Fort Thomas, Arizona

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Fort Thomas, Arizona
Census-designated place (CDP)
Fort Thomas, Arizona is located in Arizona
Fort Thomas, Arizona
Fort Thomas, Arizona
Coordinates: 33°02′13″N 109°57′55″W / 33.03694°N 109.96528°W / 33.03694; -109.96528Coordinates: 33°02′13″N 109°57′55″W / 33.03694°N 109.96528°W / 33.03694; -109.96528
Country United States
State Arizona
County Graham
Area[1]
 • Total 8.672 sq mi (22.46 km2)
 • Land 8.670 sq mi (22.46 km2)
 • Water 0.002 sq mi (0.005 km2)
Elevation 2,713 ft (827 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 374
 • Density 43/sq mi (17/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
ZIP code 85536
Area code(s) 928
GNIS feature ID 4754[3]

Fort Thomas (Western Apache: Gowąh Golgai Gohoshé[4]) is a census-designated place in Graham County, Arizona, United States. Its population was 374 as of the 2010 census.[2] The community has an elementary school and a high school. It is part of the Safford Micropolitan Statistical Area. Fort Thomas has a ZIP code of 85536; in 2000, the population of the 85536 ZCTA was 443.[5]

Geography[edit]

Fort Thomas is at 33°2′14″N 109°57′58″W / 33.03722°N 109.96611°W / 33.03722; -109.96611, at an elevation of 2822 feet above sea level.[1]

Climate[edit]

According to the Köppen climate classification system, Fort Thomas has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.[6]

History[edit]

Officers and their families having a picnic at Fort Thomas on February 18, 1886.

The earliest military presence in the area was former Camp Goodwin, constructed in 1864 and named for Arizona's first territorial governor, John N. Goodwin. The camp was abandoned after a short time due to failed buildings and malaria from a nearby spring. In 1876, the current site of the community was chosen as a "new post on the Gila," selected to replace Camp Goodwin. Initially, the site was named Camp Thomas in honor of Civil War Major General George W. Thomas. Until 1882 the area would be known by several names including Clantonville, Camp Thomas, Maxey and finally Fort Thomas.

At its peak, the fort consisted of 27 buildings, all constructed by the occupants of the fort and made of adobe. Malaria remained a problem throughout the occupation of the area, and led to Fort Thomas being called the "worst fort in the Army." The fort also had no government funding until the year 1884. After the capture of Geronimo in 1886, the Army gradually removed the troops stationed there until the fort was handed over to the Department of the Interior in 1891.

The early town had a poor reputation, and was home to several houses of prostitution and saloons. In 1895, the community grew significantly when the Southern Pacific railroad's construction in the area was halted due to native Apache people refusing to let the railroad continue construction through their reservation. During this time, Fort Thomas also hosted a Wells Fargo station.[7]

Education[edit]

Fort Thomas has its own unified school district, the Fort Thomas Unified School District that serves the community of Fort Thomas, as well as students from nearby Bylas. The school district operates the Fort Thomas Elementary School and the Fort Thomas High School.[8]

Notable residents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  3. ^ "Fort Thomas". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  4. ^ William J. de Reuse (2006), A Practical Grammar of the San Carlos Apache Language, Lincom Europa 
  5. ^ http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/SAFFPopulation?_event=Search&_zip=85536
  6. ^ Climate Summary for Fort Thomas, Arizona
  7. ^ Official history from Fortthomas.org, retrieved 21 November 2008[dead link]
  8. ^ Official history from Fortthomas.org, retrieved 21 November 2008[dead link]
  9. ^ Official history from Fortthomas.org, retrieved 21 November 2008[dead link]