About Graham County Government
Graham County, formed in 1881 by the 11th Territorial Legislature, was created from parts of Apache and Pima counties. The legislature broke with the tradition of naming Arizona counties after local Indian tribes when the new county called Graham was named after the 10,724-foot Mount Graham, the highest peak in the area. The mountain in turn had been named Graham after Lieutenant Colonel James Duncan Graham, a senior officer in the Brig. General Stephen W. Kearney's U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers.
Graham County is one of the areas with the widest variety of animal and bird life of any area in the United States. This is also the site of the only two designated Riparian Areas in the United States. A Riparian area is an area near running water that supports water-loving plants, water birds, and amphibians. Yes, Graham County has that much water. We have the Gila River and the Bonita Creek, and underneath the land flows mineral water springs, artesian wells, and even some potable fresh water.