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Kingman
City of Kingman
Mohave County Courthouse in Kingman
Mohave County Courthouse in Kingman
Official seal of Kingman
Seal
Motto(s): 
"The Heart of Historic Route 66"
Location of Kingman in Mohave County, Arizona.
Location of Kingman in Mohave County, Arizona.
U.S. Census Map
U.S. Census Map
Country United States
State Arizona
County Mohave
Incorporated 1952
Area
 • Total 37.55 sq mi (97.25 km2)
 • Land 37.55 sq mi (97.25 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
3,333 ft (1,016 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 32,689
 • Density 870.62/sq mi (336.14/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (MSTArizona Time (no DST)
ZIP codes
86401, 86402, 86409
Area code(s) 928
FIPS code 04-37620
Website www.cityofkingman.gov

Kingman is a city in, and the county seat of, Mohave County, Arizona, United States. It is named after Lewis Kingman, a civil engineer. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 28,068. Kingman is located approximately 105 miles (169 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada and about 165 miles (266 km) northwest of the state capital, Phoenix.

History

Lewis kingman

Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale, a U.S. Navy officer in the service of the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, was ordered by the U.S. War Department to build a federal wagon road across the 35th Parallel. His secondary orders were to test the feasibility of the use of camels as pack animals in the southwestern desert. Beale traveled through the present day Kingman in 1857 surveying the road and in 1859 to build the road. Beale's Wagon Road became part of Highway 66 and Interstate Highway 40. Remnants of the wagon road can still be seen in White Cliffs Canyon in Kingman.

Kingman, Arizona, was founded in 1882, when Arizona was still Arizona Territory. Situated in the Hualapai Valley between the Cerbat and Hualapai mountain ranges, Kingman is known for its very modest beginnings as a simple railroad siding near Beale’s Springs in the Middleton Section along the newly constructed route of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. The city of Kingman was named for Lewis Kingman, who surveyed along the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad's right-of-way between Needles, Calif., and Albuquerque, N.M. Lewis Kingman supervised the building of the railroad from Winslow, Ariz. to Beale's Springs, which is near the present location of the town of Kingman.

The Mohave County seat originally was located in Mohave City from 1864 to 1867. The portion of Arizona Territory west of the Colorado River was transferred to Nevada in 1865 after Nevada's statehood, and became part of Lincoln County, Nevada later Clark County, Nevada. The remaining territory of Pah-Ute County became part of Mohave County. Its seat was moved to Hardyville (which is now within Bullhead City) in 1867. The county seat transferred to the mining town of Cerbat in 1873, then to Mineral Park near Chloride in 1877. In 1887, the county seat was moved to Kingman after some period of time without a permanent county seat, the instruments and records of Mohave County government were taken clandestinely from Chloride and moved to Kingman in the middle of the night during this final transfer of the county seat.

During World War II, Kingman was the site of a U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) airfield. The Kingman Army Airfield was founded at the beginning of WW II as an aerial gunnery training base. It became one of the USAAF's largest, training some 35,000 soldiers and airmen. The airfield and Kingman played a significant role in this important era of America's history. Following the war, the Kingman Airfield served as one of the largest and best-known reclamation sites for obsolete military aircraft.

Postwar, Kingman experienced growth as several major employers moved into the vicinity. In 1953 Kingman was used to detain those men accused of practicing polygamy in the Short Creek raid, which was at the time one of the largest arrests in American history. In 1955, Ford Motor Company established a proving ground (now one of the Chrysler Proving Grounds) in nearby Yucca, Arizona at the former Yucca Army Airfield. Several major new neighborhoods in Kingman were developed to house the skilled workers and professionals employed at the proving ground, as Kingman was the only sizable, developed town within a convenient distance. Likewise, the development of the Duval copper mine near adjacent Chloride, Arizona, and construction of the Mohave Generating Station in nearby Laughlin, Nevada, in 1971 contributed to Kingman's population growth. The location of a General Cable plant at what was to become the Kingman Airport Industrial Park provided a steady employment base as well.

