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Florence, is the county seat of Pinal County in southern Arizona. And one of the oldest towns. So old that Twenty-five buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.
The 2015 census set the population of Florence at 30,770.
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The area was once inhabited by the Hohokam tribes, ancestors of the O’odham people.
In 1853, the Gadsden Purchase expanded the land under American control. With that, the territory from the Gila River to what is now the Mexican broder became part of the U.S.
A Sharp Eye For Opportunities
Levi Ruggles, founded the town of on the south bank of the Gila River. Ruggles was a veteran of the American Civil War.
He came to Arizona Territory in 1866 as a U.S. Indian Agent. Ruggles recognized the agricultural potential of the valley. He took little time to secure a fordable crossing on the Gila River. And shortly after that established the town site there.
With the aid of Governor R.C. McCormick, he secured a post office in August of the same year.
The discovery of silver in 1875 in the nearby mountains led to the creation of the famous Silver King Mine. And brought more people the the area.
Tom Mix Died In Florence
On September 1, 1940, the cowboy movie star Tom Mix died when he lost control of his speeding Cord Phaeton.
The car rolled into a dry wash (now called the Tom Mix Wash) some 18 miles south of Florence, Arizona.
Tom Mix was a silent move cowboy actor and hero in scores of western thrillers.
Mix’s career also included circus performer, soldier, and law enforcement officer. But his silver screen exploits in over 300 films made him an idol to millions the world over.
Accident investigators said Mix, who left Tucson at 1 p. m., was serving as advance agent for a circus scheduled to show in Phoenix.
The cowboy star was carrying $6,000 in cash, $1,500 in travelers checks and several valuable jewels in a heavy metal suit case.
Around mid-afternoon two highway employees discovered the overturned vehicle in a wash along the road.
Shortly after, a motorist came upon the accident scene. He stated to authorities that Mix passed him north of Tucson. The men helped pull the actor’s body from under his racing model car.
The men saw a heavy suit case had fallen on Mix’s head, burying his face in the soft ground. Later, a physician reported the suit case had broken Tom Mix’s neck.
There is a 2-foot–tall iron statue of a riderless horse with a plaque on the site of the accident.
Considering A Home In Florence, AZ?
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