Gila County, Arizona

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Gila County is a county in the central part of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2000 census its population was 51,335. The county seat is Globe.[1]

Gila County contains parts of Fort Apache Indian Reservation and San Carlos Indian Reservation.

Contents

History

The county was formed from parts of Maricopa County and Pinal County on February 8, 1881. The boundary was then extended eastward to the San Carlos River by public petition in 1889. The original county seat was in the mining community of Globe City, now Globe, Arizona.

In the 1880s, a long range war broke out in Gila County that became the most costly feud in American history, resulting in an almost complete annihilation of the families involved. The Pleasant Valley War (also sometimes called the Tonto Basin Feud or Tonto Basin War) matched the cattle-herding Grahams against the sheep-herding Tewksburys. Once partisan feelings became tense and hostilities began, Frederick Russell Burnham, who later became a celebrated scout and the inspiration for the boy scouts, was drawn into the conflict on the losing side.[2][3] Burnham shot many men in the feud, and was himself nearly killed by a bounty hunter.[4] Tom Horn, a famous assassin, was also known to have taken part as a killer for hire, but it is unknown as to which side employed him, and both sides suffered several murders to which no suspect was ever identified.

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