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The New International Encyclopædia/Arizona

AR′IZONA (probably from North American Indian Arizonac, small or few springs). A Territory of the southwestern United States, bounded on the north by Utah, on the south by Mexico, on the east by New Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada (Map: United States, west half, C 4). It lies between latitudes 31° 20′ and 37° N, and longitudes 109° 3′ and 114° 54′ W. It is about 350 miles square, and contains 113,020 square miles, only 100 of which are under water. Compared with States and other Territories, it ranks sixth in area and forty-ninth in population.

Topography. The extension northwestward of the Mexican Cordilleras, which rises beyond the Colorado River in the Sierra Nevada, divides Arizona diagonally into two regions—a southwestern part of low elevation, and a northeastern part consisting of an elevated plateau. The whole Territory, however, is moimtainous in the form of short, isolated ranges having a general northwest-southeast trend, which are abrupt, sterile, and gashed by deep canons and dry water-courses. In the south these mountains rarely reach 3000 feet in height, but in the central line of elevations they are more continuous and lofty, many summits approaching 10,000 feet (Thomas Peak, 11,496; Ord Peak, 10,266; Bill Williams Mountain, 9264; Mount Logan, 7700; Mount Tipton, 7364; Mount Dellenbaugh, 6756, etc.). The highest mountains in the Territory are in the isolated San Francisco Range, in the northern central part, the apex of which reaches 12,794 feet. From these central elevations the Territory slopes rapidly away nearly to sea level in the Gila Valley. The northeastern half of the Territory consists of a broken, cañon-cut, hill-studded, arid table-land, the average altitude of which is over 5000 feet above the sea, with many large areas from 6500 to 8000 feet. The few, and often intermittent rivers, which drain this arid region, serving more as the conduits of sudden rainstorms than as living water-courses, run in narrow cañons, in some cases a mile or more deep. The Rio Colorado (see Colorado River) traverses the northwest corner of the Territory in such a gorge, and then, turning to the south, becomes the western boundary of Arizona to near its mouth. Its few tributaries, of which the Little Colorado in the north alone is important, reach the river through similar cañons. The whole scenery of this northwestern part of the Territory is that of a rough, rocky, dry region, interrupted by steep-sided gorges and scarp-fronted mesas and barren mountains, more or less covered with bunch-grass and scattered, stunted trees. The southern part of the Territory is, on the whole, even more desert-like in appearance, and all the water-courses (most of which are dry except for a short time after rains) lead downward to the Gila, a broad, shallow river flowing into the Colorado near its mouth. The mountains here are mainly of volcanic origin. The only other rivers in Arizona worth mentioning are the Rio Santa Maria and Sandy, which unite in the central western region to form Bill Williams Fork, which enters the Rio Colorado near latitude 34° N., and the Virgin, in the extreme northwest corner of the Territory.

NIE 1905 Arizona (and New Mexico).jpg


County Map
 County Seat.   Area in 

1890. 1900.

Apache D 2  Saint Johns 10,736 4,281  8,237
Cochise D 4  Tombstone  6,147 6,938  9,251
Coconino B 2  Flagstaff 19,322   5,514
Gila C 3  Globe  4,542 2,021  4,973
Graham D 3  Solomonsville   6,500 5,970  14,162
Maricopa B 3  Phoenix  8,816  10,986   20,157
Mohave A 2  Kingman 13,121 1,444  3,426
Navajo C 2  Holbrook  9,826   8,829
Pima A 4  Tucson  9,124 12,673  14,689
Pinal C 3  Florence  5,324 4,251  7,779
Santa Cruz C 4  Nogales  1,212   4,545
Yavapai B 2  Prescott  7,863 8,685  13,799
Yuma A 3  Yuma  9,787 2,671  4,145
San Carlos Indian 
reservation  C 1       3,065

