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EDAR US Probation History

Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Author: Margaret Hoskyn

“People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” James Baldwin

In 1928, Arkansas Governor John Martineau was appointed as federal judge by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge. The appointment was recommended by then United States Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover. Judge Martineau served as federal judge in the Eastern District of Arkansas (EDAR) until his death from influenza March 6, 1937.

In November 1930, Judge Martineau appointed Albert H. Reed, 50 years of age, as the first federal U.S. Probation Officer for the EDAR and appointed him Chief U.S. Probation Officer October 22, 1936.

Albert Reed was born in Arkansas July 22, 1880, to Sallie and John Reed.  His parents were farm laborers in the Lonoke, Arkansas, area.  Census records indicate Albert worked as a farm hand through 1910. A draft card he filled out at 38 years of age describes him as tall, stout build, blue eyes, and slightly grey hair.

He served as a Warden at the Arkansas Penitentiary from December 28, 1913, to August 1, 1917, and in 1918, he relocated to 1622 West 8th Street, Little Rock and served as a U.S. Marshal. Albert served as deputy for the U.S. Marshals Service in EDAR from August 1, 1917, to February 2, 1922.

In an article from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette dated June 6, 1919, John A. Sherrill, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal, described Albert H. Reed as:

“One of the best criminal officers I have ever seen.  He is a natural officer, level-headed, and with mighty good Judgment.  During the two years he has been in the marshal’s office he has handled some of the worst criminals in the country.  He has never had to kill a man or even shoot one and has never let one escape.  He has never had any trouble with one.”

He served as Sheriff of Pulaski County Arkansas from February 1, 1922, to December 1, 1922, and as  Warden at the State Convict Farm at Tucker from December 1, 1922, to November 1, 1930.

He served in U.S. Probation from November 1930 through May 1, 1937.  After leaving U.S. Probation, Chief Reed finished his career as Superintendent for the State Convict Farm at Tucker.  He passed away in 1960 at the age of 80.

William F. Crutchfield was appointed as a U.S. Probation and Parole Officer for EDAR July 1, 1936.  At the resignation of Chief Reed, Officer Crutchfield was put in charge of the Probation office of the U.S. Court EDAR by John F. Landis, Acting Supervisor, Probation System, U.S. Courts.  On October 1, 1936, his title was changed to Assistant Probation Officer.  His employment was dispensed September 7, 1937.

Officer Crutchfield was born in Searcy Arkansas.  He graduated from high school at Searcy, Arkansas, and completed a bookkeeping course at Keys Institute in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Officer Crutchfield also completed a secretarial course at Ford’s Business College in Little Rock and an accounting course with LaSalle Extension University in Chicago, Illinois.  At the time of his employment with U.S. Probation, he was 48 years old, 5’10 ½” tall and weighed 173 pounds.

Officer Crutchfield was married to Eugenia B. Crutchfield, and they had one daughter, Francys Crutchfield.  They lived at 218 ½ South Maple, Little Rock, AR.  Pictured to the left is the resident that sits at the same address that Officer and Mrs. Crutchfield lived in during 1936-1937.