Courthouse 415 E Spring St., Kingman AZ 86401
This stop on the Discover Kingman walking tour is sponsored by Renie and Becky Fawson
Learn More | Audio Narration
The Arizona Territory was established in 1862. Two years later Mohave, Pima, Yavapai, and Yuma counties were carved from the vast wilderness.
Of the four original counties Mohave has the most intriguing history. Named for the tribe that lived along the Colorado River near present day Bullhead City, it remains a sort of political oddity. Almost one third of the county is north of the Colorado River. Known regionally as the strip country, aside from using an airplane or boat, that section of the county can only be accessed from Nevada or Utah.
In 1865 the territorial legislature carved several new counties from the original four. One of these was Pah-Ute County that was split from Mohave County. This new county included the strip country and the southern tip of present-day Nevada with Las Vegas, Nelson, Nipton and Laughlin. Another adjustment was made in 1871 and the strip country was folded back into Mohave County, and the remainder of Pah Ute County became part of Clark County in the newly designated state of Nevada.
Mohave City on the Colorado River was selected as the first Mohave County seat. Then in 1867 it was moved upriver to the port of Hardyville near present day Davis Dam. In 1873 it was relocated to the mining boom town of Cerbat in the Cerbat Mountains, and then in 1877 to neighboring Mineral Park.
In January 1887, as Mineral Park entered a period of decline when mines played out, the territorial legislature held hearings to consider new sites. Greenwood, a mining town on the south side of the Hualapai Mountains, and Hackberry along the railroad at the eastern edge of the Hualapai Valley were considered.
Territorial newspapers in February noted outrage in Mineral Park when it was declared that Kingman would serve as the Mohave County seat. Rampant rumors claimed that the vote to move the county seat was fraudulent. Interestingly those rumors spawned a legend that is still repeated as fact today. A quick Google search will find several stories that Mineral Park officials refused to give up the county records and that outraged Kingman citizens subsequently launched a riad and carried off county documents. Some of these stories claim that the courthouse in Mineral Park was burned during the attack.
The Mohave County Miner newspaper followed removal of the county seat to Kingman. It remains in publication as the Kingman Miner.
Before completion of the first courthouse in Kingman in 1890, a two-story wood frame structure on Spring Street built by Orvin Peasley and W.H. Taggart, the temporary county offices and courts were housed in the Taggart Building. The second courthouse was constructed in Neoclassical style designed by the architectural firm Lescher & Kibbey based in Phoenix between 1914 to 1915 at a cost of $62,372.
The construction contract was awarded to J. M. Wheeler of Kingman, and Collamore & Sons from Arkansas. Stone used in the project was hauled into Kingman from the Metcalfe Quarry in the Cerbat Mountains. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
Plans for landscaping of the courthouse grounds were delayed due to WWI. By the mid-1920s retaining walls had been completed and trees planted. Then in 1928 a monument with plaque that read, “IN MEMORY OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF MOHAVE COUNTY WHO SERVED IN THE WORLD WAR 1917 – 1918” was erected in front of the courthouse.
Adventure Starts Here
Check out our map for the first 12 destinations on our tours.