cover of book
 

Alabama's Outlaw Sheriff, Stephen S. Renfroe
by William Warren Rogers and Ruth Pruitt
introduction by Paul M. Pruitt Jr., Jr.
University of Alabama Press, 2005
Paper: 978-0-8173-5248-6
Library of Congress Classification HV7911.R46R64 2005
Dewey Decimal Classification 364.155092

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
A vignette of local Southern history

Among the villains, heroes, rogues and demigods who inhabit Southern folklore, Stephen S. Renfroe deserves a place. In the twentieth-century a few popular magazine and newspaper articles have been written about Renfroe, while Carl Carmer’s Stars Fell on Alabama, published in 1934, devoted several pages to him. Other than this, all is previously know about the enigmatic sheriff who because an outlaw is in the form of a legend.
 
In general, Renfroe appeared in the Black Belt town of Livingston, Alabama in the late 1860s and quickly became a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Allegedly playing a major role in driving out carpetbaggers and ridding Sumter County of Radical Republican rule, he was awarded with the office of sheriff. However, he reverted to a pattern of crime that earned him disgrace and ostracism.
 
As to his origins, his background, and the details of his career—much has been speculated but little has been documented. Although no statue commemorates Renfroe’s role as a statesman, educator, or solider (his highest military rank was that of private), a case can be made that he helped shape the course of politics in Alabama’s Black Belt.
 
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