Climate and Soil. The climate of Arizona is, on the whole, dry and healthful, and it has the largest number of clear days of any part of the Union. The northern plateau region has a mean annual temperature of about 45° F., which is almost the same as that of many of the Northern States, but without their extremes; the rainfall here is approximately twenty inches per annum. In the lower lands of the southern half of the Territory the mean temperature is about that of New Orleans (69° F.). The rainfall, however, is much less than that in the northern section, scarcely exceeding an average of five inches per annum—the heaviest fall (about thirteen inches) being in the district of Tucson. The soil varies from light loam to heavy, dense adobe. In many places along the rivers it is very productive when supplied with water. Elsewhere it is alkaline and lacking in nitrogen and humus matter, the flora and fauna are those of the region extending from southern California around to southwestern Texas. See United States, paragraph Flora; Rocky Mountains.

Geology. Northern Arizona consists of a vast series of Carboniferous and Mesozoic marine strata covered by a series of Tertiary lacustrine and terrestrial formations; in all, originally some 15,000 feet thick. A great uplift occurred during Eocene time, and subsequent erosion has carved the land surface into mountains and valleys. A second uplift with much volcanic action occurred about the close of Miocene time. In southern Arizona the changes were not so marked. The Territory has abundant deposits of valuable minerals, which are described below in the paragraph on Mining. In Navajo County, near Holbrook, whole trunks of trees to the thickness of four feet are found completely silicified and cracked into blocks of beautiful coloring which are of great value for ornamental purposes. See Fossil Forest.

Mining. Arizona probably contains a larger proportion of ore and mineral-bearing land than any other member of the Union, but the lack of transportation facilities has prevented a normal development of the mining industry. In spite of this difficulty, however, mining has been undergoing a steady growth, and constitutes the most important industry of the Territory. Copper mining, in which Arizona ranks next to Michigan and Montana, is the most important. The Territory produces more than one-fifth of the total output of the United States. There has been a steady increase in the copper output of Arizona, rising from 23,874,903 pounds in 1883 to 133,054,860 in 1899. There was a decrease in 1900, when the production was 118,317,764 pounds, which was due to accidental causes and not to an exhaustion of the mines. Gold mining is next in importance. The output of gold for the five-year period ending with 1900 had an average annual value of over $2,500,000. This was nearly three times the output for l889 and twelve times that of 1880. The output of silver during the same period, on the other hand, has suffered a decided decrease in point of value, and a small decrease in volmne. In 1889 the output amounted to 1,812,000 ounces; in 1900 it was 1,578,000 ounces, value $1,074,000. The mining of both gold and silver was begun by the Spaniards. In addition to the metals mentioned above, lead and coal deposits are worked to some extent. Platinum, quicksilver, tin, nickel, iron, salt, gypsum, and such precious stones as the opal, garnet, onyx, and sapphire, as well as chalcedony and marble, are also found, although they are not as yet worked on any large scale.

Agriculture. Isolation and aridity have held Arizona in a backward state of development. Railroads and irrigation, however, are overcoming these obstacles. Stock-raising has been heretofore the leading agricultural industry, and the absence of climatic extremes, such as are common to the regions farther north, is very favorable to this industry. In 1900 the neat cattle in the Territory numbered 607,000; sheep, 668,000; horses, 106,000; the first of these doubled in number during the decade, while the two latter increased threefold. The pasture lands are confined principally to the northern plateau, the rainfall of the southern portion of the Territory being insullicient for the growth of grasses, except on a few favored mountain slopes.

