COUNTIES AND BOUNDARIES
Pima county, the oldest inhabited portion of the Territory, is bounded on the north by Maricopa and Pinal, on the east by Cachise, on the south by Sonora, and on the west by Yuma county. The western portion of the county consists of dry, rolling plains, with isolated peaks and detached mountain ranges. It is covered with a sparse growth of grass, and in places, with mesquite wood. Water is scarce in this region, but wherever it is found grazing is excellent. Its mountains are rich in gold, silver, and copper. This part of the Territory is the home of the Papago Indians, and is known as the Papagueria. Pima county, south and east of Tucson, may be described
Yavapai county extends from the thirty-fourth to the thirty-seventh degree of latitude, and embraces nearly three degress of longitude. It contains nearly one-third of the entire area of the Territory. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by Apache county, on the south by Maricopa and Gila counties, and on the west by Mohave county. It embraces the larger portion of the Great Colorado plateau, and its general elevation is from four to seven thousand feet above the level of the sea. Its physical features may be described as an immense elevated table land, crossed in all directions by lofty mountain ranges, adorned by beautiful valleys, and seamed and riven by deep canyons and rocky gorges. The mountains carry a fine growth of pine, oak, and juniper, while the uplands are covered with a luxuriant growth of nutritious grasses. The county is watered by the Colorado Chiquito, the Verde, the Agua Fria, the Hassayampa, the Santa Maria, and many other streams. That portion of the county south of the thirty-fifth parallel is rich in minerals of almost every description. The grazing resources of Yavapai are not excelled in the Territory. In the north-eastern corner of the county is that remarkable region known as the Painted desert, composed of mighty columns which have been left standing in solitary grandeur by slow denudations which have been at work for ages. This wild and weird region partakes of the character of the "Fata Morgana." Explorers say that on its air are depicted ‘‘palaces, hanging gardens, colonnades, temples, fountains, lakes, fortifications with flags flying on their ramparts, landscapes, woods, groves, orchards, meadows, and companies of men and women, herds of cattle, deer, antelope, etc., all painted with such an admirable mixture of light and shade that it is impossible to form any conception of the picture without seeing it.’’ The Indians call it the country of departed spirits.
Maricopa county is bounded on the north by Yavapai, on the east by Gila and Pinal, on the south by Pinal and Pima, and on the west by Yuma. The western portion of the county is composed of broad plains, crossed by rugged mountains, covered with coarse grasses, with mesquite and palo verde wood growing in many places. The Gila river enters the county near Maricopa Wells and flows for nearly 100 miles through the western portion of it, making a rich and productive valley. Salt river, in its course through Maricopa, flows
Mohave county occupies the north-western corner of the Territory. It is bounded on the west by the Colorado river, on the north by Utah and Nevada, on the east by Yavapai, and on the south by Yuma. Mohave is a region of rugged mountain ranges, with immense valleys, covered with coarse but nutritious grasses. Four well-defined ranges, the Sacramento, the Cerbat, the Hualapai, and the Cottonwood, pursue a parallel course through that portion of the county south and east of the Colorado. Water is found in these mountains, and nearly all of them are mineral-bearing. Mohave has some fine grazing land, but its agricultural resources are limited to the valley of the Big Sandy and the Colorado. But little is known of the region north of the Colorado, though it is supposed to be an elevated plateau, crossed by mountains, seemed by canyons, and generally destitute of water.
