“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Greensboro in Greene County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)

Sheriff L. L. Wyatt

Sheriff L. L. Wyatt Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Seibert, January 19, 2009
1. Sheriff L. L. Wyatt Marker
This is the front side of the marker.
Inscription.  This 1895 jail is named for the legendary Sheriff, Loy Lee Wyatt, who enforced the laws in Greene County for fifty-two years until his death in 1977. Sheriff L.L. Wyatt was born on January 2, 1904, in Paulding County. He was recruited to serve the citizens of Greene County due to his fast legs and honest reputation. In 1925, L.L. Wyatt began his law enforcement career as a Greene County policeman who waged a "one-man war" against the making of illegal corn whiskey. Prior to his arrival, moonshine production was considered the leading industry in Greene County and its product was enjoyed in all of the finest hotels of Atlanta. After having rid the County of its moonshiners, Wyatt ran for the Office of Sheriff in 1940 defeating the incumbent. He served as Sheriff until he died in 1977. At the time of his death he was the longest standing Sheriff in the State, with thirty-seven years of service.

During his 37 years as Sheriff, Wyatt became a legend in his own time. Few men become legends and even fewer achieve the status of a "living legend" as did Sheriff Wyatt. He was a religious man who believed that God blessed him with protection
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during all of his fights, gun battles, and dangerous encounters. His law enforcement exploits exposed him to at least five gunshot wounds in the line of duty, in part due to the fact that he seldom carried a gun on his person, requiring him to retrieve it from his car at the sight of danger. In the early days of his career, when moonshiners resisted arrest, Wyatt regularly shot it out with them. He killed over a half dozen men, all of whom shot at him first.

The most famous gunfight of Sheriff Wyatt’s career occurred in 1974. He was 70 years old at the time. Bank robbers eluded a 100-car police chase that started in Wrens, Georgia, and ended in Greene County. The bank robbers had killed a teller at the bank in Wrens and had taken two women hostage. Sheriff Wyatt set up a road block midway between Union Point and Greensboro. Wyatt stood in the middle of the road as the speeding car approached. The robbers attempted to shoot him, but the gun misfired. One bank robber was killed in the ensuing battle, but both women were unharmed. Sheriff Wyatt subsequently received the award of the Peace Officer of the Year for his bravery in this incident.

Sheriff Wyatt was a family man, devoted to his wife, son, and grandchildren. He was a businessman, lending his experience to the operation and affairs of the Citizens Union Bank as a director. He was a community leader who
Sheriff L. L. Wyatt Marker (Reverse side) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Seibert, January 19, 2009
2. Sheriff L. L. Wyatt Marker (Reverse side)
The text continues onto the reverse side of the marker.
had concern for all citizens -- rich and poor, black and white. Out of a concern for these people, legend has it that Sheriff Wyatt confronted a notorious member of the Dixie Maffia and proclaimed, "These are my people and I want you to leave them alone!"

Sheriff Wyatt, also known as Mr. Sheriff, was the epitome of a community oriented police officer long before such an idea was born and served as an example for every officer to follow.
Erected by Greene County Sheriff's Office.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & PoliticsLaw EnforcementRoads & Vehicles. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1720.
Location. 33° 34.602′ N, 83° 10.866′ W. Marker is in Greensboro, Georgia, in Greene County. Marker is on North East Street, 0 miles south of East Greene Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 102 N East Street, Greensboro GA 30642, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Greene County "Gaol" (within shouting distance of this marker); William C. Dawson (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Commissioner of Agriculture (about 400 feet away); Greene County (about 400 feet away); Greensboro Auditorium
The 1890s Sheriff's Office and the Sheriff L. L. Wyatt Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Seibert, January 19, 2009
3. The 1890s Sheriff's Office and the Sheriff L. L. Wyatt Marker
(about 400 feet away); Episcopal Church of The Redeemer (about 700 feet away); The Burning of Greensborough (about 800 feet away); Bishop George Foster Pierce (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greensboro.
More about this marker. The marker is located at the Sheriff's Office, which now also houses the L.L. Wyatt Museum. The Museum contains photos, badges, a seized liquor still, century-old arrest warrants, an authentic old cell block, and firearms. The building was built in the 1890s.
Also see . . .
1. The High Sheriff of Greene: The True Story of Legendary Lawman L.L. Wyatt. 2016 book by Claire Underwood Hertzler on (Submitted on March 17, 2018.) This website may earn income if you use this link to make a purchase on 

2. An Amusing Sheriff L L. Wyatt Story. The story is told by a resident of Greene County in this minute-and-a-half video.
(Submitted on March 17, 2018.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 16, 2019. It was originally submitted on February 9, 2009, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 3,062 times since then and 47 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week March 18, 2018. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 9, 2009, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 1, 2024