Williams, Arizona

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Williams, Arizona
City
City of Williams
Steam locomotive and train sitting at Williams Depot, 2006
Steam locomotive and train sitting at Williams Depot, 2006
Nickname(s): Gateway to the Grand Canyon
Location of Williams in Coconino County, Arizona.
Location of Williams in Coconino County, Arizona.
U.S. Census Map
U.S. Census Map
Williams, Arizona is located in the US
Williams, Arizona
Williams, Arizona
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 35°14′58″N 112°11′24″W / 35.24944°N 112.19000°W / 35.24944; -112.19000Coordinates: 35°14′58″N 112°11′24″W / 35.24944°N 112.19000°W / 35.24944; -112.19000
Country United States
State Arizona
County Coconino
Settled 1881
Incorporated July 9, 1901
Government
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Body Williams City Council
 • Mayor John Moore[1]
Area[2]
 • Total 44.17 sq mi (114.41 km2)
 • Land 43.83 sq mi (113.52 km2)
 • Water 0.34 sq mi (0.89 km2)
Elevation 6,766 ft (2,062 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 3,023
 • Estimate (2016)[4] 3,159
 • Density 72.08/sq mi (27.83/km2)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
ZIP code 86046
Area code 928
FIPS code 04-83160
Website City of Williams

Williams (Havasupai: Wii Gvʼul[5]) is a city in Coconino County, Arizona, west of Flagstaff. Its population was 3,023 at the 2010 census.[6] It lies on the route of Historic Route 66, Interstate 40, and the Southwest Chief Amtrak train route. It is also the southern terminus of the Grand Canyon Railway, which takes visitors to Grand Canyon Village. There are numerous inns, motels, restaurants and gas stations that cater to the large influx of tourists rather than local residents, especially during the summer and holiday seasons.

Also known as the "Gateway to the Grand Canyon", Williams was the last town on Historic Route 66 to be bypassed by Interstate 40. The community, bypassed on October 13, 1984, continues to thrive on tourism. Boasting seven area fishing lakes, hiking trails up Bill Williams Mountain and into Sycamore Canyon, an alpine ski area and cross country ski trails, four seasons weather and an abundance of wildlife, Williams offers unlimited recreational opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast.

The Historic Downtown District covers six square blocks. The town boasts a rich heritage that features the Old West and Route 66, coupled with tourism trends today and the town's heyday years of the '50s and '60s.[7]

History[edit]

Williams is named after William "Old Bill" Williams, a mountain man and trader who often trapped in the area.[7]

Franklin D. Roosevelt (seated, center) at Greenway Ranch in Williams on September 26, 1932, during that year's presidential campaign. He is accompanied by U.S. Senator from Arizona Carl Hayden standing far right, along with—among others—three Democrats from the U.S. Senate (seated): Pittman, Walsh, and Cohen.

Founded in 1881, Williams was named for the famous trapper, scout and mountain man, "Old Bill Williams." A statue of "Old Bill" stands in Monument Park, located on the west side of the city. The large mountain directly south of town is named Bill Williams Mountain and the Town was incorporated July 9, 1901.[7]

Williams was the last town to have its section of Route 66 bypassed, due to lawsuits that kept the last section of Interstate 40 in Arizona from being built around the town. After settlements called for the state to build three Williams exits, the suits were dropped and I-40 was completed.[8] On October 13, 1984, Interstate 40 was opened around the town and newspapers the next day reported the essential end of US 66.[9] The following year, Route 66 was decommissioned.

