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This weeks Land Surveyor's Look at Arizona's Past...

Chapter 59 Land Surveyor Weekly From #04 - PINAL COUNTY - The agricultural land in this county is confined to the valleys of the Gila and the San Pedro. For a distance of eighteen miles along the former stream there is a line of fine farms, and for thirty miles up the San Pedro, the valley has been brought under cultivation at different points. In the neighborhood of Florence, the county seat, the valley of the Gila is over a mile wide, and contains some of the richest land in the Territory. Here, as everywhere else, irrigation is required to produce a crop, and the area that can be cultivated depends entirely on the water supply. Corn, wheat, barley, alfalfa, vegetables, and fruits are raised in Pinal county.

The soil is a rich loam of durable fertility, and well adapted to the usual agricultural products and semi-tropical fruits. There is no more beautiful sight in the Territory than the valley of the Gila surrounding Florence, when the ripening grain, waving fields of alfalfa, and shady groves of mesquite and cottonwood are in their bloom. There are thousands of acres of fine land above and below Florence, which are lying idle for the want of water. It is believed that with a proper system of irrigation, double the number of acres now under cultivation could be made to produce fine crops. There is evidence in the ruins of the Casa Grande that this portion of Arizona supported a dense population at one time; and the remains of the large irrigating canals go to show that those ancient tillers of the soil had a much more comprehensive idea of the irrigating problem than their modern successors. The number of acres under cultivation in Pinal county is estimated at 6,000, not including the land occupied by the Pimas, which is nearly all within the limits of this county. The yield for 1880 was: Barley, 1,000,000 pounds; wheat, 400,000 pounds; corn, 350,000 pounds; besides large quantities of hay and alfalfa. The yield of grain to the acre was: Barley, 1,500 pounds; wheat, 1,200 pounds; besides cereals, beans, potatoes, onions, cabbages, turnips, and all kinds of vegetables are raised in abundance. Peaches, grapes, apricots, pears, figs, quinces, and pome-granates, all do well in Pinal, and many farmers are going into the business extensively. The climate and soil are specially adapted for fruit culture, and the valley of the Gila yet promises to become one immense orchard and vineyard.

YAVAPAI COUNTY - The principal body of farming land in this county is found along the valley of the Verde. This valley averages from a few hundred yards to a half a mile in width. The soil is a rich loam, and in places a black mold of great fertility. The river bottom is settled its entire length, where it is not confined to canyons. There is plenty of water for irrigation, and good crops are raised in the driest season. Corn, wheat, and barley are the principal productions. Although but little attention has been paid to fruit, it has been demonstrated that fine grapes and peaches can be grown in this valley. Outside of the Verde the farming lands of Yavapai are confined to small valleys situated from four to six thousand feet above sea level. Among the most important of these valleys are Williamson, Chino, Peeple's, Agua Fria, Skull, Kirkland, and Walnut Grove.

Their soil is generally a rich mold, formed by the detritus from the surrounding hills. There is no water for irrigation in most of them, and farmers depend entirely on rain for the raising of a crop. Corn, wheat, barley, alfalfa, and all kinds of vegetables, are raised in these elevated valleys, their greatest drawback being late and early frosts and droughts. Fine apples and peaches are grown in several places, and grapes in some secluded nooks. The number of acres under cultivation in Yavapai is estimated at 5,000, although no reliable data can be had from the assessor's office.

PIMA COUNTY - The valley of the Santa Cruz is the principal agricultural settlement of this county. This stream, which rises in the Huachuca mountains, sinks in the thirsty sands for more than two thirds of its course. Near Tubac and Calabasas, opposite Tucson, and at San Xavier, the stream comes to the surface, and the land in the vicinity is brought under cultivation, producing crops of cereals, vegetables, and fruits. The valley of the Santa Cruz, opposite Tucson, has been cultivated for hundreds of years, and shows no dimunution in its productiveness.

The soil is rich, and only needs water to grow anything that is planted in it. The Sonoita valley, east of the Santa Ritas, and about sixty miles south-east of Tucson, is one of the most productive spots in the southern portion of the Territory. It extends from old Fort Buchanan to Calabasas, nearly thirty miles, and is settled, wherever water can be had, the entire distance. The soil is a rich, dark loam, and the climate is well adapted for fruit raising. This valley was time and again swept with fire and drenched with blood during the Apache wars, and the graves of its early settlers mark the hillsides from one end of the valley to the other. The valley of the Arivaca, in the southern part of the county, contains some good land, but it is claimed by a grant, thus preventing settlement. The yield of cereals in Pima county for the year 1880, was as follows: Wheat, 1,000,000 pounds; corn, 500,000 pounds; barley, 1,000,000 pounds. This yield includes the products of the farming lands now embraced within the boundaries of Cachise.

About The Historical Texts

Following is the list of uncopyrighted publications used for the History of Arizona and the Southwest. All can be easily found on-line in PDF format. Sorted by publication date they are:

  1. The Memoir of the Proposed Territory of Arizona - 1857 | By Sylvester Mowry
  2. Arizona and Sonora - 1863 | By Sylvester Mowry
  3. The Territory of Arizona_1874 | By Arizona Legislative Assembly
  4. Resources of Arizona - 1881 | By Arizona Legislative Assembly
  5. The History of Arizona and New Mexico, Volume 17 - 1889 - (Arizona Portion) | By Hubert Howe Bancroft
  6. Titan of Chasms the Grand Canyon - 1906 | By C.A. Higgins, J.W. Powell, Chas.F.Lumins
  7. Reminiscences of a Soldiers Wife - 1907 - (Arizona Portion) | By Ellen McGowan Biddle
  8. The First Through the Grand Canyon - 1915 | By Major John Wesley Powell
  9. The History of Arizona, Volume 1 - 1915 (starting Chapter VII) | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  10. The History of Arizona, Volume 2 - 1915 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  11. The History of Arizona, Volume 3 - 1916 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  12. The History of Arizona, Volume 4 - 1916 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  13. The History of Arizona, Volume 5 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  14. The History of Arizona, Volume 6 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  15. The History of Arizona, Volume 7 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  16. The History Of Arizona, Volume 8 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  17. Arizona the Wonderland - 1917 | By George Wharton James
  18. The Story of Arizona - 1919 | By Will H. Robinson

See our Arizona Land Surveyors weekly Look into Arizona's past.................
hapter 59 Land Surveyor Weekly From #04 - PINAL COUNTY - The agricultural land in this county is confined to the valleys of the Gila and the San Pedro. For a distance of eighteen miles along the former stream there is a line of fine farms, and for thirty miles up the San Pedro, the valley has been brought under cultivation at different points. In the neighborhood of Florence, the county seat, the valley of the Gila is over a mile wide, and contains some of the richest land in the .........Continue to complete Chapter of our Arizona Land Surveyors weekly.

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