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Kingman (Huwaalyapay Nyava in the Mojave language) is a city in Mohave County, Arizona, and is also the county seat. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 28,068. The nearby communities of Butler and Golden Valley bring the Kingman area total population to over 66,000. Kingman is located 33 miles (53 km) east of Bullhead City, Arizona, 85 miles (137 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, about 165 miles (266 km) northwest of Phoenix, Arizona, and about 250 miles (400 km) northeast of Los Angeles, California.
Kingman is located at 35°12′30″N 114°1′33″W (35.208449, -114.025730), at 3,333 feet (1,016 m) in elevation.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 30.0 square miles (78 km2), all of it land.
Kingman sits on the eastern edge of the Mojave Desert, but is located in a “cold semi-arid climate” (Köppen BSk) instead of the desert. The BSk climate type receives slightly more precipitation than the BWh hot desert climate found to the south and west, and the wintertime low temperatures are significantly colder. Kingman’s higher elevation and location between the Colorado Plateau and the Lower Colorado River Valley keeps summer high temperatures away from the extremes (115 °F (46 °C) or more) experienced by Phoenix and the Colorado River Valley. The higher elevation also contributes to winter cold and occasional snowfall. Summer daytime highs reach above 90 °F (32 °C) frequently, but rarely exceed 107 °F (42 °C). Summertime lows usually remain between 60 to 70 °F (16 to 21 °C). Winter highs are generally mild, ranging from around 50 to 65 °F (10 to 18 °C), but winter nighttime lows often fall to freezing, with significantly lower temperatures possible. Kingman occasionally receives a dusting of snow in the winter, though it rarely remains on the ground for longer than the mid-to-late morning.
The record low temperature in Kingman was set on January 9, 1937 at 6 °F (−14 °C), and the record high temperature occurred on August 19, 1915, July 16, 1917, and July 3, 1967, at 111 °F (44 °C). The wettest year was 1919 with 21.22 inches (539 mm) and the driest year was 1947 with 3.58 inches (91 mm). The most rainfall in one month was 9.85 inches (250 mm) in September 1939. The most rainfall in 24 hours was 6.03 inches (153 mm) on November 28, 1919. The snowiest year was 1949 with 18.2 inches (0.46 m). The most snowfall in one month was 14.0 inches (0.36 m) in December 1932.
As of the census of 2009, there were 27,521 people in all with 7,854 households, and 5,427 families residing in the city. The population density was 669.7 people per square mile (258.5/km²). There were 8,604 housing units at an average density of 287.1 per square mile (110.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 82.2% White, .04% Black or African American, 1% Native American, .09% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 3.41% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. 12.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 7,854 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.9% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,086, and the median income for a family was $41,327. Males had a median income of $32,036 versus $21,134 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,181. About 8.2% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.3% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.
Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale, a U.S. Navy officer in the service of the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, was ordered by the U.S. War Department to build a federal wagon road across the 35th Parallel. His secondary orders were to test the feasibility of the use of camels as pack animals in the southwestern desert. Beale traveled through the present day Kingman in 1857 surveying the road and in 1859 to build the road. The road became part of Highway 66 and Interstate Highway 40. Remnants of the wagon road can still be seen in White Cliffs Canyon in Kingman.
Kingman, Arizona, was founded in 1882, when Arizona was only Arizona Territory. Situated in the Hualapai Valley between the Cerbat and Hualapai mountain ranges, Kingman is known for its very modest beginnings as a simple railroad siding near Beale’s Springs in the Middleton Section along the newly-constructed route of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. The city of Kingman was named for Lewis Kingman, who surveyed along the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad’s right-of-way between Needles, Calif., and Albuquerque, N.M. Lewis Kingman supervised the building of the railroad from Winslow, Ariz. to Beale’s Springs, which is near the present location of the town of Kingman.
The Mohave County seat originally was located in Mineral Park, in the settlement of Callville. This portion of Arizona Territory was transferred to Nevada in 1865 after Nevada’s statehood, and became part of Clark County, Nevada. With the loss of this territory, the Mohave County seat was moved to Mohave City in 1866, and then to Hardyville (which became Bullhead City) in 1867. The county seat transferred to the mining town of Cerbat in 1871, then to Mineral Park near Chloride in 1872. In 1887, the county seat was moved to Kingman after some period of time without a permanent county seat, the instruments and records of Mohave County government were taken clandestinely from Chloride and moved to Kingman in the middle of the night during this final transfer of the county seat.
During World War II, Kingman was the site of a U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) airfield. The Kingman Army Airfield was founded at the beginning of WW II as an aerial gunnery training base. It became one of the USAAF’s largest, training some 35,000 soldiers and airmen. The airfield and Kingman played a significant role in this important era of America’s history. Following the war, the Kingman Airfield served as one of the largest and best-known reclamation sites for obsolete military aircraft.
Postwar, Kingman experienced growth as several major employers moved into the vicinity. In 1953 Kingman was used to detain those men accused of practicing polygamy in the Short Creek raid, which was at the time one of the largest arrests in American history. In 1955, Ford Motor Company established a proving ground (now one of the Chrysler Proving Grounds) in nearby Yucca, Arizona at the former Yucca Army Airfield. Several major new neighborhoods in Kingman were developed to house the skilled workers and professionals employed at the proving ground, as Kingman was the only sizable, developed town within a convenient distance.
Likewise, the development of the Duval copper mine near adjacent Chloride, Arizona, and construction of the Mohave Generating Station in nearby Laughlin, Nevada, in 1971 contributed to Kingman’s population growth. The location of a General Cable plant at what was to become the Kingman Airport Industrial Park provided a steady employment base as well.