Skip to Main Content

History of Sheriff's Office


In May of 1874, Lee County was established from Washington, Burleson, Milam and Fayette counties. Today the sheriff's office covers 644 square miles with an approximate population of 16,742 (2014 census). The sheriff's office is responsible for primary law enforcement services of the unincorporated areas of Lee County. Lee County also works cooperatively with other area law enforcement agencies including Giddings Police Department, Lexington Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Lee County Constables and all area fire departments and emergency services. In 2008, a new facility was built that houses the sheriff's office, 107 bed jail and 24/7 communications center along with emergency operations center.

Lee County Sheriff's Office recognizes that no law enforcement agency can operate at the maximum potential without the support of the citizens that it serves. To accomplish this goal, the sheriff's office solicits and encourages the cooperation of all citizens.

Please use this site to stay informed about the Lee County Sheriff's Office, its services and operations that may be helpful to you.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office is here to serve you, the citizens of Lee County, and this great state of Texas.


Lee County Texas State Logo

During the colonization of America, the Sheriff became an integral part of our government. American sheriffs undertook the English responsibilities of law enforcement and tax collection, as well as new responsibilities such as chief executive officer of the county and overseeing jails. The duties of serving criminal and civil process, summoning juries, executing judgments and conducting judicial sales soon evolved. The term "high sheriff" was used to distinguish the sheriff from deputies, assistants or undersheriffs.

The Office of Sheriff is one of the oldest offices known to our system of jurisprudence. Sheriffs are elected to office and serve for a four-year term. The sizes of Texas Sheriffs’ offices are as diverse as the population of their counties.

The Office of Sheriff in Texas was created by the Texas Constitution. History indicates in 1827, Stephen F. Austin requested and received authorization for establishment of Constitutional Government in his colony. The first Sheriff in Texas was appointed in 1828.  There are 254 Counties in Texas and each county has a Sheriff. By statutes, the Sheriff is a Texas peace officer, a conservator of the peace, enforces the criminal laws of the State, and is responsible for the county jail, bail bonds, civil process, and security of the courts. In some small counties, the Sheriff is also the tax collector.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has been providing law enforcement services to the citizens of Lee County since 1874, beginning with the first county Sheriff, James McKeown. In February 1876, the infamous James Madison Brown was elected Sheriff. Browns most notable act was the legal hanging of noted outlaw William P. Longley. Since 1874, there has been 16 Sheriffs to serve Lee County. During this time, a father (Vernon A. Goodson) and son (Joe G. Goodson) held the office of Sheriff for over 56 years. Below are the 16 men that took Office of the Lee County Sheriff.


Garrett Durrenberger (July 10, 2023 - Present)

Sheriff Lee Co.jpg


Casey G. Goetz (Jan 1, 2021 - July 3, 2023)



Rodney W. Meyer (Apr 9, 2007 – Dec 31, 2020)

Rodney Meyer


Joe G. Goodson (Dec 20, 1978- Apr 7, 2007)

Joe Goodson


Charles “Lucky” Thompson (Nov 2, 1976- Dec 19, 1978)

Lucky Thompson


Vernon A. Goodson (1951-1974)

Vernon Goodson


John J. Burttschell (1939-1950)

John Burttschell


Ernest Allen (1935-1938)

Ernest Allen


John J. Burttschell (1929-1934)

John Burttschell


John T. Carlisle (1919-1928)

John Carlisle


W.D. Scarborough (1911-1918)

W D Scarborough


James S. Scarborough (1903-1910)

James S Scarborough


I. W. Sparks (1897-1902)

I W Sparks


James S. Scarborough (1891-1896)

James S Scarborough


O.A. Bexley (Nov 6, 1888-Nov 4, 1890)

O A Bexley


William M. Brown (Nov 4, 1884- Nov 6, 1888)

sorry image not available


James M. Brown (Feb 15, 1876- Nov 4, 1884)

James M. Brown


James. H. McKeown (June 2, 1874- Feb 15, 1876)

James H. McKeown