Sheriffs of Yuma County

Early Sheriffs were appointed by the Governors.

From 1864 until 1871, the Sheriff’s Office was located in La Paz, Arizona. Sheriff Oscar Frank Townsend transferred all county records from La Paz to Arizona City in 1871 when that small river port settlement became the county seat. Two years later Arizona City’s name was changed to Yuma.

Isaac A. Bradshaw
June 1, 1864 - September 10, 1864
Bradshaw was appointed by Arizona Territory Governor John N. Goodwin as the Sheriff of the Second Judicial District on June 1, 1864 and resigned on September 10, 1864.

William Augustus Werninger
September 26, 1864 - November 9, 1864
Werninger was appointed by Arizona Territory Governor John N. Goodwin as the Sheriff of Yuma County on September 26, 1864 after the creation of the original four counties of the Arizona Territory.
Cornelius Sage
December 15, 1864 - May 3, 1865
Killed in the line of duty
Alexander McKey
May 22, 1865 - 1866
William T. Flower
March 6, 1866 - December 10, 1866
Flower was appointed by the county supervisors. It is unclear if Flower resigned or was dismissed for failure to turn in tax money he collected. The county supervisors appointed Col. Marcus D. Dobbins to replace him.
Col. Marcus D. Dobbins
December 1866 - September 1867
Having been appointed, Dobbins ran for Sheriff in June of 1867. Although the election returns first indicated that he had won, the supervisors withdrew the certificate of election that they issued Dobbins and named David King as the next sheriff. Dobbins served out several months remaining in his appointed position before he turned the office of the Sheriff over to David King.
David King
September 1867-January 6, 1869
King resigned when he was ordered to turn over missing money from taxes he had collected. James T. Dana was appointed to replace him.
James T. Dana
January 1869 - September 22, 1871
Killed in the line of duty
Oscar Frank Townsend served out the term.
Oscar Frank Townsend
September 1871 - November 1871
George Tyng George Tyng
November 6, 1871 - April 12, 1873
Office in Arizona City (Yuma)
Tyng resigned to accept a position in the public sector; Goodwin finished out the term.
Dr. Francis H. Goodwin Dr. Francis Henri Goodwin
May 3, 1873 - November 1874
William Augustus Werninger
Also served at the same time as the first Warden of the Yuma Territorial Prison
Charles D. Baker
Frances Marion Hodges Francis Marion Hodges
July 12, 1880 - June 7, 1881
Andy Tyner Andrew Tyner
June 1881-1886
Mike Nugent Michael Nugent
Mel Greenleaf Mel Greenleaf
John Speese John Speese
Gus Livingston Gus M. Livingston
Mel Greenleaf Mel Greenleaf
Jim Polhamus James Miles Polhamus
Jim Chappell James Chappell
Jim Polhamus James Miles Polhamus
1929 - November 21, 1929 (died)
Undersheriff J.C. Hunter finished 3 months of Polhamus’ term
J.C. Hunter Jesse Carlton "J.C." Hunter
T.H. Newman Thomas H. "Pete" Newman
Jack Beard Jack Beard
Jim Washum James Washum
T.H. Newman Thomas H. "Pete" Newman
Lee Echols Lee E. Echols
Travis "Bud" Yancey Travis Yancey
January 1, 1963 - December 31, 1980
John Phipps John R. Phipps
January 1, 1981 - December 31, 1992
Sheriff Ralph Ogden Ralph E. Ogden
January 1, 1993 - December 31, 2012
Sheriff Leon N. Wilmot Sheriff Leon N. Wilmot
January 1, 2013 - present

The information provided was obtained from several resources. However, due to conflicting information, the accuracy of the dates and information prior to 1912 cannot be substantiated at this time. The history of the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office and past Sheriffs is being researched as time permits in effort to verify and/or find additional supporting documentation for the information and dates. The page will be updated as more information is found.

Photos and information about past Sheriffs of Yuma County for our historical archive. If you have any information, please contact:

Anna Amezcua
928-783-4427, Ext. 3007

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