Caswell County Genealogy

Poteat, Sheriff Bobby Edward

Poteat, Sheriff Bobby Edward

Male 1930 - 1996  (66 years)

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  • Name Poteat, Bobby Edward  [1
    Title Sheriff 
    Born 23 Jan 1930  Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Reference Number 17959 
    Died 6 Aug 1996  Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I17616  Caswell County
    Last Modified 21 Jun 2022 

    Father Poteat, Drawnie Stephen,   b. 1 Sep 1905, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Mar 1990, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Carroll, Nettie James,   b. 30 Nov 1907, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jun 1985, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 20 Dec 1928  [1
    Reference Number 189953 
    Family ID F8189  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Murphy, Margaret Anne,   b. 8 Dec 1929, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Apr 2013, Durham, Durham County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Married 1950 
     1. Living
     2. Living
    Last Modified 21 Jun 2022 
    Family ID F48176  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Living 
    Last Modified 21 Jun 2022 
    Family ID F8193  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 23 Jan 1930 - Caswell County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 6 Aug 1996 - Caswell County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Bobby Edward Poteat With Banjo
    Caswell County Sheriff Department 1958

    Caswell County Sheriff Bobby Edward Poteat
    Caswell County Sheriff Department
    Bobby Poteat Sworn in as Caswell County Sheriff 1966
    Bobby Poteat Denial The Bee Dec 15 1977

  • Notes 
    • Bobby Edward Poteat (1930-1996)

      Caswell County Sheriff's Department 1958

      New Caswell Sheriff 1966

      Caswell County Sheriff's Office

      Caswell County Sheriff's Office 1966

      Sheriff Bobby Edward Poteat

      Poteat Denial_The_Bee_Thu__Dec_15__1977_

      Bobby Poteat Wins Sheriff Race. Danville Register, 29 May 1966

      (for larger image, click on photograph)

      First Photograph (left-to-right): John Lewis Satterfield, Jr.; James (Snake) Ashby; Benjamin Franklin Daniel; George Hodges; and Bobby Poteat (Caswell County Sheriff 1966-1978).

      Second Photograph: Former Caswell County, N.C., Deputy Sheriff Bobby Poteat was sworn in as the county's sheriff for the next four years in a ceremony today in the courthouse at Yanceyville. Shown administering the oath is Assistant Court Clerk Pauline Clayton. Poteat succeeds Frank Daniel, whom he defeated in the July Democratic primary. Daniel had served as sheriff for eight years.

      Source: Danville Register & Bee (Danville, Virginia), 5 December 1966.

      Third Photograph: Yanceyville, N.C. -- Bobby Poteat took the oath of office Monday as Caswell County's new sheriff and announced the appointment of five deputies. The new deputies are Sam Hamlett, Teddy Willis, Harold Meeler, Ed Gwynn, and Lewis Satterfield. All but Hamlett have served as deputies in the past. Both Willis and Gwynn already were deputies when Poteat took over. Poteat, a deputy himself for over seven years until he resigned early this year to run for office, defeated incumbent Frank Daniel in the May Democratic primary.

      Although never before a deputy, Hamlett is not without prior law enforcement experience. He has been constable in Pelham Township for the past 10 years.

      Willis has been with the sheriff's department on a part-time basis for the past three years. He became a fulltime deputy a year ago. He also has served as the Milton town officer.

      Gwynn, the first Negro to serve as a deputy sheriff in Caswell County in this century, was appointed by Daniel two years ago to work on a part-time basis. Under Poteat he will become a fulltime deputy.

      Meeler, from Leasburg, served as a deputy for about one month last year. He has been farming since.

      Satterfield, whose primary responsibility will be jailor and dispatcher, served under Daniel in this capacity until about two years ago when he was released following a disagreement.

      Source: Danville Register & Bee (Danville, Virginia), 5 December 1966.