With the development of irrigation, mixed farming is becoming common. The most favorable region for irrigation is the valley of the Gila River and its tributaries. The most extensive irrigated district is that surrounding the city of Phœnix. During the last decade of the century the irrigated land (outside of Indian reservations) increased from 65,000 to 185,000 acres. This constitutes 81 per cent. of the improved land of the Territory. The farm land aggregates but 2.7 per cent. of the total area. The rainfall is so small that the ordinary flow of water in the streams supplies but a small portion of the irrigable area, and the further extension of irrigation is dependent upon the construction of storage reservoirs. Alfalfa is the most important crop. The acreage devoted to its cultivation (including the reservations) increased during the decade 231.4 per cent. Wheat and barley are next in importance, and the acreage of these and other cereals is rapidly increasing. In the soutliern part of the Territory many of the semi-tropical fruits—figs, raisin-grapes, almonds, etc.—are successfully raised, ripening earlier than in any other part of the United States. Recent experiments seem to show that Egyptian cotton can be successfully grown in this region. The more distinctively temperate zone crops—potatoes, apples, and various kinds of fruits—flourish in the northern covinties.

Manufactures. Manufactures within the limits of the Territory are confined largely to the building trades, to car construction and repair shops, and to the smelting and refining of copper.

Transportation. The lower course of the Colorado constitutes the only navigable waters of the Territory. The Southern Pacific, running across the southern end of the Territory, the Santa Fé Pacific across the northern end, and the Santa Fé, Prescott, and Phœnix connecting the two, are the principal railroads. The mileage has been steadily increasing, having risen from 349 miles in 1880 to 1094 miles in 1890, and to 1465 miles in 1899. There are 1.28 miles of line for every 100 square miles of territory, and 204 miles to every 10,000 inhabitants. The Territory has a larger mileage, in proportion to its inhabitants, than has any of the States.

Banks. In 1900, eight national banks had been organized in the Territory, only three of which were in operation. The capital stock amounted to $400,000; circulation outstanding, $213,000; and deposits, $2,061,000. On June 30, 1900, there were fourteen State banks, with total resources of $2,762,000; capital stock, $373,000; and deposits, $2,296,000.

Government. (See paragraph on Government under Territories). The total valuation of property in the Territory for the year 1900 was $33,732,465. The tax rate for the year was $0.85 per $100. Net indebtedness, $1,070,850.

Education. Arizona has been diligent in maintaining a high educational standard. Although the sparse population of the Territory is so widely scattered, public school advantages are brought within the reach of almost all. The education of all children is compulsory under the law; and in 1900, 79 per cent. of the 20,833 diildren between the ages of and 18 were enrolled in the public schools. For a few years the average length of the school term has exceeded 125 days. There are two Territorial normal schools, one being located at Tempe, the other at Flagstaff. The Territorial university at Tucson includes courses in agriculture and in mining.

Charitable and Penal Institutions. The Territory has an insane asylum at Phœnix, and a prison at Yuma.

Religion. The Catholics were first in the field. As early as 1687 the Jesuits had established missions and schools in the Territory, and were always active in the propagation of their faith. This sect still constitutes a large percentage of the church membership of the Territory. In recent years the Territory has been colonized by Mormons, who now rank next to the Catliolics in numbers. Nearly half of the population of the Territory are church members.

Population. The population of Arizona by decades is as follows: 1870, 9658; 1880, 40,440; 1890, 59,620; 1900, 122,931. Nevada, Wyoming, and Alaska are all behind Arizona in population. There are only 1.1 inhabitants per square mile. The foreign born constitute less than 20 per cent. of the population, and are mostly Mexican. The excess of males—a phenomenon common to the Western States—is marked, being more than 20,000; this is attributed to the mining and frontier character of the Territory. For the populations of Arizona by counties, see back of map. The following are the largest cities in the Territory: Tucson, 7531; Phœnix, 5544; Prescott, 3559; Jerome, 2861. Phœnix is the capital.

Indians. At the census of 1900 the Indians numbered 26,400, those taxed only 1836. This was a decrease of over 3000 during the decade. Twenty thousand one hundred belonged to the Navajo tribe. There are five agencies in the Territory. The Indians were formerly very troublesome, but have now become law-abiding and industrious, taking an active interest in education and agriculture.

Militia. The organized militia numbers 500. The census of 1900 counted 34,200 males of militia age, of whom 12,000 are liable to duty.