Geography

Kingman is located at 35°12′30″N 114°1′33″W / 35.20833°N 114.02583°W / 35.20833; -114.02583 (35.208449, -114.025730), at 3,333 feet (1,016 m) in elevation.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 30.0 square miles (78 km2), all of it land.

Climate

Kingman sits on the eastern edge of the Mojave Desert, but is located in a "cold semi-arid climate" (Köppen BSk) instead of the desert. The BSk climate type receives slightly more precipitation than the BWh hot desert climate found to the south and west, and the wintertime low temperatures are significantly colder. Kingman's higher elevation and location between the Colorado Plateau and the Lower Colorado River Valley keeps summer high temperatures away from the extremes (115 °F (46 °C) or more) experienced by Phoenix and the Colorado River Valley. The higher elevation also contributes to winter cold and occasional snowfall. Summer daytime highs reach above 90 °F (32 °C) frequently, but rarely exceed 107 °F (42 °C). Summertime lows usually remain between 60 to 70 °F (16 to 21 °C). Winter highs are generally mild, ranging from around 50 to 65 °F (10 to 18 °C), but winter nighttime lows often fall to freezing, with significantly lower temperatures possible. Kingman occasionally receives a dusting of snow in the winter, though it rarely remains on the ground for longer than the mid-to-late morning.

The record low temperature in Kingman was set on January 9, 1937 at 6 °F (−14 °C), and the record high temperature occurred on August 19, 1915, July 16, 1917, and July 3, 1967, at 111 °F (44 °C). The wettest year was 1919 with 21.22 inches (539 mm) and the driest year was 1947 with 3.58 inches (91 mm). The most rainfall in one month was 9.85 inches (250 mm) in September 1939. The most rainfall in 24 hours was 6.03 inches (153 mm) on November 28, 1919. The snowiest year was 1949 with 18.2 inches (0.46 m). The most snowfall in one month was 14.0 inches (0.36 m) in December 1932. On December 31, 2014 and January 1, 2015, Kingman received 6.5 inches of snow. The storm was so significant that it was a contributing factor for closing Interstate 40 at the US 93 Junction for 24 hours.

Climate data for Kingman, Arizona
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 78
(25.6)
82
(27.8)
90
(32.2)
97
(36.1)
106
(41.1)
110
(43.3)
111
(43.9)
111
(43.9)
108
(42.2)
99
(37.2)
90
(32.2)
77
(25)
111
(-17.8)
Average high °F (°C) 55.9
(13.28)
60.0
(15.56)
65.8
(18.78)
74.2
(23.44)
82.7
(28.17)
92.7
(33.72)
97.8
(36.56)
95.3
(35.17)
90.3
(32.39)
79.0
(26.11)
66.5
(19.17)
56.7
(13.72)
76.41
(24.671)
Average low °F (°C) 31.1
(-0.5)
33.6
(0.89)
36.8
(2.67)
43.2
(6.22)
49.7
(9.83)
58.1
(14.5)
67.2
(19.56)
65.5
(18.61)
58.0
(14.44)
47.6
(8.67)
37.8
(3.22)
32.1
(0.06)
46.73
(8.181)
Record low °F (°C) 6
(-14.4)
9
(-12.8)
16
(-8.9)
20
(-6.7)
29
(-1.7)
34
(1.1)
45
(7.2)
43
(6.1)
31
(-0.6)
27
(-2.8)
13
(-10.6)
10
(-12.2)
6
(-17.8)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.09
(27.7)
1.30
(33)
1.05
(26.7)
0.66
(16.8)
0.25
(6.4)
0.15
(3.8)
0.90
(22.9)
1.42
(36.1)
0.98
(24.9)
0.66
(16.8)
0.71
(18)
1.17
(29.7)
10.34
(262.6)
Snowfall inches (cm) 1.3
(3.3)
0.3
(0.8)
0.7
(1.8)
0.1
(0.3)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.3
(0.8)
1.0
(2.5)
3.7
(9.4)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch) 4 4 4 3 1 1 4 5 3 2 2 4 37
Source: Western Regional Climate Center

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 322
1910 900
1920 1,276 41.8%
1930 2,275 78.3%
1950 3,342
1960 4,525 35.4%
1970 7,312 61.6%
1980 9,257 26.6%
1990 12,722 37.4%
2000 20,069 57.8%
2010 28,068 39.9%
2020 32,689 16.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 20,069 people in all with 7,854 households, and 5,427 families residing in the city. The population density was 669.7 people per square mile (258.5/km2). There were 8,604 housing units at an average density of 287.1 per square mile (110.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city is 88.0% White, <0.1% Black or African American, 1.0% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.4% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race comprise 12.2% of the population.

