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Graham County, Arizona

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GRAHAM COUNTY

      Graham County, formed in 1881 by the 11th Territorial Legislature, was created from parts of Apache and Pima counties. The Legislature broke with the tradition of naming Arizona counties after local Indian tribes when the new county called

    Graham was named after the 10,516 foot Mount Graham, the highest peak in the area. The mountain, in turn, had been named Graham after Lt. Col. James Duncan Graham, a senior officer in Brig. Gen. Stephen W. Kearney's U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers.

      Graham County's early history was one of exploration rather than settlement there were no notable Spanish or Mexican communities. Most of its inhabitants were Apaches. Camp Goodwin was established in 1866, but abandoned when the troops moved to establish Fort Apache in 1871.

      In the 1870s, farming communities began to appear along the Gila River, which traverses the county from east to west. Munsonvilie, now San Jose, was established in 1873; Safford followed in 1874; Solomonville in 1876; Smithville, now known as Pima, in 1879. In the next decade, Thatcher, Eden, Central, and Bryce were settled all within a few miles of each other. This was, and is today, a rich agricultural area.

      Safford was the first county seat, but it was moved to Solomonville after two years. In 1915, after an election, the county seat was returned to Safford where it remains.

      Graham County was almost twice its present size prior to the formation of Greenlee County. The county now measures 4,630 square miles, of which 22 square miles are water. The San Carlos Indian Reservation covers approximately one-third of the land, with San Carlos Lake a popular site for its excellent fishing and camping. Recreation and tourism follow farming and ranching as the principal industries in Graham County.

      Individual or corporate ownership accounts for 9.9 percent of land ownership; the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, 38 percent; the state of Arizona, 18 percent; Indian reservations, 36 percent. All of Graham County is an Enterprise Zone.


Graham County, Arizona needs a County Host
if you are interested in hosting Graham County
read our
Volunteer Page
and email : Kim Torp.


Gene Phillips is the Arizona State Host.

There are links to forms on the state home page to use to submit obit and cemetery headstone information. Or you can send the data directly to me.
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Cochise

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Greenlee

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Pinal


This page last updated on -- 04 Jun 2013

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