The History of Cornville, AZ
Prior to written history, the Sinagua Native American Tribe occupied this area. Today, there are some from the Hopi Tribe that are thought to be descendents of the Sinagua. When Antonio de Espejo, a Spanish explorer, passed through this region in 1583, the Yavapai Tribe was found here. At first, these people were friendly to the Spanish but as time passed hostilities would increase largely in part to the appearance of people from the Navajo and Apache Tribes.
The Spanish did not find many profitable resources in this region and gave up exploration. Other settlers would arrive in the 1820s and 1860s and soon the Cornville, AZ region would be a mixture of many cultures. The U.S. Army eventually moved the Apache and Yavapai people to a place designated as the San Carlos Reservation located in the eastern part of the State. This forced movement took place in 1875 and proved to be quite hostile towards the Native Americans.
More settlers from the east began to arrive in 1876, the first being a retired Confederate Army officer known as Captain Andrew Jackson. More would follow in the nearby lower Oak Creek area. As of 1877, the settlers had built irrigation ditches and could farm the land on the west side of Oak Creek.
The name Cornville actually came about my mistake. Between the years 1877 and 1880, the pioneers in the area petitioned Washington, D.C. to designate the name of the area as Cohnville after a local family named Cohn. However, the folks in Washington sent the papers back with the designated name of the area as Cornville. This was an obvious mistake but the local residents accepted the name. By 1887, the community had the Cornville Post Office. The Era of the Great Depression in the decade prior to World War II would reduce the area to subsistence farming. There were a few ranchers but most went to work in the mines in Clark, Cottonwood, and Jerome.
This area remained mostly agricultural until around 1960 when it became attractive for suburban living from nearby towns. The nearby Community of San Verde was formed in 1995. This is a community based on golf with an elaborate course in Cornville, AZ. Today, there are roughly 1,000 homes in the community that are the residences of some famous people such as John McCain, sculptor John Henry Waddell, and rancher Frank Gyberg.