KINGMAN, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- With a rooming house and a couple of stores newly built along a stretch of the freshly laid tracks of the Atlantic and Pacific railroad in eastern Arizona territory, the community of Kingman was taking shape.
The site near Beale Springs had been a stopping point on the dusty trail for some years, but the year 1882 marks the beginnings of Kingman.
The city that would rise in this isolated spot would grow to be a major shipping center on the rail line in the northern part of the state. It's also home to the longest remaining stretch of Historic Route 66, making it a destination for nostalgic travelers longing for adventures on the Mother Road.
Situated along the 35th parallel, the town owes its location to the efforts of one Lt. Edward Beale, the military man who crossed the present site of Kingman, Arizona in 1857. An interesting side note, Beale brought with him 25 camels to be used as pack animals during this expedition. Part of an Army experiment to see if the animals could be used for military purpose.
Beale was assigned to survey a trade route across the western portions of the nation between Arkansas and California. He cut path along this trail as his mission to survey a wagon road along the 35th parallel. It's roughly the same path that Route 66 and then Interstate 40, follow through the northern part of Arizona.
The city of Kingman is named after Lewis Kingman, a railroad man who, in 1880, surveyed the rail route for the Atlantic and Pacific right of way between Needles California and Albuquerque.
There are actually two cities in the country that are named after Kingman, Kingman, Arizona and Kingman, Kansas.
In 1886 the local newspaper, Mohave County Miner, was established and the next year, in 1887, Kingman was chosen to be the county seat for Mohave County.
By the turn of the century, Kingman had grown to some 500 people and continued to develop as gold was discovered in the hills surrounding the town.
A notable actor with a trademark raspy voice, Andy Devine, grew up in Kingman. The lovable western character actor who stared in hundreds of films and TV and radio shows was born in Flagstaff but moved to Kingman when he was just a baby.
The city of Kingman honors their native son with an annual rodeo during the last weekend of September.