Biographical Sketch of Cyrus Olney
Clatsop County delegate
Cyrus Olney was born Oct. 11, 1815 in Geneva, New York. He attended law school in Cincinnati and was admitted to the bar and practiced in Ohio. He moved to Iowa where he served as circuit court judge for four years.
Olney came to Oregon in 1851. President Franklin Pierce appointed him to the Supreme Court of the Oregon Territory in 1853. He served in the third district, which comprised Clatsop, Clackamas, Washington and Yamhill Counties, until 1858. It was during this time that Judge Olney presided over the trial of Oregon’s first convicted murderess, Charity Lamb. She received a sentence of life in prison for killing her husband.
He was elected to the constitutional convention as the delegate from Clatsop County. He served on the Committee on Judiciary, Committee on the Seat of Government and Public Buildings and on the Committee on Boundaries. Although he took an active part in the various debates he was not present at the final vote for adoption of the constitution.
Later in his career he served as a state senator in 1866 and served in the House of Representatives in 1870. He died in Astoria on Dec. 12, 1870. The town of Olney in Clatsop County is named in his honor.