History. Long before its discovery by white men, Arizona was inhabited by a powerful race, whose ruined cities, aqueducts, and fortifications dot the valleys and cañons of the Territory. In 1539 Fray Marcos de Niza, with a companion, left the City of Mexico to explore the country now included in Arizona and New Mexico, being stimulated by rumors of its mineral wealth and of its populous Seven Cities of Cibola. The report brought back was so favorable that in 1540 Vasquez de Coronado led an expedition thither, visiting the Moqui villages and New Mexican pueblos, and exploring, it is believed, as far north as latitude 40°. In Spanish and Mexican times there was no Arizona, and the country south of the Gila formed part of the Province of Pimeria Alta. What is now Arizona was very sparsely settled before the beginning of the Nineteenth Century. In 1772 there were only two missions in Arizona, with three visitas, and two incipient towns— Tucson and Tubac. The hostility of the Apaches and other tribes prevented all advance, and outbreaks in 1802 and 1827, added to the disorder attending the Mexican Revolution, led to the abandonment of the mines and ranches, and of all settlements, excepting Tucson and Tubac. By the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (q.v.), February 2, 1848, Arizona, then included in New Mexico, became the property of the United States, except the tract south of the Gila, which was a part of the Mexican State of Sonora, and was not acquired till December 30, 1853. (See Gadsden Purchase.) On February 24, 1863, Arizona was separated from New Mexico and made a Territory. Indian troubles broke out as late as 1896, and tended in some degree to hinder the development of the country, but the population of the Territory has steadily increased in proportion as larser tracts of desert land have been reclaimed bv irrigation, and the mineral resources of the region have been utilized. On December 1, 1891, a constitution was adopted by the people in anticipation of admission to the Union as a State, but Congress refused to grant the application.

The following is a list of governors who h.ave served the Territory:

John N. Goodwin Republican  1863-65
Richard C. McCormick 1865-69
A. P. K. Safford 1869-77
John P. Hoyt 1877-78
John C. Fremont 1878-81
John J. Gosper 1881-82
Frederick A. Tritle 1882-85
C. Meyer Zulick Democrat 1885-89
Lewis Woltley Republican 1889-90
John N. Irwin 1890-92
Nathan B. Murphy 1892-93
Louis C. Hughes Democrat 1893-96
Benjamin J. Franklin Republican 1896-97
Myron H. McCord 1897-99
Nathan B. Murphy 1899 —

Bibliography. Mowry, “The Geography and Resources of Arizona and Sonora,” in American Geological Society Papers, No. 4 (Washington, 1859); Simpson, “Report of an Expedition into the Navajo Country in 1849,” in Johnson, Reconnaissances of Routes from San Antonio to El Paso (Washington, 1850); Bancroft, “Arizona and New Mexico, 1530-1888,” in his History of Pacific States of North America, Vol. XII. (San Francisco, 1888); Hamilton, The Resources of Arizona (Prescott, 1881); Hinton, Handbook to Arizona (San Francisco, 1878); Mindeleff, “Aboriginal Remains in Verde Valley,” in United States Bureau of Ethnology Annual Report XIII. (Washington, 1891-92); Fewkes, “The Cliff Villages of the Red Rock Country,” in Smithsonian Institution Annual Report, 1895 (Washington, 1896); Merriam and Stejneger, “Results of a Biological Survey of the San Francisco Mountain Region and Desert of the Little Colorado, Arizona,” in North American Fauna, No. 3 (Washington, 1890); Ward, “The Petrified Forests of Arizona,” in Smithsonian Institution Annual Report, 1899 (Washington, 1901); Greely and Glassford, “Report on the Climate of Arizona,” in 51 Cong. 2d sess. H. ex. doc. 287 (Washington, 1891); Agricultural Experiment Station Annual Reports (Tucson, 1895, et seq.); Governor's Annual Report to Secretary of Interior (Washington, 1881, et seq.).