Skip to Main Content




1935 - 1939

"John Sockwell, a life-long resident and successful business man of Colbert County, announces his candidacy for the office of sheriff of this county subject to the action of the Democratic voters I the primary May 1, 1934.

Mrs. Sockwell is widely known throughout the county, being a member of a pioneer family, none of whom ever held office before, he stated today.

Mr. Sockwell is the youngest man in the sheriff's race. He has been engaged in business in Tuscumbia for the past 15 years where he has made a success in addition to a legion of friends throughout the county.

If elected, he pledges a fair and square deal for the people of Colbert as their sheriff and law enforcement on all alike.

Mr. Sockwell is held in the highest respect and esteem by the citizens of the county. He was for 3 years in the employ of the government in the railway mail service where he made an outstanding records as a proficient and speedy railway mail clerk."

Information from Sheffield Standard, March 2, 1934

"Unofficial returns Wednesday morning indicate ...John Sockwell Sheriff. The unofficial tabulated count is as follows: Blake - 2251 and Sockwell - 2369."

Information from Sheffield Standard, June 15, 1934

John Sockwell was born in Colbert County in 1895 and brought up on a farm just east of Tuscumbia. He was educated in the Tuscumbia schools, walking to and from school each day.

He taught school 2 years in Franklin County and married Bertie Mitchell of Spring Valley in 1920. They had two children, Dorothy Sockwell Kennemer and Leon D. Sockwell and 5 grandchildren.

Mr. Sockwell was in the garage business in Tuscumbia for 12 years.

He was selected sheriff in 1934 and began his term of office in January of 1935, serving until January 1939.

He ran for Probate Judge in 1940, was elected, and served from January 1942 until 1953.

He was elected Chairman of the Board of Revenue in 1958 and served from January 1959 until 1963.

Mr. Sockwell retired and lived in Tuscumbia in the same house where he and his wife started housekeeping in 1920.

He also was in the real estate business and a manager of Colbert Memorial Gardens.

Information from Colbert County Reporter, June 18, 1975

Mr. Sockwell was born on November 18, 1895 and died on February 13, 1988. He is buried in Colbert Memorial Gardens in Tuscumbia.



John Bell Sockwell - earlier years



Sheriff Sockwell at his desk in Sheriff's Office