Former Sheriffs

William Y. Scott

Scott, William Y.

Appointed: 1858 - 1860

William Y. "Monte" Scott and two companions, William "Yank" Hazelton and John A. Patterson moved from Mariposa in 1853, and settled on the Kings River. These three young men shared many things in common, especially a love of the card game called Monte. William was Scott's given name but his skill at the card game earned him the nickname of "Monte." While Hazelton and Patterson worked at establishing their cattle ranches, Scott settled at the stagecoach road crossing located in the Kings River bottom. Scott established a saloon and "eating house." As pioneers settled about the area, the community became known as Scottsburg.

Scott was well respected by his community, and was called upon to sit as a member of Tulare County's first grand jury which convened on August 1, 1853 at Woodsville, Tulare County's first seat. Monte Scott was deemed a likable and dependable neighbor who was also known to be fearless. Scott's body bore more than fifty scars from gun, arrow and knife wounds, gained while living the life of an adventurer. Scott had fought in the Mexican-American War, a number of Indian wars, and also as a guerilla, gambler, and duelist.

William Y. Scott was elected to the office of Sheriff-Tax Collector in 1857. There were four candidates who ran for sheriff in 1857, with 295 votes being cast. William "Monte" Scott received 87 votes, just three more than his nearest competitor, assuming office in 1858.

William Scott was the third sheriff of Fresno County and was the first to serve his entire term of office. Scott was also the first sheriff to appoint deputies who were full-time, notably Undersheriff R.J. Burford, and Deputies Hugh Carlan and Henry Sullivan. Sheriff Scott had a jail of dubious value that was in need of almost constant repair. The jail's original builder, Henry Burroughs, was given additional funds to repair the jail from the county building fund.

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