Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: May 6, 2008
Sen. Jeff Rabon pays tribute to retired State Trooper
who was honored by the Senate on Tuesday.
Senate Pays Tribute
to State’s Oldest Trooper
In 1937 Ed Vandergriff was among the very
first state troopers to serve the state when the Oklahoma Highway
Patrol was first formed. At the age of 97, he is now the oldest
living retired trooper in the state.
On Tuesday the State Senate honored Vandergriff with the passage
of Senate Concurrent Resolution 86. Sen. Jeff Rabon was principal
author of SCR 86. The measure was co-authored by Rep. R.C. Pruett,
Rep. Paul Roan and Rep. Glenn Bud Smithson who are all former state
Rabon said Vandergriff had been a long-time family friend.
“Ed was a teacher in Frogville, Oklahoma when he read a newspaper
article about the legislature creating the Highway Patrol. He applied
and was a member of the first state trooper class at OU in 1937,”
said Rabon, D-Hugo. “He left for a few years to protect his
country in World War II, but after returning home he returned to
his job as a trooper. He really is a hero.”
Rabon said Vandergriff had often recounted the technical challenges
troopers faced in the early days. The only communication device
in the 1937 Ford he drove was a giant pole wrapped in copper wire
placed on the bumper. Every time Vandergriff and his partner went
under an overpass, one of them would have to get out of the car
to remove the pole so the vehicle could drive underneath.
Vandergriff eventually retired from the Highway Patrol in 1960,
later serving as sheriff of Choctaw County for two years before
retiring to a farm.
Vandergriff said he’d slowed down since turning 97, but was
still doing “pretty good.” He also applauded the members
of the Senate for their service.
“You have a job to do and you’re doing it,” Vandergriff
said. “We appreciate you.”
For more information contact:
Senator Rabon's Office: (405) 521-5614