THE HISTORY OF KINGMAN, AZ
Kingman, located in Mohave County, Arizona, serves as the county seat and is renowned as a pivotal hub along the historic Route 66.
The city of Kingman traces its origins to June 10, 1882, when it was first documented in a local newspaper. Edward F. Beale, a naval officer, played a vital role in its establishment. In 1859, Beale was authorized to construct a wagon road connecting Fort Mohave to Fort Defiance. This road, built under Beale's survey, would later become a part of the iconic Route 66.
Kingman experienced rapid growth between the 1860s and 1880s, witnessing the emergence of various businesses, including boarding houses and stores. In 1886, the Mohave County Miner newspaper was relocated from Mineral Park to Kingman, marking a significant development. In the subsequent year, Kingman was designated as the county seat.
Throughout the 1890s, Kingman sustained steady growth, marked by an expanding population and the construction of new structures. In 1990, a significant gold strike was made in the Black Mountains, transforming Kingman into a prominent center for mining activities.
Following World War I, the mining industry began to wane, and Kingman faced economic challenges. During the 1910s, the Yucca Fiber Factory, specializing in rope production from yucca plants, became the city's primary industry and employer. To attract more residents, the city administration promoted Kingman's climate and recreational offerings through various brochures.
During World War II, Kingman was chosen as the location for an aerial gunnery training base. Construction was completed in 1943, and the facility was officially named Kingman Army Airfield. Over the course of the war, it provided training to over 36,000 gunners, many of whom returned to Kingman post-war. Today, the site is known as Kingman Airport.
Post-war, Kingman experienced an influx of new industries and tourists. The city saw the development of new neighborhoods to accommodate workers and professionals. The establishment of a proving ground for Ford Motor Company in 1955, located just south of the town, and the opening of the Mohave Generating Station in 1971 further fueled population growth.
Presently, Kingman and its neighboring communities have a combined population of approximately 45,000. The city has become a prominent tourist destination, featuring the largest industrial park in Northern Arizona. Kingman's economy is anchored in manufacturing, recreation, and transportation, with key employers including Kingman Regional Medical Center, American Woodmark, Walmart, and Mohave Community College. The region boasts numerous attractions, including the Hualapai Mountain Recreation Area, Lakes Mohave, Havasu, and Mead, as well as the renowned Grand Canyon Skywalk.