History of Kingman Arizona
History of Kingman Arizona
The city of Kingman is the administrative center of Mohave County (Arizona) and is best known for being the heart of the famous Route 66.
The first mentioning of Kingman was found in the newspaper Alta Arizona on June 10, 1882. The founding of the city was connected with the name of Edward F. Beale, a navy officer who was authorized to build a wagon road that would connect Fort Mohave and Fort Defiance. Beale’s another task was to test the viability of using camels for transporting goods and materials. Edward Beale surveyed the area and in 1859 built the road, which then became part of Route 66.
Between 1960s and 1880s, the town grew rapidly: Kingman saw the emergence of boarding houses, stores, and other buildings. In 1886, the Mohave County Miner newspaper was moved from Mineral Park to Kingman. In 1887, the county seat was transferred to Kingman.
The city maintained a steady growth during the 1890s, with the population growing and new buildings being built. In 1990, a rich gold strike was discovered in the Black Mountains, which made Kingman a center of mining activities of the area.
After World War I, mining showed signs of slowing down and Kingman was going through challenging times. In the 1910s, Kingman’s number one industry and employer was the Yucca Fiber Factory which produced ropes from yucca plants. In an attempt to attract more people to Kingman, the city administration issued a variety of brochures advertising the local climate and recreational facilities of the area.
During the Second World War, an aerial gunnery training base was established in Kingman. The construction was complete in 1943, and the training base was officially named Kingman Army Air Field. Between 1943 and 1945, it offered classes to over 36,000 gunners, many of who returned to Kingman after the war was over.
After the war, Kingman saw a flow of new major employers and vacationers. In the years that followed, several new neighborhoods were built to provide housing for workers and professionals. Population growth was fueled by the establishment of a proving ground for Ford Motor Company (1955) and the opening of the Mohave Generating Station (1971). Movie buffs know Kingman for its role in Edge of Eternity (1959), Roadhouse 66 (1984), and Universal Soldier (1992).
Today Kingman and nearby communities have a population of around 45,000. The city’s main economy sectors are manufacturing, recreation, and transportation, with the top employers being Kingman Regional Medical Center, American Woodmark, Walmart, and Mohave Community College. The Kingman area is home to various attractions, including Hualapai Mountain Recreation Area, Lakes Mohave, Havasu, and Mead, as well as the Grand Canyon Skywalk.