NAVAJO COUNTY HISTORY
Navajo County was
formed on March 21,1895, as the final act of the Territorial Assembly
before it adjourned at midnight. What is now Navajo County was first
included in Yavapai County, but in 1879, the area was added to the
newly formed Apache County.
it became Navajo County, the area was developed the
railroad had crossed the county for more than a decade, and North
America's third largest ranch, the Aztec Land and Cattle Company near
Holbrook, had been established. Backed by Easterners, Aztec bought 1
million acres of land from the railroad at 50 cents an acre. The
company known as the Hashknife Outfit because of its brand brought
33,000 longhorn cattle and 2,200 horses into northern Arizona from
Texas. Holbrook, the county seat, was founded in 1871.
county is divided into two distinct parts by the Mogollon Rim. The high
country in the northern part of the county is arid and desert-like with
empty mesas and smaller plateaus. The southern part is a rugged
mountain area, heavily wooded with pinion juniper and ponderosa pine.
north is Kayenta, founded in 1909 as a trading post, and now the
gateway to the Navajo Tribal Park at Monument Valley and a thriving
Navajo community. Farther south is the Hopi Indian Reservation, which
is completely surrounded by the Navajo Reservation. The Hopi Pueblo of
Oraibi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the
principal industries are tourism, coal mining,
manufacturing, timber production and ranching.
percent of Navajo County's 9,959 square miles is Indian reservation
land. Individual and corporate ownership accounts for 30 percent; the
U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management together control
9 percent; and the state of Arizona owns 6 percent. All of Navajo
County is an Enterprise Zone.