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Sheriff Olney was an early Arizona cattle rancher, successful businessman, a founding father of the Valley National Bank, and a candidate for Governor of the Arizona Territory.

He held the position of Graham County sheriff for an eight-year period. He was not as notorious in the enforcement of territorial law as his southern county neighbor, Wyatt Earp, and he was never paid a salary. Instead, Olney received $2.50 for each arrest, averaging warrant commissions of approximately $30,000 per year.

Sheriff Olney and his wife traveled extensively in their later years, visiting Europe several times and favoring the cosmopolitan cities of America. Little of their original furniture or décor remains in the house, but the distinctly Victorian charm is blended with touches of the Southwest, throughout.

Recent restoration of the Olney House and cottages on the property has taken much of the past five years.