As immigrants from the settled states to the East began to flood into Missouri, what would later become Monroe County was filling up. By 1830, residents of the area determined that New London, the county seat of the vast Ralls County, was too far away and moved to form Monroe County. On January 6, 1831, the state legislature approved the request and the work of building the new county commenced.
Landowner Josephus Fox had deeded land for a town to be built and his wife had named the plot Paris, not for the far away French city, but as a remembrance of her home town of Paris, Kentucky. In 1831, Paris was named the county seat of the new Monroe County and by November of 1831, county fathers had organized sufficiently to appropriate $3,100 for construction of a courthouse and another $100 for a jail.
William Runkle was appointed the first sheriff and began immediately patrolling the county on horseback, becoming the face of frontier law and order.
Sheriff David Hoffman states, “Many things have changed in the 189 years since Sheriff Runkle patrolled on horseback and many fine men have held the position of Sheriff of Monroe County. My wife and I are donating this plaque to honor all who have worn the star & served in the office of Sheriff of Monroe County Missouri, as well as those who will serve in the future.”
The plaque will hang proudly in the Monroe County Courthouse. His hope is that visitors of the courthouse and relatives of the previous sheriffs can take a moment to proudly remember their service to our county.
“I have to admit, I am a little sentimental about turning over the office to the next sheriff. Our beautiful courthouse has been my home away from home for the last 28 years. I pray my successors learn
from the other 114 Missouri Sheriffs as well as the wisdom of those that served before them,” shared Sheriff Hoffman, adding, “This plaque is a small gesture of thanks to those that paved the way before my time in office. Thank you for allowing me the privilege to serve in the office of Sheriff.”