Joe Hunter Harding (1890, died 1954) won a close four-man race in 1952. A widower, the Douglasville native was sheriff when the "old jail" was opened in 1954 on Church Street.
The oldest man elected county sheriff at 63, Harding was a familiar figure with a cigar clenched in his teeth. His deputies included Ollie Browning, Robert Parr, Howard Daniell, Clyde Gable and J. Cowan Whitley. Harding was defeated for re-election in 1956, coming fourth out of seven candidates.