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Willcox is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, known for its wineries and tasting rooms, its mild climate, its agriculture, and its scenery due to its proximity to the Dos Cabezas Mountains (whose most prominent peak towers over the town), the Chiricahua Mountains, Dragoon Mountains, and Galiuro Mountains.

Willcox
View of Dos Cabezas peaks from downtown Willcox
View of Dos Cabezas peaks from downtown Willcox
Location of Willcox in Cochise County, Arizona
Location of Willcox in Cochise County, Arizona
Willcox is located in the United States
Willcox
Willcox
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 32°15′20″N 109°50′8″W / 32.25556°N 109.83556°W / 32.25556; -109.83556Coordinates: 32°15′20″N 109°50′8″W / 32.25556°N 109.83556°W / 32.25556; -109.83556
CountryUnited States
StateArizona
CountyCochise
Founded1880
Incorporated1915
Government
 • MayorSam Lindsey
Area
 • Total6.28 sq mi (16.27 km2)
 • Land6.15 sq mi (15.92 km2)
 • Water0.13 sq mi (0.35 km2)
Elevation
4,167 ft (1,270 m)
Population
 • Total3,757
 • Estimate 
(2018)[3]
3,534
 • Density574.73/sq mi (221.92/km2)
Time zoneUTC−7 (MST (no DST))
ZIP Codes
85643-85644
Area code520 Exchange: 384
FIPS code04-83090
WebsiteCity of Willcox

Four of Arizona's five most prominent mountain peaks are located within a 65 mile radius: Mount Graham (31 miles north), Chiricahua Peak (42 miles southeast), Mount Lemmon (57 miles west), and Miller Peak (65 miles southwest).

Though Willcox is surrounded by mountain ranges, it is located in a flat drainage basin, the Sulphur Springs Valley. A very large dry lakebed, the Willcox Playa, is located 5 miles south of the city. It is the remnant of the Ice Age-era Lake Cochise.

As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 3,757.[2]

HistoryEdit

Originally known as "Maley", the town was founded in 1880 as a whistlestop on the Southern Pacific Railroad. It was renamed in honor of a visit by General Orlando B. Willcox in 1889. In the early 20th century, Willcox had the distinction of being a national leader in cattle production. Agriculture remains important to the local economy, but Interstate 10 has replaced the railroad as the major transportation link, and much of the economy is now tied to the highway, which runs immediately north of the town.

Willcox is the birthplace of Rex Allen, known as "The Arizona Cowboy", who wrote and recorded many songs, starred in several Westerns during the early 1950s and in the syndicated television series Frontier Doctor (1958–1959).

Parts of the 1993 American neo-noir film Red Rock West starring Nicolas Cage, Lara Flynn Boyle, J. T. Walsh and Dennis Hopper were filmed in Willcox.

A short film documentary called "Lonesome Willcox" released in 2018 documented the town's country music radio station KHIL.

Willcox became Arizona's second federally designated wine growing region in 2016.[4]

GeographyEdit

Willcox is located in northern Cochise County at 32°15′20″N 109°50′8″W / 32.25556°N 109.83556°W / 32.25556; -109.83556 (32.255622, -109.835520)[5] in the Sulphur Springs Valley. Interstate 10 serves the city with three exits and leads 35 miles (56 km) southwest to Benson, Arizona, and 74 miles (119 km) east to Lordsburg, New Mexico.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.3 square miles (16.3 km2), of which 6.1 square miles (15.9 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 2.13%, is water.

ClimateEdit

Climate data for Willcox, Arizona
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 81
(27)
88
(31)
92
(33)
97
(36)
105
(41)
110
(43)
110
(43)
106
(41)
105
(41)
101
(38)
91
(33)
81
(27)
110
(43)
Average high °F (°C) 61
(16)
65
(18)
71
(22)
79
(26)
88
(31)
96
(36)
96
(36)
93
(34)
90
(32)
80
(27)
70
(21)
60
(16)
79
(26)
Average low °F (°C) 28
(−2)
31
(−1)
35
(2)
40
(4)
49
(9)
57
(14)
65
(18)
64
(18)
57
(14)
44
(7)
33
(1)
27
(−3)
44
(7)
Record low °F (°C) −1
(−18)
2
(−17)
6
(−14)
9
(−13)
11
(−12)
27
(−3)
42
(6)
41
(5)
30
(−1)
15
(−9)
8
(−13)
−7
(−22)
−7
(−22)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.09
(28)
0.96
(24)
0.68
(17)
0.33
(8.4)
0.39
(9.9)
0.46
(12)
2.61
(66)
2.53
(64)
1.18
(30)
1.16
(29)
0.71
(18)
1.25
(32)
13.35
(338.3)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 0.9
(2.3)
0.9
(2.3)
0.7
(1.8)
0.2
(0.51)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.25)
1.5
(3.8)
4.3
(11)
Source: [6]

Willcox's high elevation gives it a milder climate than the nearby Arizona Sun Valley and Sonoran Desert. It also receives more rainfall the Tucson and Phoenix due to the summer monsoon rains.

