SHERIFF'S OFFICE

DUNN COUNTY

615 Stokke Parkway - Menomonie, WI 54751   -   (715)232-1348   -   Dunn County Sheriff.com

The iron key for the Dunn County jail built in 1874. The key weighed a hefty 6 ounces.

The key was donated to the Dunn County Historical Society in 1963 by Sheriff Oas after completion of the "new" jail.

- Photo and information courtesy of the Dunn County Historical Society.

The Beginning

                                                                                               On October 20, 1931, Francis Keating, Tommy Holden, and Charles Preston Harmon entered the Kraft State

                                                                                               Bank located inside the Montgomery Ward store with guns under their coats, while the get-a-way driver,

                                                                                               Frank Webber, waited down the block. They pulled their weapons and ordered everyone to the floor.  They

                                                                                               were able to take $90,000 in cash and

                                                                                               securities from the vault. Bank cashier

                                                                                               William Kraft was injured in the robbery.

The bank guard, Vernon Townsend, tripped the bank alarm went to the roof in an attempt to confront

the robbers as they fled with two hostages, James Kraft and A.W. Schafer. Webber approached the

bank entrance and got out of the car with a machine gun to cover the robbers. Schafer fell as they left

the bank, and the robbers left her behind. They used James Kraft as a shield as they retreated. The

robbers escaped, but Webber was fatally wounded Charles Preston Harmon was badly injured. The

robbers stopped briefly on Suckow Road to get rid of Weber’s body and allegedly execute James Kraft.

Harmon was left at an evacuated farm where he succumbed to his injuries. The two remaining robbers,

Keating and Holden, were captured in Kansas City and sent back to Leavenworth Prison were they

escaped the year prior to the robbery.

Kraft Robbery

Milton Coleman

Milton Coleman was an Under-Sheriff who was appointed by Sheriff George in 1879. Sheriff Severson kept him as an Under-Sheriff when he was appointed in 1881. In July of 1881, Coleman heard that the Williams Brothers, who were likened by Wisconsin residents to Frank and Jesse James, were seen crossing the river. Coleman enlisted the help of his brother, Charles Coleman to arrest the Williams Brothers. Charles was a Deputy of the Pepin County Sheriff's Office. While speaking with neighbors, the Coleman brothers saw two men approaching on the roadway. Upon realizing the approaching men were the suspects, Milton was shot and killed.  Charles was killed in the ensuing gun-fight, and it is said both of the Williams brothers were wounded. The two boys who were speaking with the deputies were not harmed. 


In November of 1881, Ed Williams was captured in Kansas. He was taken to Durand where he was met by an angry mob who hung him from a tree. The other Williams brother, Alonzo, was captured in October of 1882 in Kansas. He later disappeared from the Durand jail. 

Dunn County was created in 1854, with the elected officials taking office on Jan 1, 1855. Willard Holbrook was the first elected Sheriff for the county, and served until 1856. Since then 45 people were elected to the position (see the list here). The position of Sheriff has been an elected position since its inception. Sheriff's were limited to a single two year term until 1929, when the limit was expanded to two 2 year terms. In 1967, the term limits were eliminated.  

Evelyn Einum

Evelyn Einum was the first, and only, female Sheriff to serve for the Dunn County Sheriff's Office. She was elected in 1950, and served one term. She was the wife of former Sheriff Fred Einum, who served from 1941-1944, and 1947-1949. When she ran for office, she did so as "Mrs. Fred Einum" and even though photos of candidates were common in the newspapers during this time, no photo of Evelyn could be found. During this time, the Einum kids were responsible for taking the food to the prisoners and "hobos."  They would often sing a song as they did so: 


"I never went to college, I never went to Yale.
The only place I ever went, was the Dunn County Jail.
At Six O'clock in the morning, The jailer came around
with hot bread and coffee, that weighed over a pound.
The coffee tastes like turpentine, the bread is old and stale,
But that's how they treat you, at the Dunn County Jail!"


Those housed at the jail would eat the same meals as the Sheriff's family during this time. The Einum children were often heard saying they "spent ten years in jail."

The current Dunn County Sheriff's Office, built in 1997. It is the home of the Dunn County Judicial Center, Dunn County Jail, Dunn County Sheriff's Office, and Menomonie Police Department.

The old Dunn County jail, built in 1874 at the corner of 9th Ave and 10th St. in Menomonie. The sheriff and their family lived on the lower level, while the prisoners lived in the upper level. It was the responsibility of the family to ensure the prisoners (and "hobos") were fed and taken care of. 

- Photo and information courtesy of the Dunn County Historical Society.

history of the sheriff's office

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