County unveils memorial to former sheriffs

Published 9:06 am Saturday, March 6, 2010


Several family and friends posed with the new memorial. From left to right: Deputy Sheriff John Williams, Willie Ruth Myrick, Center, Willetta Vaughner, Lucy Vaughner and Justin Vaughner.

Memorial services were held on Friday at the John Hulett Detention Center for two former Lowndes County sheriffs in honor of their commitments to law-enforcement.

John Hulett and Willie Vaughner were remembered for their many years of services to Lowndes County by friends, co-workers and family.

Among those in attendance were Walter Hill, Willie Myrick, Arlene Allen and close relatives of Hulett and Vaughner.

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Hulett was well known in Lowndes County for becoming the first African-American to be elected Sheriff, a position he held for over 20 years prior to being elected as probate judge.

As a leader during the civil rights movement, Hulett also assisted in forming the county’s first voter registration organization and became a leading African-American politician and Democrat in Alabama.

“John believed in family,” said Sheriff Chip Williams. “He treated everyone as though they were family and in turn they treated him with the love and respect of a family member.”

As a former state trooper, Air Force veteran and elected president of the Alabama Sheriff‘s Association, Vaughner was well respected as a teacher and friend taking responsibility for the protection and security of Lowndes County after Hulett.

During his service to the county, Vaughner assisted in the construction of a new jail, brought new patrol cars to the county and “helped bring the county into the age of technology,” said Williams.

According to those in attendance, both men will continue to be honored and remembered by friends and family for their achievements and accomplishments.