During an era when many women concentrated on hearth and home, thousands of women quietly and without pay served in law enforcement. They organized, administered, presented reports to county commissioners, prepared for inspections, comforted victims, disciplined unruly inmates, fought with escapees, rode shotgun with their husbands as backup, and raised children, tended gardens, and kept house. They risked their lives every day and some paid the ultimate price. This is their story. The office of county sheriff has existed in America since 1634. Between 1800 and 1960, families of the sheriff lived in or near the jail. All family members, young and old, worked alongside the lawman to fulfill the required duties, without additional pay. The mom and pop jail was truly a family business. After the middle of the 20th century, fewer families carried on this tradition as counties modernized and jails became professionalized.Alderman, B. J. is the author of 'Secret Life of the Lawman's Wife ', published 2006 under ISBN 9780275993054 and ISBN 0275993051.