New Hanover County

Home Page








Homeland Security Alert














Updated and Maintained




Lt. J.J. Brewer













The first recorded Sheriff of New Hanover County was in 1739, the same year that the town of Wilmington was incorporated. The oldest existing prison in the county is underneath the Burgwyn-Wright House at Third and Market Streets.

The first elected Sheriff was in 1868. The same year, the first two deputies and jailer were employed. One of the deputies and the jailer were African-American.

The location of the Sheriff's Office during the 1860's was in the same building as the courthouse. The Sheriff's duties expanded as time went on, and larger facilities, jail, and more money were always items before the county commissioners.

At the turn of the century, county commissioners strove to meet the needs of the Sheriff's Office by raising salaries, securing up-to-date equipment, transportation and facilities. (The courthouses in which the Sheriff's Office and jail were located kept burning down).

The Sheriff's Office was moved from place to place over the years, from old courthouses to the City Hall basement, to the courthouse annex, to the North Fourth Street location, and to the present facility located at 3950 Juvenile Center Road, occupied in 2004.

The present-day Sheriff's Office has over 400 personnel.

Past New Hanover County Sheriffs

Sidney Causey Joseph Lanier Joseph McQueen Jr. Thomas Radewicz
2002-2009 2000-2002 1982-2000 1978-1982
H.G. Grohman Marion Millis Marvin Register F. Porter Davis
1973-1978 1958-1973 1951-1958 1947-1951
C. David Jones John Morris George Jackson Elijah Hewlett
1932-1947 1930-1932 1916-1930 1894-1898

For more details on the history of the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, contact:

Judy Ward

New Hanover County Sheriff's Office

3950 Juvenile Center Road

Castle Hayne, NC 28429