There were 7,854 households, out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.9% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city the population was spread out, with 25.0% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,086, and the median income for a family was $41,327. Males had a median income of $32,036 versus $21,134 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,181. About 8.2% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.3% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Mission Style ATSF-BNSF-Santa Fe Train Station Kingman-AZ 2012-01-25
The Amtrak station in downtown Kingman.

Major highways

  • Interstate 40
  • U.S. Route 93
  • Arizona State Route 66
  • Business Loop 40 and Arizona SR 66 are composed of the remnants of what was U.S. Route 66.
  • Arizona State Route 68
  • Interstate 11 is proposed to replace U.S. Route 93.

Airport

The Kingman Airport is located nine miles northeast of Kingman on Arizona State Route 66. The airport was originally built as Kingman Army Air Field during World War II and was home to the Kingman Aerial Gunnery School. The airport was turned over to Mohave County for civilian use in 1949. There are air ambulance and air charter services; however, there are no commercial flights to or from this airport. It is not a hub for major airlines. The closest airport in which to fly commercially is McCarran International Airport, located in Las Vegas Nevada, approximately 104 miles northwest from Kingman. The airport now primarily exists to be used as a location for long-term aircraft storage due to its suitable large ramp space and a long decommissioned runway. Kingman is a non-towered airport.

Rail

Located downtown, the Amtrak station has daily service on the Amtrak Southwest Chief between Los Angeles and Chicago. The historically significant station is constructed in Mission Revival Style architecture. Prior to the establishment of Amtrak in 1971, the building had fallen into disrepair. A total renovation was completed in 2010. The station also houses a model railroad museum. Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach offers connecting service to Las Vegas.

Kingman is located on the Southern Transcon route of the BNSF Railway which is the main transcontinental route between Los Angeles and Chicago, which carries approximately 100 to 150 freight trains per day.

In August 2012, the Kingman Terminal Railroad (KGTR) opened at the Kingman Airport Authority and Industrial Park. The KGTR is a short line railroad owned by Patriot Rail. Patriot Rail owns and operates 13 railroads in 13 states across the U.S. The KGTR interchanges with BNSF and delivers to businesses at the industrial park.

Buses and shuttles

The City of Kingman operates Kingman Area Regional Transit. Kingman is served by the intercity bus companies Greyhound and TUFESA. FlixBus boards from a stop at 915 W Beale St. Tri-State Shuttle connect Kingman with McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

Kingman Explosion/Doxol Disaster

The Kingman Explosion, also known as the Doxol Disaster or Kingman BLEVE, was a catastrophic boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE) that occurred on July 5, 1973 in Kingman. The explosion occurred during a propane transfer from a Doxol railroad car to a storage tank on the Getz rail siding near Andy Devine Avenue/Route 66.

Firefighters Memorial Park in Kingman is dedicated to those 11 firefighters who died in the BLEVE.

In popular culture

Kingman Arizona - 2013 - 01
A "Welcome to Kingman" sign on a water tower, marking its connection with Route 66

Celebrities

Onscreen

Kingman has been featured as a filming location for several movies and television shows.

In films

  • The films Roadhouse 66 and Two-Lane Blacktop were shot in Kingman.
  • The movie Management takes place but was not shot in Kingman.
  • Scenes from the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas were filmed at the Kingman Airport; in the scene, it is possible to see a clear shot of the Hualapai Mountain.
  • Scenes from the 1992 movie Universal Soldier were filmed in the downtown area as well as a local grocery store and at the Kingman Airport.
  • Scenes from the 1996 movie Mars Attacks! were filmed in Dolan Springs and Kingman.

