On February 23, 1863, Pres. Abraham Lincoln signed the bill creating the Territory of Arizona. The first Arizona Territorial Legislature established the capital at Prescott and met in September 1864. They divided the territory into four counties: Mohave, Pima, Yavapai, and Yuma. Yavapai County, the mother county, consisted of approximately 65,000 square miles and was believed to be the largest county in the United States. By the time Arizona attained statehood on February 14, 1912, there were 14 counties, and Yavapai County had been reduced in size to 8,125 square miles. Yavapai County has a rich history in mining, ranching, farming, military, and business. Today, Yavapai County is a thriving, growing county with nine incorporated cities and towns and numerous unincorporated communities, such as Ash Fork, Black Canyon City, Cornville, Mayer, and Skull Valley. Historic sites include Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, the town of Jerome, Fort Verde, Montezuma s Castle and Well, and Tuzigoot.
Karen DeSpain, Nancy Burgess, Yavapai County Arizona Centennial Committee