- The Washington Times - Friday, January 5, 2007

WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) — Carroll County’s longest-serving sheriff, described as a “straight-talking John Wayne kind of guy,” died Jan. 3 of natural causes, a Westminster funeral home said.

H. LeRoy “Monk” Campbell was 91, according to an obituary provided by the Fletcher Funeral Home.

Mr. Campbell became sheriff in 1962 and served until he retired in 1982. In the early days, he had to sleep at the jail because he was the only sworn officer.

“He was a garrulous, gruff, man’s man, a straight-talking John Wayne kind of guy,” Carroll County Commissioner Dean L. Minnich told the Carroll County Times.

Mr. Campbell told the Times in 2002 that jailbreaks were common in the 1960s, including the one where inmates hit him over the head with a lead pipe. He had to get 12 stitches from that one.

But he said inmates and correctional officers got along better than they do today.

“We had robbers and a little bit of everything else, but they weren’t bad,” he said in a 1998 Times interview. “Generally, speaking [the inmates] were pretty respectful to correctional officers.”

Mr. Campbell was born in 1915 in Pittsburgh and attended Western Maryland College where he played football and basketball on an athletic scholarship. He played professional and semiprofessional football in the 1930s and was active in youth football and baseball for much of his life.

“He was straight. Whatever he said was true, whatever he said he was going to do, he did,” said Joseph Barnes, who knew Mr. Campbell since 1945.

Mr. Campbell is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Lois Campbell Yates and Victor J. Yates of Scottsdale, Ariz.

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