Apache County, Arizona

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Apache County, Arizona
Seal of Apache County, Arizona
Map of Arizona highlighting Apache County
Location in the state of Arizona
Map of the United States highlighting Arizona
Arizona's location in the U.S.
Founded February 24, 1879
Named for Apache people
Seat St. Johns
Largest community Eager
 • Total 11,218 sq mi (29,054 km2)
 • Land 11,198 sq mi (29,003 km2)
 • Water 21 sq mi (54 km2), 0.2%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 71,828
 • Density 6.4/sq mi (2/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7
Website www.co.apache.az.us
Apache County includes the Arizona section of the Four Corners Monument.

Apache County is located in the northeast corner of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census its population was 71,518.[1] The county seat is St. Johns.[2]


Apache County was formed during the Tenth Territorial Legislation in 1879 out of the eastern section of Yavapai County; officially all land east of 119°45′ W. By 1895, Navajo County and parts of Graham, Greenlee and Gila Counties were formed from this land. The county seat was placed in the town of Snowflake, but was moved a year later to St. Johns. From 1880 to 1882, the county seat was temporarily in Springerville before being returned to St. Johns.[3]

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.[citation needed]

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 (54,850 km2) 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.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 11,218 square miles (29,050 km2), of which 11,198 square miles (29,000 km2) is land and 21 square miles (54 km2) (0.2%) is water.[4] The county is the third-largest county by area in Arizona and the sixth-largest in the United States (excluding boroughs and census areas in Alaska).

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.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Apache County is one of two U.S. counties (the other being Wayne County, West Virginia) to border two counties of the same name, neither of which is in the same state as the county itself (San Juan County, Utah and San Juan County, New Mexico).

Indian reservations[edit]

Apache County has the most land designated as Indian reservation of any county in the United States. ( Coconino County and Navajo County are a close second and third.) The county has 19,857.34 km2 (7,666.96 sq mi) of reservation territory, or 68.34 percent of its total area. The reservations are, in descending order of area within the county, the Navajo Nation, the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, and the Zuni Indian Reservation, all of which are partly located within the county.

National protected areas[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 5,283
1890 4,281 −19.0%
1900 8,297 93.8%
1910 9,196 10.8%
1920 13,196 43.5%
1930 17,765 34.6%
1940 24,095 35.6%
1950 27,767 15.2%
1960 30,438 9.6%
1970 32,298 6.1%
1980 52,108 61.3%
1990 61,591 18.2%
2000 69,423 12.7%
2010 71,518 3.0%
Est. 2014 71,828 [5] 0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790–1960[7] 1900–1990[8]
1990–2000[9] 2010–2014[1]


Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:


As of the census[10] 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 [1].

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%.[2]

In 2000, the largest denominational group was the Catholics (with 19,965 adherents).[11] The largest religious bodies were The Catholic Church (with 19,965 members) and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (with 8,947 members).[11]


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

The following school districts serve Apache County:

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.

Public libraries[edit]

The Apache County Library District, headquartered in St. Johns, operates public libraries in the county.[12] The branches include Alpine Public Library (unincorporated area),[13] Concho Public Library (unincorporated area),[14] Greer Memorial Library (unincorporated area),[15] Round Valley Public Library (Eagar),[16] Sanders Public Library (unincorporated area),[17] St. Johns Public Library (St. Johns),[18] and Vernon Public Library (unincorporated area).[19]

The Navajo Nation Museum and Library is located in Window Rock, Arizona. The library and museum is the largest one on the Navajo Nation and in Apache County.


Major highways[edit]

U.S. Route 191 crossing the Beautiful Valley in Apache County


The following public use airports are located in Apache County:


Wildflower meadow in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, near Alpine.
Kiva at Casa Malpais, near Springerville.
Navajo Nation Council Chambers, Window Rock.



Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

County population ranking[edit]

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Apache County.[20][21]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Population (2010 Census) Municipal type Incorporated
1 Eagar 4,885 Town
2 Chinle 4,518 CDP
3 Fort Defiance 3,624 CDP
4 St. Johns 3,480 City 1879
5 Window Rock 2,712 CDP
6 Springerville 1,961 Town 1948
7 Lukachukai 1,701 CDP
8 St. Michaels 1,443 CDP
9 Many Farms 1,348 CDP
10 Ganado 1,210 CDP
11 Tsaile 1,205 CDP
12 Houck 1,024 CDP
13 Round Rock 789 CDP
14 Sawmill 748 CDP
15 Dennehotso 746 CDP
16 Teec Nos Pos 730 CDP
17 Rock Point 642 CDP
18 Sanders 630 CDP
19 Burnside 537 CDP
20 McNary 528 CDP
21 Nazlini 489 CDP
22 Red Mesa 480 CDP
23 Rough Rock 414 CDP
24 Del Muerto 329 CDP
25 Steamboat 284 CDP
26 Cornfields 255 CDP
27 Klagetoh 242 CDP
28 Cottonwood 226 CDP
29 Wide Ruins 176 CDP
30 Red Rock 169 CDP
31 Alpine 145 CDP
32 Sehili 135 CDP
33 Vernon 122 CDP
34 Oak Springs 63 CDP
35 Greer 41 CDP
36 Concho 38 CDP
37 Nutrioso 26 CDP
38 Lupton 25 CDP
39 Toyei 13 CDP

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Walker, Henry (1986). "Historical Atlas of Arizona", p.32. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. ISBN 978-0806120249.
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 23, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  11. ^ a b "County Membership Reports". thearda.com. Retrieved 2011-08-22.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "thearda" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  12. ^ "Home." Apache County Library District. Retrieved on January 30, 2011. "Apache County Library District PO Box 2760 30 South 2nd West St Johns, AZ 85936"
  13. ^ "Alpine Public Library." Apache County Library District. Retrieved on January 30, 2011.
  14. ^ "Concho Public Library." Apache County Library District. Retrieved on January 30, 2011.
  15. ^ "Greer Memorial Library." Apache County Library District. Retrieved on January 30, 2011.
  16. ^ "Round Valley Public Library." Apache County Library District. Retrieved on January 30, 2011.
  17. ^ "Sanders Public Library." Apache County Library District. Retrieved on January 30, 2011.
  18. ^ "St. Johns Public Library." Apache County Library District. Retrieved on January 30, 2011.
  19. ^ "Vernon Public Library." Apache County Library District. Retrieved on January 30, 2011.
  20. ^ http://www.census.gov/2010census/
  21. ^ http://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/maps/block/2010/

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°25′26″N 109°26′33″W / 35.42389°N 109.44250°W / 35.42389; -109.44250