Snowflake Arizona History
Snowflake was founded in 1878 by Erastus Snow and William Jordan Flake, Mormon pioneers and colonizers. It has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names. According to 2012 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the town is 5,564.
Snowflake is 25 miles south of Interstate 40 (formerly U.S. Route 66) via Highway 77. The Apache Railway provides freight service, from 1961 to 2012 serving the Snowflake Mill.
an area of 9,826 square miles, and is nearly the size of the State of
Maryland. By the census of 1900 the population was 8,829 or less than
one to each square mile of territory. The boundaries of this county are
as follows: on the north by the State of Utah, on the east by Apache
County, on the south by Graham and Gila Counties, on the west by Gila
and Coconino Counties.
two Indian reserves in this county, viz.: Moquis and Navajos. Nearly
the whole county is mountainous and it is claimed there are fine
prospects of coal, as well as most of the other minerals. Holbrook is
the county-seat, and is a place of some considerable importance, being
situated upon the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. This county was formed
out of Apache County by act of the Territorial legislature, March 21,
1895. The county proper or so much of it as is not included in Indian
reservations, is about one hundred miles long north and' south, by some
fifty east and west. The main industries are cattle and sheep raising
and cultivating the soil.
county are many points of special interest, such as the
world famous Petrified Forest, the Painted Desert, the great Natural
Bridge in the northern part, while scattered from one end of the county
to the other are ruins of prehistoric cities. North of the line of the
railroad that crosses the county are indications of a heavy deposit of
coal. Coal is also found near Show Low and in the White Mountains, but
so far not in quantity and only of inferior quality. There are several
salt lakes some thirty miles south of Navajo Station on the Atlantic
Railroad, where an excellent dairy and table salt are produced.
great attention to schools and upon an average have their public
schools taught by efficient teachers, seven months in each year. There
are a goodly number of places of religious worship, mostly of the
Latter- day Saints (Mormon) persuasion. So far there is but one
newspaper published in the county, styled Winslow Mail. With the hardy,
industrious, economical and honest population, this county will, in a
very short time, be a great wealth producer.
History of Arizona By Sidney Randolph De Long
By W. H. Clark
Navajo County, located in the northeastern part of the State, about the
center of the Great Colorado Plateau, was created by act of the
Eighteenth Legislature after one of the most bitter fights ever
witnessed in the Territorial Legislature over county division. This
fight was carried to the closing hours of the session, and was used as
a club to prevent the removal of the territorial prison from Yuma.
Navajo County has an area of 9,826 square miles, is about 240 miles
from north to south and about 53 miles from east to west. At the time
of its organization, as shown by the tax roll, the total assessed
valuation was $370,000, the population about 4,000, and it carried an
indebtedness of practically $100,000 as a heritage of unrest from the
parent county. Today it has a population of more than 15,000, a
valuation of nearly $4,000,000, and an indebtedness of about $30,000.
There are 1,122,968 acres of surveyed, and 393,363 acres of unsurveyed
land, making a total of 1,516,331 acres within the county that are
unappropriated, thousands of which are the richest, choicest and most
fertile lands to be found in the Southwest. There is also plenty of
water with which to irrigate these lands, only a small outlay being
required to build storage reservoirs to impound the waters of the
streams and make a large agricultural section in the heart of the
county. An investment in any of these irrigation projects, all of which
are feasible, will bring returns a thousand fold. The county is simply
studded with reservoir sites and abounds with splendid lands awaiting
but the magic touch of capital to develop them.
About one-third of the county is heavily timbered with yellow pine,
spruce, fir, oak, aspen, cedar and juniper, the first named three
predominating. The stand of yellow pine is estimated at over
4,000,000,000 feet board measure.
The Navajo Southern Railway Company and the Navajo Lumber & Timber
Company, incorporated under the laws of Arizona, with headquarters at
Holbrook, have recently made the largest purchase of timber from the
Forestry Service and the Department of the Interior that has ever been
made, and are about ready to place a bond issue of $2,000,000 for the
purpose of building a standard guage common carrier railway 75 miles
long to reach the heart of the timber belt. Every foot of this railway
will be in Navajo County, and the largest mills in the southwest will
be constructed to handle the timber, it being compulsory, according to
the government specifications, to have mills which will cut not less
than 50,000,000 feet of timber each year, the cutting to commence
within two years from the date of the signing of the final contract
with the government. The foregoing development will mean the employment
of about 800 persons, and an immense payroll to be distributed
throughout the county. It is estimated that the county school and road
funds will be benefited to the extent of $25,000 annually, as 25 per
cent of the stumpage value will revert from the government to those
An irrigation project is now under way, by means of which close to
50,000 acres of land will be irrigated, and it is thought that work
will commence during 1913.
The Aztec Land & Cattle Company, located near St. Joseph, has
several thousand acres of their lands consolidated, which they are
cutting into small farms and selling on long term payments. Two
artesian wells have recently been struck, one of them flowing water
five feet above the surface. The company sells perpetual water rights
with their lands in this artesian belt.
Dry farming is now being carried on extensively in the higher altitudes
of the county, beginning about Snowflake and extending to the top of
the mountains, the acreage increasing every year. Much credit for this
development must be given to the 'State University, as the experiment
station established some years ago near Snowflake has had much to do
with the success of the dry farmer in this county.
Navajo County schools are second to none in the State, and are growing
rapidly. During the fiscal year 1909-1910 the receipts for school
purposes were $25,642.15 and the expenditures $21,291.70; and during
the succeeding fiscal year the receipts were $30,524.91 and the
expenditures $29,780.38, which shows that the schools of the county are
enjoying a healthy growth.
The raising of livestock on open ranges is considered the main industry
of the County, and shipments of cattle and sheep annually run well up
into the thousands. In addition, the wool shipments are enormous.
In the northern part of the county lies the Navajo Indian reservation
and the Moqui (Hopi) reservation, containing quaint and interesting
villages that attract people from all parts of the globe to witness
their peculiar religious ceremony known as the Snake Dance, which
occurs each year between the 18th and the 22nd of August. But before
the positive date is announced the sun must cast a shadow in a given
place when shining over the rock, and as the writer understands it they
hold the dance a certain number of days after the shadow is cast.
The weird Painted Desert is another of nature's wonders. It lies to the
west in the northern part of the county, and must be seen to be
appreciated, with its beautiful, shifting scenery. Closing the eyes for
a moment only will cause all the beautiful scenes before one to change
as if by magic. To the east is the wonderful, awe-inspiring, silent
beauty of one of the world's seven wonders, the Petrified Forests of
Arizona ; and to the south the beautiful virgin pine forests of the
White Mountains, the largest solid area of forestry in the United
States, which will soon be one of the greatest pleasure and recreation
spots of the western country. These forests are becoming famous for
hunting bear, mountain lion, wolf, bob cats, coyotes, deer, turkey and
other smaller game, while the festive, speckled brook trout abounds in
The Navajo County of today, with nearly $4,000,000 worth of assessable
property, 15,000 population, with her lumber and coal development in
view and irrigation projects being promoted, it seems safe to say will
soon be in better shape financially than any other countv in the State.
Source: Who's Who In Arizona
This page last updated on -- 30 Dec 2016
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