      Fourth Photograph:

      Heading: Caswell County's New Sheriff's Department

      Text: Shown above are the members of the County's new Sheriff's Department. Seated, is Sheriff Bobby Poteat of Providence. Standing, left to right, Lewis Satterfield of Yanceyville, Linwood H. (Sam) Hamlett of Pelham, Harold C. Meeler of Leasburg, Teddy Willis of Milton and J. Edd Gwynn of the Jones Community. The new sheriff and his deputies took office on December 5.

      Source: The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, North Carolina), 5 December 1966.

      Fifth Photograph: Sheriff Bobby Poteat with a Banjo.

      Sixth Photograph: Newspaper Article: The Bee (Danville, Virginia), Thursday, 15 December 1977.

      Poteat Candidate For Sheriff

      As [George Irvin] Aldridge has all but bowed out of the May 28 Democratic primary [for Caswell County Commissioner], to other candidates entered. One of these is Bobby Poteat, who said he will oppose Frank Daniel as sheriff. Poteat's announcement assured Caswell of at least one county contest in the upcoming primary.

      It could be a lively one. Poteat, who lives at Providence, has been under pressure for some time to challenge Daniel and is expected to give Daniel his most serious competition since Daniel first was elected in 1958. Poteat served as a deputy under Daniel until last month when he resigned. Before becoming a deputy in August, 1957, he was a constable of Dan River Township.

      A member of Providence Baptist Church, he married the former Margaret Murphy in 1950. They have a son, 6, and daughter, 11. He served in the Army during the Korean War.

      Sheriff Daniel announced this week that Brooks Arnold, 57, of Pelham, has been appointed deputy sheriff to succeed Poteat.

      Source: The Danville Register (Danville, Virginia), 4 March 1966, Friday, Page 11.

      Caswell County Sheriff Race 1966

      Bobby Poteat joined the Caswell County Sheriff's Office as a deputy in 1957, being hired by Sheriff Lynn Banks Williamson. In early 1966 he resigned his deputy position to run for Caswell County Sheriff against his old boss, Frank Daniel, who succeeded Williamson as Caswell County Sheriff. Poteat supporters cited "problems" in the sheriff's office, including in 1965 the sudden departure from the county of a deputy sheriff and the wounding in the leg of another deputy by a man supposedly his prisoner.

      Election Results: Bobby Poteat 2,256; Frank Daniel 1,525. This resounding defeat of Sheriff Daniel was not expected. Pelham, Purley, and Yanceyville carried the day for Bobby Poteat.

      However, Poteat was to have his own "problems" in the sheriff's office, including all his deputies walking out (striking about pay), controversy over which deputies were allowed to return, and being convicted of lying to a federal grand jury and being sentenced to two years in prison.

      Bobby Poteat Upset Frank Daniel in Caswell County Sheriff Race: 1966

      Sheriff Frank Daniel took his defeat philosophically: "That's the way the ball bounces," he said. "Anytime you play ball, you can't expect to win them all." When the last vote came in and Poteat was declared the winner, Daniel congratulated him. Asked what he told his former deputy, Daniel said, "I told him he'll be our sheriff and I'll be behind him 100 percent."

      Daniel, a former NC Highway Patrolman, had been Caswell County Sheriff for eight years, after defeating Sheriff Lynn Banks Williamson in a runoff.

      Poteat had served as a deputy sheriff under Daniel throughout Daniel's two terms until he resigned early in 1966 to challenge the incumbent. Happy but tired after the ballots were counted, he relaxed at his parents' home and expressed his appreciation to all those who had worked for him. "I've got a lot of friends I didn't know about," he said. With no Republican opposition this fall, Poteat is assured of election.

      Bobby Edward Poteat (1930-1996)
      Benjamin Franklin Daniel (1916-2006)
      Roy Malloy Thompson (1938-1980)
      Lester Homer Turner (1927-2004)

      The Danville Register (Danville, Virginia), 29 May 1966. See above photograph.

