LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. — On January 24, 1820, the first Lauderdale County Sheriff was sworn into office. The sheriff’s office has been celebrating all January long leading up to a special memorial dedication and ceremony in the Lauderdale County Courthouse.
The ceremony began with the presentation of colors followed by prayer from Chaplain Eddy Garner. Following the prayer, Lauderdale County Commission Chairman Danny Pettus made a few remarks. Pettus' great-great-uncle, Winston P. Pettus, served as sheriff of Lauderdale County for multiple terms.
"We appreciate law enforcement, don't we?" asked Chairman Pettus while addressing the crowd. "That's why we're here today."
It's that appreciation that inspired the creation of the fallen deputies memorial, honoring three deputies who died in the line of duty.
The first, Deputy James B. Foster, was killed in 1895 by a theft suspect while serving an arrest warrant.
Deputy Carl Anderson died in 1919 during Alabama prohibition. During an investigation, he was killed by a store owner who was reportedly selling whiskey.
The third was Constable Willie F. Barr who was killed by an armed robbery suspect in 1931.
To close the ceremony, descendants of the three deputies placed blue roses on a cross in their memory.
The memorial now stands at Memorial Grove on East Mobile Street, honoring the three men who lost their lives performing their sworn duty to serve and protect the citizens of Lauderdale County.