History matters. It's important that details of historical events be preserved for future generations to learn from. What is often lost in the securing of those details are the more minute biographical details of the people who participated in the events. Who were they? Where were they born? What kind of education did they have? What were their beliefs? How did they feel about what was occurring in the community, or the broader world around them? What made them choose the career that they pursued?
These are only a few of the questions that researchers may ask about someone. There are many more that could be asked in order for a researcher to develop a clear understanding of the people who have helped shape the historical narrative of our nation and, more specifically, the states in which they live.
With this in mind, I have realized, through my own research efforts, that a gap exists with respect to Missouri's system of justice. The histories of the men and women who have served in the role of sheriff, the highest elected law enforcement official in each of the 114 counties and 1 independent city in the state of Missouri, are being lost to time.
It's time that their stories were collected and preserved for the future.
The Missouri Justice Project is designed to do just that.