Superior, Arizona

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Superior
Superior, Arizona
Apache Leap in Superior
Apache Leap in Superior
Location of Superior in Pinal County, Arizona.
Location of Superior in Pinal County, Arizona.
Superior is located in the US
Superior
Superior
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 33°17′20″N 111°6′14″W / 33.28889°N 111.10389°W / 33.28889; -111.10389Coordinates: 33°17′20″N 111°6′14″W / 33.28889°N 111.10389°W / 33.28889; -111.10389
CountryUnited States
StateArizona
CountyPinal
Incorporated1976
Government
 • MayorMila Besich-Lira.[1]
Area
 • Total1.87 sq mi (4.85 km2)
 • Land1.87 sq mi (4.85 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
2,888 ft (880 m)
Population
 • Total2,837
 • Estimate 
(2016)[4]
2,999
 • Density1,601.17/sq mi (618.32/km2)
Time zoneUTC-7 (MST (no DST))
ZIP code
85173
Area code(s)520
FIPS code04-71300
WebsiteTown of Superior

Superior (Western Apache: Yooʼ Łigai)[5] is a town in Pinal County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 2,837.[3] Superior was founded as a mining town for the Silver Queen and the later Magma mines.

Such films as U Turn by Oliver Stone, Eight Legged Freaks, How the West Was Won, Blind Justice, The Prophecy, Skinwalkers, The Gauntlet with Clint Eastwood, and Young Billy Young are set in Superior. In 2005, a sci-fi film named The Salena Incident, also called Alien Invasion Arizona, was filmed in Superior.

History[edit]

During the 1870s, at the height of the American Indian Wars; a company of Apache horsemen were ambushed by US cavalry. After losing 50 men; the Apache retreated up the mountain later named Apache Leap. Accepting defeat; the remaining 75 Apache leapt to their death rather than being captured by the US army. http://www.nativehistorymagazine.com/2013/02/the-legend-of-apache-tears.html[6]

Superior was originally called Queen, then Hastings, and under the latter name was platted in 1900.[7]

Queen had a population of around 100 circa 1880. There was a general store, 2 hotels, numerous saloons, and a post office. The Queen post office closed Sept. 15, 1881. [8]

The Superior townsite was laid out in 1902, and named after the Lake Superior and Arizona Copper Company (LS&A). The Superior post office opened on December 29, 1902. [8]

Magma mine[edit]

Magma Arizona Railroad in Superior, 1967

The first claims here were staked in 1875, and the Silver Queen Mining Company was organized in 1880. With depth, rich copper ore was discovered, but early efforts to mine copper failed. Boyce Thompson bought the old Silver Queen mine in 1910, and by 1912, the Magma Copper Company was in production. A narrow gauge railroad connecting to the Phoenix and Eastern Railroad was built in 1915, and later converted to standard gauge. A smelter was built in 1924. A new concentrator replaced the original one in 1946.

After 71 years of production, the Magma mine closed in August 1982 due to high operating costs and declining copper prices. Operations resumed in September 1990, but the mine closed again on June 28, 1996. During its the 86-year life (1911-1996). the Magma mine produced approximately 27.6 million short tons of ore averaging about 4.9% copper, recovering 1,299,718 short tons of copper, 36,550 short tons of zinc, approximately 686,000 ounces of gold and 34.3 million ounces of silver. [9]

The old Magma No. 9 shaft atop Apache Leap is being used to explore the huge Resolution Copper deposit below.

Geography[edit]

Superior is located approximately 70 miles (110 km) east of Phoenix and the same distance north of Tucson. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.9 sq mi (5.0 km2), all land.[10]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
19202,464
19304,29574.3%
19604,875
19704,9752.1%
19804,600−7.5%
19903,468−24.6%
20003,254−6.2%
20102,837−12.8%
Est. 20162,999[4]5.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 3,254 people, 1,237 households, and 847 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,684.6 people per square mile (651.0/km²). There were 1,470 housing units at an average density of 761.0 per square mile (294.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 72.68% White, 0.46% Black or African American, 1.63% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 23.05% from other races, and 1.75% from two or more races. 69.08% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,237 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.5% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the town, the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 21.7% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 19.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $27,069, and the median income for a family was $31,250. Males had a median income of $34,297 versus $21,607 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,490. About 22.5% of families and 27.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.0% of those under age 18 and 16.5% of those age 65 or over.

Places of interest[edit]

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is a 323-acre (1.31 km2) botanical collection that includes a wide range of habitats and a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) walking trail. Founded in 1925, the arboretum is the largest and oldest botanical garden in Arizona.

Climate[edit]

Superior has a hot semi-arid climate. In January, the average high temperature is 61 °F (16 °C) with a low of 43 °F (6 °C). In July, the average high temperature is 98 °F (37 °C) with a low of 76 °F (24 °C). Annual precipitation is just over 18 inches, but is higher at greater altitudes.[13] Despite its relatively high precipitation due to favourable aspect, Superior is too low for significant snow even in winter.

The riparian (river-associated) area of the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. The Boyce Thompson mansion can be seen at the right.
Climate data for Superior, Arizona
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 81
(27)
87
(31)
91
(33)
96
(36)
105
(41)
111
(44)
112
(44)
110
(43)
106
(41)
102
(39)
89
(32)
83
(28)
112
(44)
Average high °F (°C) 60.9
(16.1)
64.1
(17.8)
68.5
(20.3)
76.4
(24.7)
86.1
(30.1)
95.6
(35.3)
97.7
(36.5)
95.4
(35.2)
92.3
(33.5)
82.5
(28.1)
69.8
(21)
61.6
(16.4)
79.2
(26.2)
Average low °F (°C) 43.2
(6.2)
45.4
(7.4)
48.2
(9)
54.4
(12.4)
62.7
(17.1)
72.0
(22.2)
75.7
(24.3)
74.2
(23.4)
71.2
(21.8)
62.0
(16.7)
51.1
(10.6)
44.0
(6.7)
58.7
(14.8)
Record low °F (°C) 20
(−7)
20
(−7)
24
(−4)
29
(−2)
38
(3)
51
(11)
59
(15)
61
(16)
50
(10)
33
(1)
29
(−2)
19
(−7)
19
(−7)
Average rainfall inches (mm) 2.00
(50.8)
1.98
(50.3)
2.02
(51.3)
.80
(20.3)
.34
(8.6)
.26
(6.6)
1.91
(48.5)
2.80
(71.1)
1.48
(37.6)
1.18
(30)
1.41
(35.8)
2.11
(53.6)
18.29
(464.5)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 inch) 5 5 5 3 2 1 7 8 4 3 4 5 52
Source: Western Regional Climate Center[13]

See also[edit]

Superior from the air, looking north, 2010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mila Besich-Lira promises to work hard to make Superior better on being sworn in as Mayor". CopperArea.com Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  2. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  5. ^ William J. de Reuse (2006), A Practical Grammar of the San Carlos Apache Language, Lincom Europa
  6. ^ http://www.nativehistorymagazine.com/2013/02/the-legend-of-apache-tears.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "The History of Town Names In Southern Gila County". Gila County Industrial Development Authority. Archived from the original on July 3, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  8. ^ a b History of Mining at Superior by Gladys Walter & TG Chilton, 1991. Accessed 6/25/2018
  9. ^ History Of The Magma Mine, Superior, Arizona at Arizona Daily Independent, July 19, 2015.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  13. ^ a b "SUPERIOR, ARIZONA: Period of Record General Climate Summary". Retrieved March 28, 2012.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]