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Apache County, Arizona

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Apache County

      Apache County was carved from Yavapai County one of Arizona’s original four counties on Feb. 24,1879, by the 10th Territorial Legislative Assembly. Leaders of St. Johns and Globe had petitioned for their towns to be the county seat, but the honor went temporarily to Snowflake, with the provision that an election would determine the permanent county seat. In November 1879, on the strength of votes from the mining town of Clifton (now in Greenlee County), St. Johns was designated the county seat.

      Originally, Apache County encompassed all of present day Navajo County, part of Gila County and part of Graham County, but by 1895 its size had been reduced to the 11,218 square miles it occupies today. The Apache and Navajo Indian reservations cover 66 percent of the county, and 25 percent of the state’s Native Americans live here. Approximately 21 percent is public land, and 14 percent is privately owned. All of Apache County is an Enterprise Zone.

      The forested White Mountains and green pastures in the south of the county contrast sharply with the high, dry, colorful plateau region of the north. Excellent fishing, hunting and skiing make the White Mountains a year-round recreation area. Numerous archaeological sites are open to the public.

      Fort Defiance, Arizona’s first military post, the Town of Ganado, and Hubbell’s famous trading post (now a National Historic Site) are located in northern Apache County on the Navajo Reservation. Chinle, another Indian trade center, is the gateway to the spectacular Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Also in Apache County are the spectacular Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert, Window Rock, the Navajo tribal capital, and Casa Malpais Archaeological site. The Apache Indian Reservation, located in the White Mountains around the settlement of Fort Apache, includes 25 excellent fishing lakes and the Sunrise Park Ski Resort for outdoor recreation, as well as a highly successful lumber mill and a casino.

      Source: Arizona-A Review of its Resources Published 1891.
Apache County was carved out of the Eastern portion of Yavapai in 1879, and is the next in size to that county in the Territory. To the north of it lies Colorado; to the east, New Mexico; to the south, Graham and Gila; and to the west, Yavapai. The country is well watered and timbered, forms an excellent grazing country in the south, and, in the north, is cut up into gorges and canyons, the work of the floods of centuries. In this part is the famous mesa de vaca a peculiar plateau which rises suddenly to a height of 1,000 feet above the surrounding country. Here, too, exists a magnificent and apparently inexhaustible coal deposit. St. John's is the county seat, and is a thriving and growing town of about 1,500 inhabitants. Holbrook, a station sixty miles to the north, is its shipping point, and a very considerable export trade is done in grain, wool and hides.

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This page last updated on -- 18 Dec 2016

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