George Ruffner’s Winning Hand

George Ruffner

George Ruffner arrived in Prescott in 1882 and in the years that followed was a cowboy, freighter, rancher and in 1894 he was elected Sheriff of Yavapai County. He went on to serve five non-contiguous terms as sheriff until he died in office in 1933. He also helped organize the world famous Prescott rodeo in 1888.

In 1903 he won a funeral home in a faro game at the famous Palace Saloon on Whiskey Row. From that day hence Sheriff Ruffner could offer taxpayers a package deal: he could shoot the bad guy, embalm him and bury him.

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