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Gila County, Arizona


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Gila County was created in 1881 from portions of Maricopa and Pinal counties, and later included part of Yavapai County. The county covers 4,796 square miles and is a source of great mineral wealth. The Globe Mining District, originally located on the San Carlos Indian Reservation, was reallocated to Gila County.

Silver first attracted people to this area in were depleted, copper emerged and has seat.

Gila County is the home of the legendary Graham-Tewksbury feud, which began in the 1870s and lasted 15 years. It claimed dozens of lives and ignited tempers between cattle ranchers and sheep ranchers for years to come.

Some of the attractions in Gila County include the Salt River Canyon, Tonto National Monument, the Mogollon Rim, Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, Coolidge Dam, Roosevelt Dam and Roosevelt Lake. Both desert terrain and mountain ranges spread across the county s landscape. Elevations range from 2,000 to 7,000 feet above sea level. This stark difference of 5,000 feet enables the county to support ranching as well as tourism and recreation. These three areas of commerce, in addition to copper production, comprise the county's major industries. Portions of Gila County including parts of Payson, Hayden and Winkelman have been designated as an Enterprise Zone.

The U.S. Forest Service owns 56 percent of the land in Gila County. Approximately 38 percent belongs to the Apache Tribe. Individuals and corporations own 2 percent of the land; the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 2 percent; and the state of Arizona, 1 percent of the land; and other public lands comprise the remaining 1 percent.

Source: Arizona-A Review of its Resources Published 1891.
GILA County was formed in 1881 from portions of Pima and Pinal counties. It is the smallest pounty in the Territory, being only about 3,400 square miles in extent. It lies between Yavapai on the north, Graham and Apache on the east. Pinal on the south, and Pinal and Maricopa on the west. It is a mountainous country, watered on the north by the Salt River, and on the south by the Gila. Its mountains abound in minerals, and it has extensive stock ranges; but its best agricultural land is locked up in the San Carlos reservation, and is consequently, virtually unavailable. The mountains are, in some cases, heavily timbered, but the difficulty of securing means of transportation has always been a great drawback to the development of the county in respect of this and other of its resources.

The county seat is Globe, a mining town which sprang up after the discovery of the famous Globe mines in 1876. It is now a thriving town with a population of considerably over 1,000, and is possessed of a good many more of the amenities of an advanced civilization than the average frontier or mining town usually possesses.


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This page last updated on -- 17 Oct 2014

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