      Caswell County Sheriff Resigns

      Caswell County Sheriff Bobby Poteat, who has until January 5, 1979, to report to prison for a two-year term for lying to a federal grand jury, has resigned as Sheriff of Caswell County. He was immediately replaced by J. E. Smith, Jr., who was scheduled to take office next month. Smith defeated Poteat in last May's Democratic primary. Poteat stated in his resignation letter: "I will always cherish my years as a peace officer serving the citizens of our fine county during which time it has been my goal to provide competent, efficient and dedicated law enforcement." Poteat's letter of resignation was presented to a special meeting of the Caswell County Board of Commissioners.

      Source: Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, North Carolina), 17 November 1978, Friday, Page 10.

      In his closing argument to the jury in the federal criminal trial of Caswell County Sheriff Bobby Edward Poteat, lead defense counsel Robert Blackwell stated: "Are you going to believe the word of prostitutes, pimps and convicted felons and convict this man who has been in law enforcement for 21 years?"

      Blackwell's arguments were not successful as the jury took little time to find Poteat guilty. However, US. District Judge Glen Williams imposed a very light sentence on Poteat, including no fine. The judge stated that a fine could impose a hardship on Poteat's family.

      Lawyer Blackwell stated that the verdict and sentence would be appealed. That never happened.

      Bobby Edward Poteat apparently died of a heart attack while employed as a security guard by Magder/Pinnacle Studios in Yanceyville, NC.

      In the spring of 1966, Caswell County Deputy Sheriff Bobby Poteat resigned to run against his boss Sheriff Frank Daniel in the July Democratic primary. As there was no Republican challenger, the winner of the primary would be the Caswell County Sheriff.

      With Poteat's resignation, Sheriff Daniel had a deputy sheriff's position to fill. He appointed John Brooks Arnold, 57, from Providence. Arnold lasted only a few weeks, dying suddenly of a heart attack April 8, 1966.

      Bobby Poteat defeated Frank Daniel, who had served for eight years (after defeating Lynn Banks Williamson in 1958). Poteat was re-elected twice after his initial 1966 victory (1970 and 1974). However, he was defeated in 1978 and by early 1979 was in federal prison. He was succeeded by James Isaac Smith, Jr.

      See: The Danville Register (Danville, VA), 4 March 1966.

      North Carolina Birth Index, 1800-2000
      Name: Bobby Edward Poteat
      Date of Birth: 23 Jan 1930
      Gender: Male
      Race: White
      Birth County: Caswell
      Parent1 Name: Drawnie Stephen Poteat
      Parent2 Name: Nettie James Poteat
      Roll Number: B_C021_68003
      Volume: 8
      Page: 664

      1930 United States Federal Census
      Name: Bobbie Edward Poteat
      Home in 1930: Yanceyville, Caswell, North Carolina
      Age: 0
      Estimated birth year: abt 1930
      Relation to Head of House: Son
      Father's Name: Drawine S
      Mother's Name: Nettie
      Race: White
      Household Members: Name Age
      Drawine S Poteat 24
      Nettie Poteat 22
      Bobbie Edward Poteat 3/12

      North Carolina Death Collection, 1908-2004
      Name: Bobby Edward Poteat
      Gender: Male
      Race: White
      Marital Status: Married
      Social Security Number: 244440526
      Father's Last Name: Poteat
      Age: 66
      Date of Birth: 23 Jan 1930
      Residence County: Caswell
      Residence State: North Carolina
      Date of Death: 6 Aug 1996
      Death County: Caswell
      Death State: North Carolina
      Autopsy: Yes
      Attendant: Medical Examiner
      Burial Location: Burial in state
      Source Vendor: NC Department of Health. North Carolina Deaths, 1993-96

      Social Security Death Index
      Name: Bobby E. Poteat
      SSN: 244-44-0526
      Last Residence: 27379 Yanceyville, Caswell, North Carolina
      Born: 23 Jan 1930
      Died: 6 Aug 1996
      State (Year) SSN issued: North Carolina (Before 1951)

  • Sources 
    1. Details: The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 144-146 (Article #111 "The Reuben Henderson Carroll Family" by Ann Foster Carroll).