Desert Sheriff, Part II

The Life and Times of Lawman Tim Nettleton

Story and Photos by James R. Spencer

Part I of this series on longtime Owyhee County Sheriff Tim Nettleton, which appeared in the June issue, began with the sheriff pulling the body from the river of one of two men murdered by desert buckaroo Claude Dallas. This concluding part looks at a number of cases during Nettleton’s colorful career.

Rustling, horse-thieving, drunken manslaughter and murder, larceny, drug-dealing, and embezzlement—Sheriff Tim Nettleton dealt with all these criminal activities during his twenty-six years in office. He seldom had to point a gun at anyone, but he occasionally had one pointed at him. Once, when he was trying to break up a noisy kegger, an airman from nearby Mountain Home Air Base aimed a pistol at him. “I just took two steps towards him and hit him with a blackjack. He settled right down.”

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