Apache county occupies the north-eastern portion of the Territory. It is bounded on the north by Colorado, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Graham and Gila counties, and on the west by Yavapai. Apache embraces a large area of the Colorado plateau, and its elevation above the sea level is from five to seven thousand feet, while some of its commanding peaks attain a height of over 11,000 feet. That portion of the county north of the Colorado Chiquito and the Rio Puerco, is composed of elevated table lands, isolated mountains, and deep and narrow canyons. In the northern end of the county is the remarkable plateau called the Mesa la Vaca, elevated about 1,000 feet above the surrounding formation. This is the great coal region of Arizona, which extends across the north-western portion of Apache county. This elevated region is covered by a growth of fine grass, crowned with stunted pines and cedars. Water is not plentiful. The extreme north-eastern corner of the county, through which flow the Rio de Chelly and its tributaries, is included in the Navajo Indian reservation. That part of Apache south of the thirty-fifth parallel is one of the best-timbered and watered portions of Arizona. The snowfall in this part of the territory is very heavy, giving rise to many beautiful, clear, mountain streams, which flow out through lovely valleys all the year round. The ranges of the Mogollon and the Sierra Blanco traverse this region, their summits covered with a heavy growth of timber, while the valleys and mesas are carpeted with rich and luxuriant grasses. The valley of the Colorado Chiquito contains fine farming land, and sufficient
Graham county, which has just been organized from portions of Pima and Apache, is bounded on the north by Apache, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Cachise, and on the west by Pinal and Gila. The Gila river flows through the center of the county, making a rich and fertile valley, which is being brought under a high state of cultivation. The Galiuro, the Pinaleno, and the Peloncillo ranges extend through the county south of the Gila, while north of that stream, the Gila mountains, the Sierra Natanes, and the Sierra de Petahaya cross its surface in every direction. The mountains are generally well wooded, while the broad valleys which lie between are covered with rich grasses, affording pasturage for large herds of cattle. The county is well supplied with water, and contains valuable mineral deposits near it eastern border.
Gila county, called into existence by the last session of the Legislature, is bounded on the north by Yavapai, on the east by Graham and Apache, on the south by Pinal, and on the west by Pinal and Maricopa. It is a compact, mineral country, crossed in all directions by detached spurs and rolling uplands. The Pinal range is heavily timbered, and the whole county is covered with rich grasses. The Salt river flows nearly through the center of the county, while its southern border is washed by the Gila river. Gila is rich in gold, silver, and copper, and has, also, some fine cattle ranges. Its agricultural resources are confined to a narrow strip above the Salt river canyon, and the valley of the Gila and San Carlos, now included in the San Carlos Indian reservation.
Pinal county is bounded on the south by Pima, on the west by Maricopa, on the north by Maricopa and Gila, and on the east by Graham. South of the Gila, the county is made up of open, barren plains and isolated groups of rugged mountains. These plains are covered with rich gramma grasses, but devoid of water. The valley of the Gila, which flows through the county from east to west, is one of the most productive spots in the Territory, and yields large crops of grain and vegetables. The north-eastern part of the county is crossed by the Superstition, Mescal, and Salt River mountains. They are rich in mineral, though deficient in timber. The eastern corner of Pinal, south of the Gila, contains some fine farming and grazing land. The San Pedro flows through the county for nearly 40 miles, and its rich but narrow valley is under a high state of cultivation. Coal has also been discovered in this region, with every promise of permanency.
Cachise county occupies the extreme south-eastern corner of the Territory. It was organized in 1881, from a portion of Pima county. It is bounded on the south by Sonora, on the west by Pima, on the north by Graham, and on the east by New Mexico. The massive chain of the Chiricahua runs through the county in the east, while the Huachuca, the Whetstone, the Dragoon, the Mule mountains, and the Galiuro ranges cross it from the north to south, in the west. All of these mountains are covered with pine, oak, and juniper, while the broad valleys that lie between, and the rolling table lands bear a generous growth of nutritious grasses. The San Pedro flows through the county from its southern to its northern boundary, carrying sufficient water to irrigate the rich and fertile valley that stretches along its banks. To the east of the Chiricahua range is the great valley of the San Simon, an immense extent of fine grazing land, with water to be found along its entire extent, within a few feet of the surface. The mountain ranges of Cachise are well watered, while the wonderful richness of their mineral deposits has attracted the attention of the entire country.
Yuma county, which comprises the south-western portion of the Territory, is bounded on the west by the Colorado river, on the north by Mohave, on the east by Maricopa and Pima, and on the south by Sonora. The Gila river flows through the county for nearly 100 miles, making in its course a fine valley, which is susceptible of high cultivation. The eastern portion of the county is composed of a high table land, with detached, rugged mountains crossing it in all directions. This table land is covered with coarse grasses, and affords excellent grazing, where water can be had. Many of the isolated ranges are known to be rich in minerals. That portion of Yuma county lying along the Colorado is traversed from north to south by parallel ranges of scorched and barren mountains, such as Castle Dome, the Plomosa, the Chocolate, and many other broken and detached ranges, nearly all of which are rich in the precious metals. Besides the farming land along the Gila, Yuma has a large and productive valley on the Colorado.