Apache County, Arizona

Apache County, Arizona

Infobox U.S. County
county = Apache County
state = Arizona

map size = 150
founded = 1879
seat = St. Johns | largest city = Chinle
area_total_sq_mi =11218
area_water_sq_mi =14
area percentage = 0.12%
census yr = 2000
pop = 69423
density_km2 =2
web = www.co.apache.az.us

Apache County is located in the northeast corner of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2000 census its population was 69,423. The county seat is St. Johns.


Apache County contains parts of the Navajo Indian Reservation, the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, and Petrified Forest National Park. Canyon de Chelly National Monument is entirely within the county.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 11,218 square miles (29,056 km²), of which, 11,205 square miles (29,020 km²) of it is land and 14 square miles (35 km²) of it (0.12%) is water. The county is the sixth largest U.S. county in area (excluding boroughs census areas in Alaska), exceeded in size only by San Bernardino County, California (20,053 square miles), Coconino County, Arizona (18,617 square miles), the Nevada counties of Nye (18,147 square miles) and Elko (17,179 square miles), and Mohave County, Arizona (13,312 square miles).

Adjacent counties

* Greenlee County, Arizona - south
* Graham County, Arizona - south
* Navajo County, Arizona - west
* Montezuma County, Colorado - northeast
* San Juan County, Utah - north
* San Juan County, New Mexico - east
* McKinley County, New Mexico - east
* Cibola County, New Mexico - east
* Catron County, New Mexico - east

National protected areas

* Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (part)
* Canyon de Chelly National Monument
* Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site
* Petrified Forest National Park (part)

Major Highways



A history of the area, written in 1896, records the following about Apache County.

:Apache County was created in 1879 and lies in the northeastern corner of the Territory. Until March, 1895, it also embraced what is now Navajo County, but at that date the latter was set apart and established as a separate county. Apache County is justly noted for its great natural resources and advantages. It is destined some day in the early future to have a large agricultural population. Now, immense herds of cattle and flocks of sheep roam over its broad mesas and its fertile valleys. The Navajo Indians occupy the northern part of the county-in fact, occupy much of the remainder of the county, as they refuse to remain on their reservation, preferring to drive their sheep and cattle on lands outside their reservation, where the grazing is better. The southern part is a fine grazing country, while the northern part is cut up into picturesque gorges and canons by the floods of past centuries.Fact|date=July 2008

In the late 1880s, the county Sheriff was Old West gunfighter legend Commodore Perry Owens. At that time, the county covered more than 21,177 square miles in territory. In September, 1887, near Holbrook in what is now Navajo County, Owens was involved in one of the Old West's most famous gunfights, when he killed three men and wounded a fourth while serving a warrant on outlaw Andy Blevins/Andy Cooper, an active participant in a raging range war, later dubbed the Pleasant Valley War.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 69,423 people, 19,971 households, and 15,257 families residing in the county. The population density was 6 people per square mile (2/km²). There were 31,621 housing units at an average density of 3 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 76.88% Native American, 19.50% White, 0.25% Black or African American, 0.13% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.75% from other races, and 1.43% from two or more races. 4.49% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 58.39% reported speaking Navajo at home, while 38.39% speak English and 2.71% Spanish [http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=4&county_id=1&mode=geographic&order=r] .

There were 19,971 households out of which 43.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.30% were married couples living together, 21.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.60% were non-families. 21.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.41 and the average family size was 4.04.

In the county the population was spread out with 38.50% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 25.10% from 25 to 44, 18.70% from 45 to 64, and 8.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 98.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $23,344, and the median income for a family was $26,315. Males had a median income of $30,182 versus $22,312 for females. The per capita income for the county was $8,986. About 33.50% of families and 37.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.80% of those under age 18 and 36.50% of those age 65 or over. The county's per-capita income makes it one of the poorest counties in the United States.

Apache County is one of only 38 county-level census divisions of the United States where the most spoken language is not English and one of only 3 where it is neither English nor Spanish. 58.32% of the population speak Navajo at home, followed by English at 38.34% and Spanish at 2.72%.



*St. Johns



Census-designated places

*Fort Defiance
*Many Farms
*Red Mesa
*Rock Point
*Rough Rock
*Round Rock
*St. Michaels
*Teec Nos Pos
*Window Rock

Other communities


Notable residents

*Don Lorenzo Hubbell
*Rex E. Lee
*David King Udall
*Mo Udall
*Stewart Udall
*William Cooper
*John Wayne


The following School districts serve Apache County:

*Alpine Elementary School District
*Chinle Unified School District
*Concho Elementary School District
*Ganado Unified School District
*McNary Elementary School District
*Red Mesa Unified School District
*Round Valley Unified School District
*Sanders Unified School District
*St Johns Unified School District
*Vernon Elementary School District
*Window Rock Unified School District

In addition several other schools, including charter schools and tribal schools operated by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs's Office of Education Programs, serve the county.


External links

* [http://www.co.apache.az.us/ Apache County Website]

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