Washington County, Tennessee was founded in 1777 and is the oldest county in the state of Tennessee. Our people are descended from pioneers like Daniel Boone, David Crockett, Andrew Jackson, John Sevier, and from the Cherokee who were here first, as well as from African-Americans who founded some of the first free black churches in the South.

Washington County covers 326 square miles in northeast Tennessee and is situated 22 miles from the Virginia border.  The Appalachian Mountains provide an ever-changing backdrop for the scenic landscape, especially during the fall when the foliage is a kaleidoscope of colors.  Washington County residents enjoy four distinct seasons and a mild climate throughout the year.  The county population is 108, 380 and is growing at a significant rate.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office provides a full range of law enforcement services and enjoys a close working relationship with the other municipal, state and federal law enforcement agencies in the county. The Sheriff’s Office is headquartered in Johnson City, which is the home of East Tennessee State University. 

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office, accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), was the first Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee to be internationally accredited.

The Sheriff’s Office has undergone substantial growth since its initial accreditation in 1992.  Having gone from a sworn staff of 35 to 84 currently, the agency has had to decentralize its operation by housing patrol operations in the Detention Center, which is located ten minutes away from Headquarters in Jonesborough.  The Detention Center has 89 employees and there are 12 other civilian employees in support positions.

Ed Graybeal, Jr. was appointed Sheriff by the County Commission when the former Sheriff resigned in January of 2003.  A general election was held in January 2004 and Sheriff Ed Graybeal was elected to a two year term with 83% of the vote to fulfill the remaining two years of the Sheriff’s regular four-year term.  Sheriff Graybeal was re-elected in August 2006.


1778-1780 Valentine Sevier
1780-1783 Cleavers Barksdale
1783-1788 Thomas Talbott
1788-1788 Edmund Williams

Franklin Government
1787-1787 George Mitchell

1787-1789 Jonathan Pugh
(died in Battle of State of Franklin)
1789-1794 Michael Harrison
1794-1798 George Gillespie
1798-1800 Brice Blair
1800-1806 Joseph Crouch
1806-1814 Joseph Brown
1814-1827 Samuel Hunt
1827-1836 John Ryland
1836-1838 William Dosser
1838-1840 John Bricker
1840-1846 G.W. Willett
1846-1852 Joseph Crouch
1852-1858 John Ryland
1858-1860 Mark Bacon
1860-1864 Shelby T. Shipley
1864-1865 Samuel W. Baines
1865-1868 Shelby T. Shipley
1868-1874 Samuel E. Griffith
1874-1876 R. M. Young
1876-1882 Alexander M. Stuart
1882-1884 Samuel H. Pouder
1884-1884 E. H. Harr
(died October 1884)
1884-1888 George W. Willett

1888-1894 Jacob I. Hawkins
1894-1900 James S. Pritchett
1900-1902 Jacob I. Hawkins
1902-1904 Gus Broderick
1904-1906 W. Frank Smith
1906-1908 Jacob I. Hawkins
1908-1910 W. F. Jones
1910-1916 J.T.E. Williams
1916-1918 Lola Remine
1918-1920 Gus Broderick
1920-1922 Daniel M. Walters
1922-1924 James S. Pritchett
1924-1926 Aaron C. Norris
1926-1928 Dan M. France
1928-1930 James B. Worley
1930-1932 J.A. Swadley
1932-1936 James B. Worley
1936-1938 Carl R. Young
1938-1940 Earl W. Sell
1940-1942 Carl R. Young
1942-1946 Miller W. Sell
1946-1948 Luke M. Warrick
1948-1950 Robert Hannabas
1950-1954 Lee Bailey
1954-1958 John Deakins
1958-1960 John Cloyd
1960-1966 James Crouch
1966-1970 Uel Hartman
1970-1976 James Seehorn
1976-1994 Ron England
1994-2003 Fred Phillips
2003-Present Ed Graybeal

1966 Photo ~~~Not Shown~~~ (Ralph Shipley)  (Ralph Cross)  (James Powell) Carroll Tranbarger Mickey White Evert Jarrett Ivan Good Elmer Bowman Bobby Gillis H.B. Humphreys Sheriff Uel Hartman Nilen McCurry Fred Johnson

Circa 1966, Sheriff Uel Hartman

1970 Photo Luther Baines Rex Odell Leta Carroll David Humphreys Don Tittle Hamp King Arch Lloyd Kincheloe Fred Painter 1970 Photo 1970 Photo

1960-1966, Sheriff James Crouch

1981 Pepsi Rodeo 1981  Pepsi Rodeo WCSO - Sheriff Ron England WCSO - Sergeant Ed Graybeal, Jr. JCPD - PSO Mike Harris JCPD - PSO Mike McInturff JCPD - Chief Fred Phillips JCPD - Lieutenant Walt Pierce WCSO - Deputy William Carter WCSO - Deputy J.R. Stevens 1981  Pepsi Rodeo THP - Captain Ed Ferguson THP - Lieutenant Jenning Stroud THP - Glen Haun THP - Captain John Edwards THP - Ed Burris THP - Lieutenant Colonel Joe Patterson THP - Captain Larry Laverne THP - Bob Butcher THP - McNalley THP - Sergeant Tim McDonnell JCPD - PSO Lewis May Jr. JCPD - PSO Ken Holden JCPD - Captain Sam Phillips WCSO - Lieutenant David Story WCSO - Lieutenant Vic Cansler JCPD - PSO Jeff Elliott JCPD - PSO Jeff Ensor WCSO - Deputy  Dennis Garst WCSO - Deputy Raymond Hooks 1981  Pepsi Rodeo 1981  Pepsi Rodeo THP - Chief Clyde Wilhoit
Circa 1981, Sheriff Ron England - Pepsi Rodeo