"Aliens in Kingman" a short film (IMDb) was filmed entirely in Kingman.

In television

  • In "Otis", an episode from the television series Prison Break, LJ Burrows is sent to an adult facility in Kingman, Arizona. In a subsequent episode "Buried", LJ is released from the aforementioned facility.
  • In the HBO Series The Sopranos, when Tony Soprano was shot in the beginning of Season 6, he fell into a coma and believed he was involved in a case of mistaken identity with Kevin Finnerty who lived in Kingman, Arizona (see "Join the Club").
  • In "The Locomotion Interruption, the season 8 premiere of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper finds his belongings stolen at the Kingman, Arizona train station.

In literature and publications

  • The town is mentioned in Barbara Kingsolver's novel Pigs in Heaven.
  • In the post-apocalyptic novel Warday, Kingman is the "point of entry" to California; the Golden State, spared by the nuclear attacks that hit much of the rest of the country, is strictly guarded by troops, and "illegals" are jailed.

In music

  • The town is mentioned in the lyrics to Bobby Troup's song "Route 66".

Points of interest

for The Kingman Daily Miner


Economy

Top employers

According to Kingman's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, [1] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Kingman Regional Medical Center 1,800
2 Mohave County 1,271
3 Kingman Unified School District 740
4 Mohave Community College 700
5 American Woodmark 689
6 Walmart 440
7 City of Kingman 374
8 Laron Inc 187
9 The Home Depot 135
10 Indiana Western Express, Inc. 119

Education

Kingman has one public school district, one charter school district, and one Christian school.

Public schools

Kingman Unified School District (KUSD) consists of 12 schools, ranging from Kindergarten to high school.

Elementary Schools

  • Hualapai Elementary School
  • Cerbat Elementary School
  • Palo Christi Elementary School (closed)
  • Black Mountain Elementary School (located in the neighboring town of Golden Valley)
  • La Senita Elementary School
  • Manzanita Elementary School
  • Desert Willow Elementary School
  • Kingman Academy of Learning Primary/Intermediate School

Middle Schools

  • Golden Valley Middle School
  • Kingman Middle School
  • White Cliffs Middle School
  • Kingman Academy of Learning Middle School

High Schools

  • Kingman High School
  • Lee Williams High School
  • Kingman Academy of Learning High School

K–12

  • Mt. Tipton School, a KUSD K–12 school, is located in Dolan Springs, approximately 30 miles northwest of Kingman.

Other schools

  • The Kingman Academy of Learning, a charter school, is split into 4 schools: a primary (preschool – 2nd grade), intermediate (3–5), middle (6–8), and high school (9–12).
  • The Emmanuel Christian Academy teaches students from kindergarten to 8th grade.
  • Arizona Virtual Academy is a (K–12) Blended learning center.

Postsecondary education

Notable people

KingmanArizonaStrip
Motels along Andy Devine Avenue in Kingman in 2004
  • Andy Devine (1905–1977), actor, was raised in Kingman, where his father opened the Beale Hotel. One of the major streets of Kingman is named "Andy Devine Avenue" and the town holds the annual "Andy Devine Days".
  • Timothy McVeigh (1968–2001), who carried out the Oklahoma City bombing, was a resident of Kingman for various periods between 1993 and 1995.
  • Michael Fortier, Timothy McVeigh's co-conspirator, lived in Kingman from the age of seven.
  • Doris Hill (1905–1976), born Roberta M. Hill, was an American film actress of the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Paul Kalanithi (1977–2015), neurosurgeon and writer, was raised in Kingman.
  • Doug Mirabelli, former Boston Red Sox catcher, was born in Kingman.
  • Aron Ra, atheist activist, regional director of American Atheists, and public speaker born in Kingman.
  • Joseph Rosenberg, worked as a banker in Kingman before moving to Los Angeles. Rosenberg was later Walt Disney's banker.
  • Tarik Skubal, MLB pitcher for the Detroit Tigers.
  • Karen Steele, actress, lived and died in Kingman.
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