell County as of 2007.

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The first Jail and Sheriff’s residence to be located in Russell.  This building was used until 1955, when a new facility was built.  The building is currently the Fossil Station Museum.

Russell County, Kansas consists of 900+ square miles and is located on I-70 between the cities of Hays and Salina.  Russell County has a population of approximately 8,500 citizens, and two of its major industries are Oil and Agriculture.  Russell is the county seat of Russell County, and the Sheriff’s Office is responsible for providing patrol to eleven towns, one US Army Corps of Engineers Lake (Wilson Lake), approximately thirty miles of Interstate 70, in addition to portions of highways US-281 and K-18.  The Sheriff’s Office also served between 3,000 - 4,000 civil process papers each year and handles hundreds of calls in the rural areas and along I-70.

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Architectural drawing of the building built around 1955 to replace the former limestone structure.

Russell County has the privilege of being the hometown of two former candidates for the office of President of the United States, Kansas Senator Bob Dole (Ret) and Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Spector (R).  During these campaigns, the Sheriff’s Office worked closely with the Secret Service to assist in the protection of those candidates during their bid for the presidential office.

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Childhood home of retired Senator Bob Dole

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