William James Roby "Sterling" Crittenden
From the Advertiser-Journal, January 31, 1935
To the People of Winston County by Former Sheriff J.R. Crittenden
I have just closed four years of hard work, with you and for you, as your sheriff. I have enjoyed your hearty cooperation and support; for which I want to graciously thank all of you. I want to especially thank all the deputies and other citizens who did so much to help with little or no compensation. Gentlemen, I am thankful for everyone of you.
With your help, I have given the best I had during these four years to help make our county a better place to live. I can only leave it to the people as to its success; after all, I'm not to judge.
I am caused to breathe a sigh of regret, when I recall that I have had to commit around 1300 persons to the county jail. Nearly all were people of this good county of ours, who seems to disregard the laws of the land. A large amount of this number have served sentences or are out on parole. We have destroyed about 950 wild cat stills about over the county, poured our several thousand gallons of beer and liquor.
Boys, this wildcatting and bootlegging won't pay. Come on and let's join together and help Mr. Hunter make a real success of his term of office as our sheriff.
From the Advertiser Journal, May 18, 1939, Winston Whirl-Around by W.H. Swearingen
J.R. (STERLING) CRITTENDEN--- Big-scale planter and merchant of Ashridge. A former commissioner and sheriff of this county. Born in Winston on March 22, 1884. Son of Will R. and Malissa (Hood) Crittenden. His father operated the old Hubbard Mill at the time of Mr. Crittenden's birth. Mr. Crittenden owns and lives on the property at Ashridge that was entered by Mr. E.P. Lakeman many years ago. On a day in March, 1900, he was married to Miss Emmie Boyles, of Lawrence County - a kind, loving wife and mother. Eleven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Crittenden with nine now living. They are Sylvester, merchant of Double Springs, Mrs. Sherman Lovelady, also of D.S., Bart, of Ashridge; Mrs. Bill Little, of Florence; Travis, in business with Sylvester at Double Springs; Mrs. Roy Frazier, of Double Springs; Rowena, who finished Auburn this Spring; Willard, who is employed by the Tennessee Valley Bank at Haleyville and June, the youngest, who is at home at Ashridge. Mr. Crittenden has been actively identified with Winston politics for many years. Was elected as Commissioner of the First District in 1916. Held office for 12 years. Elected Sheriff for a four year term. Has since then, been looking after his varied interests in and around Ashridge. His business success is a substantiation of the old adage that "a rolling stone gathers no moss", for he is still located on the property on which he and his wife first began housekeeping. And they began from scratch - working hard and making each dollar count until today, he is owner of many tracts of property in and around Ashridge. And he raised a fine group of children, who are successful in their own right. Your correspondent has been closely associated with the Crittenden family for 25 years. We have watched the children grow up from childhood - have served as a teacher of the younger ones and counts it a privilege to number them among our friends. As a politician, Mr. Crittenden has the politician's usual number of political enemies but we have always found him to be kind, considerate and sympathetic. He and his wife have been members of the Liberty Grove Baptist Church for most of their married life and are loyal members. Mrs. Crittenden is a typical Winston wife and mother. A ministering angel in times of illness and bereavement -- a Christian mother who has always looked well over her own household. Good neighbors, are these Crittendens, as you will soon find out if you stay around Ashridge long enough.