Ajo, Arizona

Ajo, Arizona

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Ajo, Arizona
settlement_type = CDP

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Pima County and the state of Arizona

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_name1 = Arizona
subdivision_name2 = Pima
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
established_title =
established_date =
area_magnitude = 1 E8
area_total_km2 = 72.7
area_total_sq_mi = 28.1
area_land_km2 = 72.7
area_land_sq_mi = 28.1
area_water_km2 = 0.0
area_water_sq_mi = 0.0
elevation_ft = 1759
elevation_m = 536
population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 3705
population_metro =
population_density_km2 = 51.0
population_density_sq_mi = 131.9
timezone = MST (no daylight saving time)
utc_offset = -7
latd = 32 |latm = 22 |lats = 53 |latNS = N
longd = 112 |longm = 52 |longs = 10 |longEW = W
website =
timezone_DST =
utc_offset_DST =
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 85321
area_code = 520
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 04-00870
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0000538
footnotes =
settlement_type = CDP

imagesize =
image_caption =

Ajo is a census-designated place (CDP) in Pima County, Arizona, United States. The population was 3,705 at the 2000 census. Ajo is located on State Route 85 just 43 miles from the Mexican border. It is the closest community to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.


"Ajo" (pronounced "ah-ho") is the Spanish word for garlic. The Spanish may have named the place using the familiar word in place of the similar-sounding O'odham word for paint ("oʼoho"). The Tohono O'odham people obtained red paint pigments from the area.

Native Americans, Spaniards and Americans have all extracted mineral wealth from Ajo's abundant ore deposits. In the early nineteenth century, there was a Spanish mine nicknamed "Old Bat Hole". It was later abandoned due to Indian raids. The first Anglo in Ajo, Tom Childs, on the way to the silver mines near Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, arrived in 1847 and found the deserted mine complete with a 60-foot shaft, mesquite ladders, and rawhide buckets. High-grade native copper made Ajo the first copper mine in Arizona. Soon the Arizona Mining & Trading company, formed by Peter M. Brady, a friend of Childs, worked the rich surface ores, shipping loads around Cape Horn for smelting in Swansea, Wales, in the mid 1880s. The mine closed when a ship sank off the coast of Patagonia. Long supply lines and the lack of water discouraged large mining companies

With the advent of new recovery methods for low-grade ore, Ajo boomed. In 1911, Col. John Campbell Greenway, a Rough Rider and star Yale athlete, bought the New Cornelia mine from John Boddie. He became general manager of the Calumet and the Arizona mining company and expanded it on a grand scale. In 1921, Phelps Dodge, the nation's largest copper company, bought New Cornelia and the mine became the New Cornelia Branch of Phelps Dodge, managed by Michael Curley. For several decades more than 1,000 men worked for Phelps Dodge in the open pit mine. The mine closed in 1985, following a bitter strike and a depressed copper market. Ajo is now home to many retired people, Border Patrol agents, and young families.

Plants of the Sonoran Desert thrive at Ajo, including saguaros and ocotillos. The Ajo lily or Desert lily, an onion-like plant, also grows in the area.

Ajo and the surrounding area is the only place in the United States where the mineral papagoite can be found.

"In the year 1884, the camp at Ajo was practically abandoned. Not a soul was in camp when Tom Childs Sr., and his son arrived. With them was Washington Michael Jacobs of Tucson, Arizona...Childs and Jacobs located the mining claim which constituted most of the old Ajo group of mines. They made a permanent camp and worked the mines..." - The Ancient Mines of Ajo by Dan Rose


Ajo is located at coor dms|32|22|53|N|112|52|10|W|city (32.381348, -112.869407)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 28.1 square miles (72.7 km²), all of it land.

The mineral ajoite was first found at the New Cornelia Mine, Ajo. [W.H. Blackburn and W.H. Dennen, (1997), "Encyclopedia of Mineral Names", Ottawa, Mineralogical Association of Canada]


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 3,705 people, 1,659 households, and 1,088 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 132.0 people per square mile (51.0/km²). There were 2,485 housing units at an average density of 88.5/sq mi (34.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 78.70% White, 0.24% Black or African American, 6.88% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 9.15% from other races, and 4.64% from two or more races. 37.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,659 households out of which 19.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.74.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 20.6% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 17.2% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 32.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 52 years. For every 100 females there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $25,618, and the median income for a family was $29,310. Males had a median income of $28,000 versus $18,571 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $14,548. About 16.5% of families and 22.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.5% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.


Ajo Unified School District is the only school district in Ajo, Arizona. There is currently an elementary school, junior high school, and high school, all of which are located in the same area. The high school currently has a football team, basketball team (both boys and girls) , baseball team (boys), softball team (girls), golf team, and track & field. They are known as the Ajo Red Raiders.

ee also

*New Cornelia mine


External links

* [http://www.ajochamber.com Ajo Chamber of Commerce]
* [http://www.ajoschools.org Ajo Unified School District]
* [http://www.cunews.info Ajo's hometown newspaper, the Ajo Copper News]
* [http://www.smalltownpapers.com/listAJO.htm Ajo Copper News Archives]
* [http://cabezaprieta.org Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association]
* [http://www.untraveledroad.com/USA/Arizona/Pima/Ajo.htm untraveledroad Ajo in 584 images]

Geographic Location (8-way)
Centre = Ajo
North =
Northeast =
East =
Southeast =
South = Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Southwest =Lukeville
West =
Northwest =

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ajo (Arizona) — Ajo Lugar designado por el censo de los Estados Unidos Ajo en 1990 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ajo (Arizona) — 32°22′53″N 112°52′10″O / 32.38139, 112.86944 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Arizona locations by per capita income — Arizona has the twenty ninth highest per capita income in the United States of America, at $20,275 (2000). Its personal per capita income is $26,838 (2003). Arizona counties ranked by per capita income There are fifteen counties located in… …   Wikipedia

  • Ajo Peak — Infobox Mountain Name = Ajo Peak Photo = Caption = Elevation = convert|3220|ft|m|0 Prominence = Location = Pima County, Arizona Range = Little Ajo Mountains Coordinates = Topographic Type = |Age = First ascent = Easiest route = Listing = Ajo Peak …   Wikipedia

  • Ajo (desambiguación) — El término Ajo puede referirse a: Contenido 1 Plantas 2 Lugares 3 Preparaciones 4 Platos 5 Otras acepciones …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ajo Copper News — Infobox Newspaper name = Ajo Copper News type = Weekly newspaper format = Tabloid foundation = 1916 headquarters = Ajo, AZ, U.S. | owner = editor = Gabrielle David publisher = H.J. Hop David website = [http://www.cunews.info/ www.cunews.info] The …   Wikipedia

  • Arizona State Route 85 — Longueur 207,38 km (128,86 mi) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ajo — Lage im County und in Arizona Basisdaten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ajo (Begriffsklärung) — Ajo steht für Personen Ajo I. (auch Aio, † 642), Herzog von Benevent Geographie Ajo, Ort im US Bundesstaat Arizona Ajo Mountains, Bergkette im US Bundesstaat Arizona Sport Ajo Motorsport Team, Motorradsport Team aus Finnland. Rang am Wiener Hof… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ajo — ▪ Arizona, United States       town, Pima county, southwestern Arizona, U.S. Spaniards mined in the area in the 1750s, and the Ajo Copper Company (1854) was the first incorporated mining concern in the Arizona Territory. Copper and silver were… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.