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Welcome to Mohave County!

My name is Colleen and I am the Mohave County Coordinator.  If you have information that you would like to submit, please email me or if you have any questions.  I do not live in Arizona but will try to help out the best I can by providing information and adding new information as it becomes available.  If you are looking for another county in Arizona, please visit the AZGenWeb County List.  Or if you would like to research another state, please visit The USGenWeb Project and choose a state on the left hand side of your browser.  This website is part of the AZGenWeb and the USGenWeb Projects.

Mohave County is bordered by Coconino County; Yavapai County; La Paz County; Clark County, NV; Lincoln County, NV; Washington County, UT; and San Bernardino County, CA.

Brief History of Mohave County

The below information was transcribed & submitted by Mary Elizabeth "Beth" Vender Fay (4 Mar 1970 - 12 Jan 2003), past Mohave County Coordinator.

Mohave County was one of the original four Arizona counties created by the First Territorial Legislature in 1864. The northern border of the county was 37 degrees north latitude and the southern boundary was the Bill Williams River. The western border was the state of California and the eastern border was approximately 113 degrees, 20 minutes west longitude. The Second Territorial Legislature in 1865 created Pah-Ute county out of northern Mohave due to the increased number of farmers in the Virgin and Muddy River valleys. However, in May 1866, Congress transferred most of Pah-Ute and part of Mohave County (everything west of the Colorado River and 114 degrees west longitude) to the State of Nevada. Arizona Territory objected to the loss and did not accept it until 1871. At this time they merged Pah-Ute back into Mohave. The final change of Mohave's borders occurred in 1883 when the Twelfth Legislature transferred the part of Yavapai County north of the Colorado River and west of Kanab Wash to Mohave County. This portion is part of the 'Arizona Strip' which Utah had unsuccessfully attempted to annex in 1865. Callville and St. Thomas (both now in Nevada) served as county seats for Pah-Ute County. Mohave City, Hardyville, Cerbat, and Mineral Park all served as county seats for Mohave until 1887 when the seat was permanently given to Kingman in a general election.

The county includes 8,486,400 acres, making it the second largest county in Arizona. The county is generally sparsely settled with only 55,865 people in the 1980 census and 93,497 in 1990. Most of the county is owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The county includes part or all of three Indian Reservations: Hualapai, Kaibab-Paiute, and Fort Mohave. Other federal lands within the county boundaries include Grand Canyon National Park, Pipe Spring National Monument, Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuge, Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and Kaibab National Forest. Lake Havasu State Park and Hualapai Mountain County Park are other government-owned parks in the county.

The climate of Mohave County is highly varied. Elevations range from a mere 482 feet above sea level at Lake Havasu City to 8,417 foot Hualapai Peak southeast of Kingman. The entire county is quite dry with some areas receiving less than 10 inches of annual precipitation. Temperatures in January in the higher mountains average near freezing while the average July temperatures in the southwestern portion of the county are above 90 degrees.

The Spanish explorer Don Juan de Onate followed the Bill Williams River to the Colorado River during his 1604 crossing of Arizona. Later the Franciscan missionary Fray Francisco Garces crossed through the middle of Mohave County in 1775-76 on a visit to the Yavapai Indians. Indians in the Mohave County area included the Southern Paiute (north of the Colorado River), and the Walapai (Hualapai) and Mohave south of the river.

Various military expeditions crossed through the region during the 1850s. Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves of the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers mapped a possible wagon road to California through the area in 1851. Lieutenant Amiel W. Whipple surveyed a possible railroad route in 1853-1854. Ex-Navy Lieutenant Edward F. Beale was the leader of the next expedition in 1857. This was the famous "Camel Experiment" by which the military determined that camels were quite well suited to surviving in the "Great American Desert." Beale retraced much of Whipple's survey and the wagon road built along the survey route and used by some California-bound travelers bore Beale's name. Lieutenant Joseph C. Ives crossed the region from west to east in 1858 on his way from the Colorado River to Fort Defiance (on the Arizona-New Mexico boundary). He made several side trips along the way, including one going down into the Grand Canyon with several Indian guides. The military presence in earnest began with Fort Mohave which was established in 1859 to protect the Colorado River crossing on Beale's wagon road. Except for a short period between 1861 and 1863, the military maintained the post until 1890 when it was turned over to the Indian Service.

During the 1860s and 1870s, Mormon settlers came into the region from the north. Their first permanent settlement in Arizona was Littlefield (Beaver Dams) on the Virgin River. It was founded in 1864, wiped out by a flood in 1867, and rebuilt in 1877. Other towns in Mohave County first settled by Mormons include Bundyville, Colorado City, Pierce Ferry, Pipe Springs, and Stone's Ferry. Towns that were formerly in Arizona but are now in Nevada include Bunkerville, Callville, Las Vegas, Rioville, Saint Joseph, Saint Thomas, and West Point.

Gold, Silver, and lead-zinc mines brought many people to the county from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. Important mines included White Hills (silver), Tennessee (lead-zinc), Golconda (lead-zinc), Moss (gold), Goldroad (gold), Tom Reed and United Eastern (gold), McCracken (silver), and Signal (silver). The Tom Reed and United Eastern gold mines were the richest gold mines in Arizona, operating until the 1930s.

The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad (later to become the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe) crossed Mohave County, reaching the Colorado River in 1883. Kingman was one of the towns founded along the main line.

Mohave County Coordinator - Colleen Pustola
AZGenWeb State Coordinator - Gail Kilgore
AZGenWeb Assistant State Coordinator - Colleen Pustola

AZGenWeb-Mohave County, Arizona:  In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, data may be used by non-commercial researchers, as long as this message remains on all copied material.  These electronic pages many not be reproduced in any format for profit, nor by presentation in any form by any other organization or individual.  Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for purposes other than stated above, must obtain express written permission from the author, or the submitter and from the listed Mohave County Coordinator.

2015 Colleen Pustola, Contributors & The AZGenWeb Project. All Rights Reserved.