EconomyEdit

Major employers in Willcox include Willcox Unified School District, TravelCenters of America, Northern Cochise Community Hospital, Valley Telephone Cooperative, the Border Patrol, and Safeway. NatureSweet has a greenhouse outside town.[7]

Wine countryEdit

The Willcox wine region produces 74% of the wine grapes grown in the state of Arizona.[8] Willcox is the largest-grape growing region in Arizona and grows more wine grapes than any other region in the state[9] and offers a wide variety of wines to choose from. Grape varietals grown include Petite Sirah, Malvasia Bianca, Sangiovese, Chenin blanc, Syrah, Colombard, Sauvignon blanc, Corvina, Merlot, Malbec, Tannat, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvèdre.

Arts and CultureEdit

Rex Allen Days is a multi-day event that takes place the first weekend in October. It started in 1951 to honor Rex Allen. The event includes the annual parade, rodeos, fairs, car show and more.[10]

Willcox Wine Country hosts two festivals, one in May and one in October. The event grows in size every year and includes live music and multiple arts and crafts vendors. Willcox Wine Festivals is listed as one of the top 10 wine festivals in North America.[11]

Apple Annie's Orchard is an extensive you-pick produce farm. They have a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to pick. In addition, Apple Annie's hosts numerous festivals thought the year, starting with the Sweet Corn Extravaganza in July and ending with the Fall Pumpkin Celebration[12] where a corn maze is carved into the corn fields and theme changes every year.

DemographicsEdit

Census Pop.
1890396
19101,632
1920905−44.5%
1930806−10.9%
19408849.7%
19501,26643.2%
19602,44192.8%
19702,5685.2%
19803,24326.3%
19903,122−3.7%
20003,73319.6%
20103,7570.6%
Est. 20183,534[3]−5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 3,733 people, 1,383 households, and 947 families residing in the city. The population density was 622.3 people per square mile (240.2/km²). There were 1,652 housing units at an average density of 275.4 per square mile (106.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 74.95% White, 0.70% Black or African American, 1.61% Native American, 0.83% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 17.63% from other races, and 4.23% from two or more races. 41.71% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,383 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.5% were non-families. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.25.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 29.4% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,334, and the median income for a family was $31,411. Males had a median income of $30,281 versus $15,532 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,815. About 21.6% of families and 27.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.6% of those under age 18 and 24.6% of those age 65 or over.

Seventeen miles north of Willcox on what was once the York ranch, there are now miles of apple orchards and pistachio groves.

MediaEdit

KHIL "Classic Country" 1250 AM and 98.1 FM has served the region since 1958.

Further readingEdit

Vernon B. Schultz, "Southwestern Town: The Story of Willcox, Arizona," The University of Arizona Press, 1964

Notable peopleEdit

  • Rex Allen (1920–1999), film and television actor, singer and songwriter
  • Lilly McElroy (born 1980), photographer
  • Chalky Wright (1912–1957), boxing champion in International Boxing Hall of Fame
  • Tanya Tucker (born 1958), American country music artist, spent early childhood in Willcox, AZ
  • Ted DiBiase (born 1954), American former professional wrestler, manager, ordained minister and color commentator, moved to Willcox, Arizona to live with his grandparents
  • Vince Moreno, American country music artist and musician and stand-up comedian[15]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "2018 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 1, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-08-31.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  4. ^ https://www.azcentral.com/story/travel/arizona/2016/09/13/willcox-wins-federal-designation-unique-arizona-wine-region/90094172/
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Search Results - Willcox, Arizona- ReferenceUSA Current Businesses
  8. ^ "Wines of Wilcox". Wines of Wilcox. Wines of Wilcox. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  9. ^ "About Wines of Willcox - Events and Adventures in Arizona Wine Country". willcoxwines.com. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  10. ^ "Rodeo | Willcox | Rex Allen Days". radsite. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  11. ^ "15 Arizona wineries pour into Willcox Wine Country Fall Festival". Tucson Foodie. 2019-10-08. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  12. ^ "Apple Annie's in Wilcox, Arizona". www.appleannies.com. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  15. ^ "VINCE MORENO Music". www.vincemoreno.net. Retrieved 2019-10-11.

External linksEdit