Just the facts in 1881!

Today is not about little stories of herders and sheep ranchers, it gives us a picture of the two animals that grazed on the land in 1881.  In the book Resources of Arizona, written in 1881 with the Authority of the Legislature, it states, “the sheep industry of Arizona, is one of the most lucrative branches of business in the territory.”  Of the eight counties at the time, two counties are listed with cattle and no sheep, one county where there are more cattle than sheep, and five counties with more sheep than cattle and one county with sheep and no cattle.

County                                              Cattle                                          Sheep

Yavapai                                            27,528                                           28,316

Pima                                                 18,000                                           50,000

Graham                                           12,500                                            13,000

Maricopa                                          6,000                                             15,000

Pinal                                                  5,000                                               2,000

Apache                                            10,000                                          300,000

Yuma                                                 4,000

Mohave                                             5,500

Total                                                88,528                                         408,316


At least as early as 1881, sheep were more important in the territory of Arizona than cattle, as there were 4.6 sheep to 1 cattle.  The value of sheep to cattle was not stated in the book for either animal in 1881.  The first year that I have found where value is included is in 1910 when there were 1,226,733 million sheep worth $4,400,514.  Twenty years later, the sheep were valued at $9,084,649 with an slight increase in their number to 1,339,905.  Still researching why the value of the sheep increased by more than 100%!





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