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Wills was determined to get his man

As I was thinking about my column for this edition of the Tomahawk, my wife was looking through some items she had stashed away and found an article that she thought might be interesting to my readers. I agreed.
The article is from The Billingham Herald, a newspaper published in Billingham, Washington. The story is an exclusive Central Press Dispatch to the Herald with a dateline of Cleveland, Ohio, January 14, 1954. While the article in the Billingham Herald didn’t give the year date, I was able to date the article 1954 because of a birthday announcement in the Herald of a 90-year-old man who was born in 1864. The article is about Johnson County Deputy Sheriff Hugh Toliver Dick Wills. Reference is made in the story of the Northwest Mounted Police which was renamed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in 1920. The RCMP’s slogan is, “We Always Get Our Man.”
Deputy Sheriff Wills was like-minded in that he had traveled to Cleveland to bring back a fugitive from justice and according to the piece, Wills intended to bring him back just like the RCMP does in their quest for perfection.
One of my favorite radio and later television programs was ”Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.” Sergeant Preston and his faithful dog King were powerful forces in keeping the peace and finding the bad guys in the Yukon Territory.
Anyway, the story indicates that the Cleveland police were somewhat surprised at the deputy’s arrival to find his own clues in the case. In no time the article states Wills had the Cleveland detective force scouting for him. The man Wills was seeking was not named in the article. I was unable to find out if Wills accomplished his goal of bringing his man back to Johnson County.
Wills’ picture accompanies the article. He is pictured as a determined looking man. Posed with his pistol drawn, he appears like he indeed would always get his man. His says in the piece that he had been a Johnson County Deputy two months and hadn’t used his gun yet. The article goes on to say that Wills was a cattleman. I was unable to find anything else about Mr. Wills. Perhaps someone can give me more information. If indeed I have correctly calculated the date, Dayton Payne was sheriff at the time.
I was unable to come up with a list of deputies. There have been many. According to research by the late Thomas W. Gentry, who was Johnson County Historian for many years, there had been 42 sheriffs of Johnson County, not counting a period (1846-1852) where he was unable to find a bond for sheriff. Some of the 42 served two or more terms. The first sheriff of the county was Reubin Miller. According to the list, Samuel E. McQueen, Isaac E. Wilson and Isaac Finley Shoun were sheriffs during the Civil War. I’m thinking those terms would have been rather difficult indeed.
From 1970 to the present there have been eight sheriffs: Millard Tester, Burl W. Brown, Frank W. Osborne, Jr., Roy E. Rash, Edward R. Casey, Johnny W. Roberts, Roger D. Gentry and Mike Reece.