Williams Historic Business District and Urban Route 66, Williams were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and 1989, respectively.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 199
1910 1,267
1920 1,350 6.6%
1930 2,166 60.4%
1940 2,622 21.1%
1950 2,152 −17.9%
1960 3,559 65.4%
1970 2,386 −33.0%
1980 2,266 −5.0%
1990 2,532 11.7%
2000 2,842 12.2%
2010 3,023 6.4%
Est. 2016 3,159 [4] 4.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the census[11] of 2000,[needs update] there were 2,842 people, 1,057 households, and 733 families residing in the city. The population density was 65.3 people per square mile (25.2/km²). There were 1,204 housing units at an average density of 27.7 per square mile (10.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.13% White, 2.89% Black or African American, 1.72% Native American, 1.34% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 14.22% from other races, and 2.67% from two or more races. 32.34% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,057 households out of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.1% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 29.8% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 103.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,455, and the median income for a family was $39,063. Males had a median income of $27,237 versus $25,162 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,223. About 9.9% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.2% of those under age 18 and 11.6% of those age 65 or over.

Geography[edit]

Williams is located at 35°14′58″N 112°11′24″W / 35.24944°N 112.19000°W / 35.24944; -112.19000 (35.249369, −112.189872)[12] at 6,800 feet (2,100 m) in elevation. Bill Williams Mountain rises to an elevation of 9,256 feet (2,821 m) just south of Williams. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 43.8 square miles (113 km2), of which 43.5 square miles (113 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2), or 0.66%, is water.

Climate[edit]

Williams has a cool-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb). On average in Williams, December is the coldest month, July is the warmest month, and August is the wettest month. The hottest temperature recorded in Williams was 102 °F (39 °C) in 1909; the coldest temperature recorded was −25 °F (−32 °C) in 1937.[13]

Climate data for Williams, Arizona (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 74
(23)
74
(23)
76
(24)
87
(31)
92
(33)
100
(38)
102
(39)
101
(38)
93
(34)
85
(29)
80
(27)
74
(23)
102
(39)
Average high °F (°C) 46.5
(8.1)
48.5
(9.2)
53.8
(12.1)
61.6
(16.4)
71.2
(21.8)
80.7
(27.1)
83.3
(28.5)
80.5
(26.9)
75.3
(24.1)
65.3
(18.5)
54.3
(12.4)
46.5
(8.1)
64.0
(17.8)
Daily mean °F (°C) 34.9
(1.6)
36.8
(2.7)
41.0
(5)
47.5
(8.6)
56.3
(13.5)
65.0
(18.3)
69.2
(20.7)
67.2
(19.6)
61.7
(16.5)
51.6
(10.9)
41.8
(5.4)
34.9
(1.6)
50.7
(10.4)
Average low °F (°C) 23.3
(−4.8)
25.0
(−3.9)
28.2
(−2.1)
33.4
(0.8)
41.5
(5.3)
49.4
(9.7)
55.1
(12.8)
53.8
(12.1)
48.1
(8.9)
37.9
(3.3)
29.2
(−1.6)
23.2
(−4.9)
37.3
(2.9)
Record low °F (°C) −25
(−32)
−18
(−28)
−6
(−21)
2
(−17)
8
(−13)
22
(−6)
32
(0)
32
(0)
11
(−12)
7
(−14)
−7
(−22)
−17
(−27)
−25
(−32)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.22
(56.4)
2.42
(61.5)
2.16
(54.9)
1.03
(26.2)
.58
(14.7)
.44
(11.2)
2.84
(72.1)
3.41
(86.6)
1.83
(46.5)
1.55
(39.4)
1.67
(42.4)
1.98
(50.3)
22.13
(562.2)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 18.5
(47)
15.8
(40.1)
13.3
(33.8)
5.5
(14)
.2
(0.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
.5
(1.3)
5.0
(12.7)
12.1
(30.7)
70.9
(180.1)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch) 6.5 6.4 6.7 3.8 3.2 2.3 10.0 11.8 6.4 4.3 4.5 5.8 71.7
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 inch) 4.2 3.8 3.4 1.8 .1 0 0 0 0 .2 1.7 3.4 18.5
Source: NOAA (extremes 1897–present)[13]

Government[edit]

