DeKalb County Sheriff's Department History

First Jail

The first DeKalb County Jail was authorized by the DeKalb County Commissioners on May 9, 1838, several years before a permanent courthouse was authorized. The Jail was to be built of logs. The jail was apparently located on the square but this cannot be confirmed.


Wesley Park
Thomas J. Freeman
Jonathon Puffenbarger
S. W. Ralston

2nd Jail

The 2nd jail was contracted for 1851 and completed in 1852 on the southeast corner of the public square. It cost $1,000 and was an improvement over the log jail. In 1887 it was moved to the northeast corner of Cedar and Ninth Street and used for the Auburn Town Hall and Fire Barn.


1850-54 --- W. K. Straight
1854-56 --- Isaac Brandt
1856-60 --- S. W. Ralston
1860-62 --- J. N. Chamberlain
1862-68 --- J. N. Miller
1868-72 --- H. Willis

3rd Jail

The 3rd jail was a handsome structure designed by T. J. Tolan & Son of Toledo and later of Fort Wayne. It was built by James R. Duncan, William Crane, and Harmon Lydecker of Waterloo at a total cost of $28,647. It was equipped with triple gates and the latest Scandinavian locks. The building was located on the southeast corner of the public square and remained there for several years after the present courthouse was built.


1872-76 --- W. L. Meese
1876-78 --- John St. Clair
1878-82 --- A. S. Lease
1882-86 --- John W. Boyle
1886-88 --- K. Garrison
1888-90 --- J. Plum
1890-92 --- Phillip Plum
1892-94 --- George C. Ralston
1894-98 --- Henry P. Stroh
1898-1902 --- John Hathaway
1902-04 --- George W. Bleeks
1904-08 --- James W. Reed
1908-12 --- R. L. Thomas
1912-16 --- John P. Hoff (D)

4th Jail

The contract for the new jail was let May 28, 1917, to H. H. Ackemere of Auburn for $52,940. The final cost was $89,535. The jail was as modern as any jail in the county at the time. It was located on the public square at the southeast quadrant of Eighth and Ceder Streets. The jail was first occupied on January 15,1919 and has served the county well.


1916-20 --- Frank Baltz (D)
1920-22 --- Twite L. Hoodelmier(R)
1922-26 --- William G. Morr (D)
1926-30 --- John C. Armstrong (D)
1930-34 --- John P. Hoff (D)
1934-38 --- Herbert N. Grimm (D)
1938-42 --- Artus Coyle (R)
1942-46 --- Paul F. Miller (R)
1946-58 --- Frank E. Carpenter (R)
1958-66 --- Dorsie A. Likens (R)
1966-73 --- James D. Sims (R)
1973-78 --- John L. Graham (R)
1979-82 --- Larry E. Myers (R)
1983-87 --- Larry Metcalf (R)

5th Jail

Construction started on the new Dekalb County Jail on April 23,1984, at the Cost of $2.86 million dollars. The facility contains 27,500 square feet. This facility has a Central Control room which has complete security control over the entire facility and also serves as as the Communications Center for the Sheriff's Department county-wide communications.


1987-1994 --- Donald Crowl (D)
1995-2002 --- Jay A. Oberholtzer (R)
2003-2010 --- John Dennis (R)
2011-Present - Donald Lauer (R)