H. LeRoy Campbell

[ Age 91 ] Longtime Carroll County sheriff lived with his family over old stone jail.

January 07, 2007

H. LeRoy "Monk" Campbell, Carroll County's longest-serving sheriff, who single-handedly oversaw the county jail in Westminster for years, died of natural causes Wednesday at Northwest Hospital Center in Randallstown. He was 91 and lived in Westminster.

Born in Pittsburgh, Mr. Campbell graduated from Apollo High School in Pennsylvania. He attended Western Maryland College, now McDaniel College, where he played football and baseball for the Green Terror. He played professional and semiprofessional football after college. He was on the roster of the Washington Redskins in 1937 but did not play.

During World War II, Mr. Campbell worked for American Hammer Co. in Baltimore. He was elected Carroll sheriff in 1962, and he served until he retired in 1982. He and his family lived in an apartment over the old stone jail, which was built in 1837.

According to a 2000 article in The Sun, the only help Mr. Campbell had when he arrived at the jail was a full-time day jailer and a part-time evening jailer. His wife of 64 years, the former Mildred Louise Eckard, cooked meals for the inmates. She died in 2001.

Mr. Campbell and the county commissioners battled frequently throughout the 1970s, as the commissioners attempted to wrest control of law enforcement away from the sheriff's office in favor of the state police. The old jail was condemned around 1968 and inmates were housed in Baltimore jails until the Carroll County Detention Center was built.

Since retirement, Mr. Campbell enjoyed travel - including trips to Europe and a cruise around South Africa. He coached Little League and youth football leagues.

A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. today at the Fletcher Funeral Home, 254 E. Main St., Westminster.

Mr. Campbell is survived by a daughter, Lois Campbell Yates of Scottsdale, Ariz.

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