History

Harford County was formed in 1774 when Maryland was still a British colony and ruled by the colonial governor. The first mention of a prosecutor is found in the documents that set up the first County government. George Chalmers is designated as the “Clerk of Indictments and Prosecutions.”

When Maryland first adopted a State constitution, the duties of the prosecutor were the responsibilities of the Attorney General except for a five-year period of 1816 to 1821 when the Legislature created the position of District Attorney. The Attorney General was at this time appointed by the Governor.
 
In 1851, the Maryland Constitution created the position of State’s Attorney.
Article V, section 7 specifies that each county and Baltimore City is to have a State’s Attorney, who is elected for a term of four years. The Constitution of 1867 defined the duties of the State’s Attorney, as they exist today

C. Milton Wright, in his book “Our Harford Heritage”, lists the following persons as having held the office of State’s Attorney since 1774:
  • 1774 George Chalmers
  • 1793 John Montgomery
  • 1797 D. David
  • 1799 Thomas Kell
  • 1805 J. Ward
  • 1809 Stevenson Archer
  • 1810 John Saunders
  • 1811 John Montgomery
  • 1823 Thomas Kell
  • 1829 Wm. B. Bond
  • 1848 Wm. Galloway
  • 1851 Wm. H. Dallam
  • 1862 Geo Y. Maynadier
  • 1867 Patrick H. Rutledge
  • 1871 John Th. Chew Hopkins
  • 1879 Geo. Y. Maynadier
  • 1887 J. Edwin Webster
  • 1891 Walter W. Preston
  • 1900 James W. McNabb
  • 1904 J. Royston Stifler
  • 1916 Walter R. McComas
  • 1922 W. Worthington Hopkins
  • 1933 Meyer H. Getz
  • 1935 D. Paul McNabb
  • 1951 Robert H. Archer, Jr.
  • 1955 Harry E. Dyer, Jr.
  • 1963 Edwin H. W. Harlan
  • 1978 Peter C. Cobb