The Captain Henry Whitener Chapter of the DAR held its monthly meeting at the Ozarks Regional Library.
The meeting was called to order by Regent Claudia Horne. We recited our Collect, Pledged our Allegiance to the Flag, The Star Spangled Banner, The American Creed and recited the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. The President General's Message was read as well as the National Defense News.
The business meeting was conducted with a number of issues discussed. Several would be going to the State and National Conventions.
Committee projects were discussed. JROTC medal and certificate were to be ordered for the JROTC Awards dinner in April. Participation in the National Vietnam War Veterans Day, March 29. We will be handing out roses to widows and wives of Vietnam War Veterans.
After the business meeting, DAR member and Madison County Sheriff Katy McCutcheon gave an informative and entertaining presentation on the history of women sheriffs in Missouri.
In 2016, after 15 years of service in Madison County as the 911 director, deputy coroner, and as a deputy sheriff, Katy became the first woman in Missouri to be elected sheriff in a general election. She is one of two women sheriffs currently serving in Missouri.
Katy explained that the only other known woman sheriff in Missouri was Minnie Mae Talbot, who assumed the position of Sheriff of Lafayette County from her husband in 1919 after he was killed in the line of duty. Prior to serving as sheriff, Mrs. Talbot had assisted her husband by managing the administrative tasks of the sheriff's office. When he died, she was offered the job because of her familiarity with the office.
Other states which have elected women sheriffs include Georgia and Arkansas. There are 114 counties in Missouri, with each having one sheriff. In her capacity as sheriff, Katy manages seven full-time deputies, two jailers, eight dispatchers, and three process servers. In addition to investigating crimes, sheriff's dept. personnel enforce traffic laws, transport prisoners, answer calls from the public, serve legal documents and serve as court bailiffs. A significant amount of time goes toward civil matters, such as mediating property disputes, enforcing judgments, and addressing disagreements.
Katy also explained that she is responsible for the care of inmates, which includes providing medical and dental care, when needed. Costs of care are paid by inmates unless they are indigent.
The Capt. Henry Whitener Chapter NSDAR is very proud to have the first woman sheriff of Madison County as a member. A tour of the sheriff's office may be considered for a future meeting. Katy is on call day and night. After leaving our meeting, she was leaving for Kentucky to transport a female inmate back to Madison County.