St. David, Arizona

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St. David is a census-designated place (CDP) in Cochise County, Arizona, United States. The population was 1,744 at the 2000 census.



St. David was established as a result of the Mormon Battalion having earlier passed through the San Pedro River valley in 1846. One of the founders of St. David, Philemon C. Merrill, was a member of the battalion.[1] The Mormon settlers of 1877 were part of a group that originally was to settle Lehi, Arizona.[2] The town was named after David W. Patten, an early Mormon apostle that was killed in 1838 in Missouri.[citation needed] The early St. David settlers played an important role in establishing the subsequent surrounding settlements, such as Fort Huachuca and Tombstone, as they did much of the logging in the Huachuca Mountains to provide lumber for the construction of those locations.[3]

As a tight-knit Mormon community, St. David managed better than other small towns in Cochise County during the Great Depression.[4] The concentration of Latter-day Saints was high enough in St. David that a stake was created there in 1941, 5 years prior to one being established in Mesa, even though a temple had been built in Mesa in 1927.[5]

An influx of non-Mormons, principally from Oklahoma and Texas, occurred when St. David became the site for Civilian Conservation Corps Camp SCS-19-A from 1935 to 1940. Works included soil erosion and flood control projects.[6]

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