Merced County California

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History of the Merced County District Attorney's Office
Old Courthouse
The Office of the District Attorney was established by the Constitution of the State of California, Government Code Section 26500, to provide prosecution and enforcement services in the adult and juvenile criminal matters. The mission of the Merced County District Attorney's Office is to seek justice by ensuring that victim's rights and the public's safety are our first priority through the fair, equal, vigorous, and efficient enforcement of the criminal laws. Our office works with every component of the criminal justice system and the community to protect the innocent, to convict and appropriately punish the guilty, and to protect the rights of victims and witnesses.

The Merced County District Attorney’s Office was established in 1855. The first offices were located at the county seat on the Turner and Osborn Ranch by Mariposa Creek. In 1856, the town of Snelling was named the County seat and the offices were relocated to Snelling. In 1872, the city of Merced was named the County seat and the offices were moved once more to Merced and are still in Merced today.

The following is a list of elected District Attorney’s and the years they served as District Attorney:

2006 – Present
Larry D. Morse II

1990 – 2006
Gordon Spencer

1986 – 1990
Frank Dougherty

1960 – 1986
Pat Hallford

1955 – 1960
S. Galvin, Jr.

1951 – 1955
Don C. Mayes

1947 – 1951
F. Hale

1943 – 1947
Claude Adams

1939 – 1943
A. A. Henderson

1935 – 1939
F.A. Silveira

1927 – 1935
F. M. Ostrander

1923 – 1927
C. H. McCray

1919 – 1923
C. W. Croop &
A. K. Landrum

1915 – 1919
C. H. McCray

1907 – 1915
H. S. Shaffer

1902 – 1907
E. H. Hoar

1900 – 1902
J. F. McSwain

1892 – 1900
F. G. Ostrander

1890 – 1892
B. F. Fowler

1886 – 1890
J. Brekenridge

1884 – 1886
Frank M. Ostrander

1880 – 1884
Frank Farrar

1877 – 1880
P. B. King

1875 – 1877
R. H. Ward &
J. K. Law

1873 – 1875
D. M. McKenney

1867 – 1873
R. H. Ward

1863 – 1867
P. D. Wigginton

1859 – 1863
Samuel H. P. Ross

1858 – 1859
William W. Stafford

1855 – 1858
Jack W. Smith


Merced County 2222 M Street Merced, CA 9543 Ph. (209) 385-7434 Toll Free (800) 226-6452