Calhoun County Sheriff David Tatum honored a man Friday who walked in his same shoes 78 years ago and wound up sacrificing his life.
Robert Jordan Flanders became sheriff in 1930 following the murder of Sheriff C.D. Clark in the middle of downtown Blountstown. Two years later, Sheriff Flanders was elected to the office. On Dec. 13, just weeks before being sworn in to begin his four-year term, Sheriff Flanders was gunned down by J.P. Chance, a farmer who sharecropped land with him just south of Ten Mile Creek near Shelton’s crossroads.
Sheriff Flanders and his wife, Lillah Pierce Flanders, had seven children, C.A. Flanders, Audrey Flanders Durham, Ruby Flanders Morris, Artie Leonard, Eldridge Thompson, and Evelyn and Ethel who died in infancy. Lillah passed away and Sheriff Flanders wed Mellie Sewell. They had two children together, Robert J. Flanders, Jr. and Roberta Flanders Slay.
Decades after his death, several of Sheriff Flanders’ survivors were on hand at a luncheon Friday hosted by Sheriff Tatum and sponsored by Williams Communications. The site was just three quarters of a mile from where Sheriff Flanders was killed. Family members were touched as Sheriff Tatum presented them with a book in honor of Sheriff Flanders. Williams Communications, who recently installed a new digital radio system at the Sheriff’s Office, presented a plaque for the radio room, dedicated to Sheriff Flanders. Above, Sheriff Tatum is shown with Sheriff Flanders' family members.
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