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1891 Arizona

The following paragraph was extracted from Arizona, A Comprehensive Review of It's History, Counties, Principal Cities, Resources and Prospects, Together with Notices of the Business Men and Firms Who Have Made the Territory, by H C Stinson, published in 1891.

Yuma County is in the extreme southwest of the Territory. Its western boundary is the great Colorado River; its northern, Mohave County; its eastern, Maricopa and part of Pima County; and its southern, Sonora. It contains about 10,180 square miles. The only really fertile portion of the county is that through which the Gila River flows. The rest is arid and treeless and destitute of water, except a few stretches along the Colorado River. In the northeast portion there are some very fine grass lands. Yuma, the county seat, lies on the Colorado just below where the Gila joins it. A mission was established there by the Jesuit Fathers in 1771, but the Indians soon laid it in ruins. A ferry was established there in 1849 to accommodate the crowds who were flocking to the California gold mines over the Southern route, but that scheme, too, was frustrated by the raids of the Apaches. A second attempt, made the following year, to set the ferry running, also resulted in failure. In 1852 Fort Yuma was established by Colonels Heintzelman and Stevenson, and the ferry again started. It was maintained by the protection afforded by the fort until the Southern Pacific Railroad Company spanned the river with a bridge, when, of course, the usefulness of the ferry ceased. The town did quite an amount of shipping of freight to Tucson and the various military forts of the Territory for a time, but that business stopped when the railway came through, and now Yuma has to depend on the comparatively limited trade with the surrounding country. Two of its most important institutions, at the present time, are the Territorial prison and the Arizona Sentinel, and both are doing excellent work - though on entirely different lines. The old fort has been abandoned to decay, there being no longer any necessity for its maintenance by the Government.

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