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Welcome to the Discover Gila County IDA Tourism website | Southern Gila County
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The History of Town Names In Southern Gila County:


Sometimes current and past residents of the greater southern Gila County area like to tease other Arizonans that their home turf is the "Center of the Universe."

After all, this relatively small mining community in southeast Arizona has been the home of two state governors — Arizona's first government, George W. P. Hunt, and Arizona's first female governor, Rose Mofford. It has produced some of the state's most influential legislators and political operatives!

Globe celebrated its centennial year of incorporation in 2007, although the city itself is much older. Historical legend has it that Globe got its name in 1875, when prospectors found silver on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, including an unusual globe-shaped silver nugget. And, although the silver began to give out shortly afterwards, copper soon replaced it as economic boon to the area. In the 1900's, the Old Dominion Copper Company in Globe ranked as one of the world's richest, and the town prospered until copper prices slumped and the mines were no longer the driving economic force of the area.

Today, tourism plays a driving role in the area's present and future as visitors discovered the pleasant climate, beautiful scenery and friendly people.

Though mining had been the economic driver of the community since the early 1900's (a post office was established in 1910), the town was incorporated in 1956. Hayden, Stone, and Company operated mines near this community, and the town was named for Charles Hayden of the company. The ores were brought to this point where a mill and smelter had been built to process the ores.

Legend has it that the mining camp was named by "Black Jack" Newman, a Polish immigrant miner, who called the town "Mima" after his fiancée, Mima Tune. About the same time, a group of Miami, Ohio, immigrants staked a mining claim in the area, and wanted to call the town "Miami." The two groups are supposed to have reached an agreement to spell the name "Miami" and pronounce it "Mima" before it was incorporated in 1918.

In its heyday, about 10,000 people resided in Miami.

Superior operated as a community long before it was incorporated, in 1976. The town was laid out in 1900 and named Hastings. Later, the name was changed to Superior, named for a successful silver mine that its investors, Michigan residents, had called Lake Superior.

Located at the southern end of Gila County, at the confluence of the San Pedro and Gila Rivers, Winkelman was named for Peter Winkelman, a stockman who ranched in the area. The history of Winkelman dates back to 1877 when a large number of farmers migrated to the region. With the coming of the railroad, the post office was established in 1903, but the town was not incorporated until 1949.




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