The City of Williams has adopted the Council-Manager form of government. The Williams City Council is the city’s legislative body. The seven member council oversee the operations of the city government and sets policy by approving programs, appropriating funds, enacting laws and appointing the City Manager and other officers such as the City Attorney, City Clerk and City Magistrate. Williams' Mayor and City Council are elected at large. The Mayor serves a two-year term and Council members serve overlapping four-year terms.[14] The City Manager is appointed by, and serves at the pleasure of, the City Council and is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the City. The role of the City Manager is to execute the policies and programs established by the City Council and to provide administrative leadership and management of municipal operations.[15]

Federally, Williams is part of Arizona's 1st congressional district. Most recently it was represented by Republican Rick Renzi from 2003 to 2008, Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick following the 2008 election and Republican Paul Gosar following the 2010 election and again by Ann Kirkpatrick following the 2012 election.

Education[edit]

Williams is served by the Williams Unified School District. Two schools, Williams Elementary Middle School, and Williams High School, serve the city. A charter school, Heritage Elementary Charter School, also provides services.

Parks and recreation[edit]

The city of Williams Parks and Recreation Department operates several parks and public facilities throughout the city. Recreation Center & Skate Park is centered around youth activities and entertainment and features an indoor skate park called the "Shed". The city hosts a public swimming pool located at the Williams Aquatic Center, an indoor facility offering seasonal and recreational swimming activities. The pool is open the Saturday before Memorial Day and closes the Saturday before Labor Day every year. Cureton Park offers softball, baseball and basketball courts, picnic area and public restrooms. Buckskinner Park has a basketball and volleyball court and a lake that is stocked regularly by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and features a trail head to several trails maintained by the United States Forest Service. Cataract Lake County Park is a joint venture between Coconino County and the City of Williams and includes several barbecue pits, a playground and public restroom facilities including a lake stocked regularly by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.[16] The city also maintains a rodeo facility that hosts the annual Williams Reunion Rodeo.[17]

Transportation[edit]

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides daily service to Williams, operating its Southwest Chief between Chicago and Los Angeles. Rail passengers arrive and depart at Williams Junction, 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Williams, and are shuttled by Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach from Williams Junction to the Grand Canyon Railroad Station in downtown Williams.

The downtown station also serves as the southern terminus for the Grand Canyon Railway.

Williams has a small General Aviation airport, H.A. Clark Memorial Field serving small aircraft.

Arts and culture[edit]

Williams has a vibrant arts and cultural events schedule that runs year round. Starting in December and running through January, The Polar Express operated by the Grand Canyon Railway is a train ride based on the popular children's book The Polar Express written by Chris Van Allsburg.[18] The city also hosts the Historic Route 66 Car Show featuring automobiles from Route 66's heyday.[19] During the summer months The Cataract Creek Gang acts out a gun fight every night in the streets of Williams. This cast of old west characters also tend to "rob" the Grand Canyon Railway train upon its return from the canyon.[20]

Films[edit]

A few Hollywood films with A list actors and actresses have been shot in and around the town of Williams and the surrounding area.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "City Council". City of Williams, Arizona. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 18, 2017. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  5. ^ Hinton, Leanne (1984). A dictionary of the Havasupai language. 
  6. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Williams city, Arizona". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c http://www.williamsaz.gov/pdf/ABOUT%20WILLIAMS.pdf
  8. ^ Moseley, Andy (September 2009). Around the States in 90 Days. p. 212. ISBN 9780956155108. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Route 66 in Arizona Multiple Property Submission (National Register of Historic Places)" (PDF). National Park Service. April 5, 1989. p. 26. 
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  13. ^ a b "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  14. ^ http://www.williamsaz.gov/council.html
  15. ^ http://www.azleague.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/199
  16. ^ [1]; accessed July 20, 2017
  17. ^ [2]; accessed July 20, 2017
  18. ^ [3]; accessed July 07, 2017.
  19. ^ [4]; accessed July 07, 2017.
  20. ^ [5]; accessed July 07, 2017.

External links[edit]