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Mohave County History

Mohave County History

Located in the northwestern part of Arizona, Mohave County is the second-largest county in the state, with a total area of 13,461 square miles.

The first inhabitants of Mohave County History were the Mojave people. The Colorado River and the rich soil provided the locals with all the necessary resources for farming and fishing. The earliest record of European contact with the Mojave people was Melchor Díaz, a Spanish explorer of western North America. He traveled in northwestern part of Mohave County in 1540. There Díaz met a huge population of local people who called themselves “People by the River”.

In November 1864 Mohave County was officially established by the First Arizona Territorial Legislative Assembly. The assembly decided that Mohave County would include the territory north of the Bill Williams River, and the eastern boundary of the county would be 113° 20'.

Starting from 1860s, Mohave County has been known for a gold mining area with lodes of gold, copper, zinc, and silver. Mining interest was growing, so hundreds of miners would come to Mohave County for a better life. In 1863, Mohave City was founded, which was mainly used as a recreation town for miners and soldiers stationed nearby. In the years that followed, the town was large enough to become the Mohave County seat. However, the town was short-lived, as residents started moving to new locations.

The 1860s and 1870s saw further development of the area and the foundation of Hardyville (1864), Cerbat (late 1860s), Mineral Park (1871), and Kingman (1882). The emergence of these towns was connected with the mining activities in the area. The towns contained a few mining and public buildings, including post offices, schools, and doctor's offices. Today the towns of Cerbat and Mineral Park are ghost towns, while Kingman and Hardyville (now Bullhead City) still exist.

The Great Depression brought renewed interest to the rich gold bearing areas of Mohave County. A decade later, during WWII, the county played a crucial role for the military. In 1943, a training base for air gunners was built in Kingman, which trained over 36,000 soldiers. As of 1950, the population of Mohave County was 8,510 people and by 1980 it reached 55,865 people.

Mohave County Nowadays

Today Mohave County is home to 209,550 people, with top employment sectors being recreation services, food, retail trade, education, and health care. Mohave County is a tourist destination with its national parks and recreation areas and a quick access to the Grand Canyon, Route 66, and the Hoover Dam.