A.E. “Elzie” Smith was born in 1867 in Iowa to Mr. and Mrs. Albert L. Smith. Elzie’s father had a colorful history. In his early twenties, Albert crossed the plains four times. He made his first trip to Nevada in 1860, driving a band of horses and mules. He returned to Iowa in 1865 and married. Elzie; his second son, was born there. Albert then crossed the plains with his family, driving a four-mule team amid the oxen teams of other members in the caravan to Nevada. He later traded his valuable mule team for mining claims that dwindled out within a month. That’s when he brought his family to Modoc and ran freight trains. Before he was elected sheriff in 1910, Elzie was a teamster with his father, and then undersheriff for Francis W. Caldwell. After Caldwell’s death, Smith was appointed sheriff for the remaining one-year term. By being elected in 1910 and 1914, he served nine years as sheriff. When four Eagleville stockmen were murdered in High Rock Canyon in the spring of 1911, Sheriff Elzie Smith formed a posse in Eaglville. After days of tracking in rugged country and winter storms, they cauht up with the band of Native Americans suspected of the crime. Even though they were finally cornered and ordered to surrender, they refused to do. In the gun battle that followed, one of the Native Americans, four men, two women and two boys were killed and one woman and two girls taken as prisoners. One member of the posse was killed. Sheriff Smith returned to Modoc County after that issuance of frontier justice with an even stronger reputation as a competent and courageous peace officer. His terms in office testify to the fact that he was respected. Elzie Smith never married. Albert L. Smith, Elizie’s father was 90 years old and still living in Alturas when Elzie died in 1930.