Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale, a Naval officer in the service of the U.S. Army Topographical Corps, was ordered by the War Department to build a government-funded wagon road across the 35th Parallel. His secondary orders were to test the feasibility of the use of camels as pack animals in the southwestern desert. Beale traveled through the present day Kingman in 1857 surveying the road and in 1859 to build the road. The road became part of U.S. Route 66 and Interstate 40.
Kingman, Arizona, was founded in 1882. Situated in the scenic Hualapai Valley between the Cerbat and Hualapai mountain ranges, it is known for its very modest beginnings as a simple railroad siding near Beale’s Springs in the Middleton Section along the newly-constructed route of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. The city of Kingman was named after Lewis Kingman who surveyed along the Atlantic and Pacific right of way between Needles and Albuquerque. Lewis Kingman supervised the building of the railroad from Winslow to Beale's Springs, which is near the present location of the city of Kingman.
On July 5, 1973, Kingman was the site of a catastrophic BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) which killed 11 firefighters. The explosion occurred following a fire that broke out as propane was being transferred from a railroad car to a storage tank. This explosion has become a classic incident studied in fire department training programs worldwide. A detailed account, including some spectacular photographs, of the explosion and its aftermath can be found in the History of Kingman Regional Medical Center (scroll down to July 5, 1973).
American rock drummer John Mathieson was born in Kingman and now resides in St. Louis, Missouri.
In "Otis", an episode of the television series Prison Break, LJ Burrows is sent to an adult facility in Kingman, Arizona. In a subsequent episode "Buried", LJ is released from the aforementioned facility.
The town is mentioned in the lyrics to the song "Route 66".
In the HBO Series "Sopranos", when Tony Soprano was shot in the beginning of Season 6, he fell into a coma and believed he was involved in a case of mistaken identity with Kevin Finnerty of Kingman, Arizona.
The Wendy's scene in the movie Zoom was also filmed in Kingman.
Pamela Anderson also did one of her 1992 Playboy photo shoots at the corner of 4th Street and Andy Devine Avenue (U.S. Route 66), and was brought in to the Kingman Police Department for indecent exposure. She was not charged but asked to write a letter of apology.
On an episode of In Plain Sight on the USA Network entitled "Iris doesn't live here anymore". The setting of one scene of the show was said to take place at the Kingman, AZ bus stop. Although, the scene was not filmed in Kingman.
Scenes from "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" were filmed at the Kingman Airport. You can see a clear shot of Hualapai Mountain in one of the scenes.
Kingman is located at (35.208449, -114.025730), at 3,333 feet in elevation.
There were 7,854 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.9% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,086, and the median income for a family was $41,327. Males had a median income of $32,036 versus $21,134 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,181. About 8.2% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.3% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.
Mohave Community College is located in Kingman.
IN THEIR MIDST KINGMAN, ARIZ., JUST WANTED TO BE A QUIET STOP ON ROUTE 66; THEN TIM MCVEIGH MOVED IN.(News/ National/ International)
Mar 18, 1997; Byline: Lynn Bartels Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer Kingman, Ariz. -- In the spring of 1995, a disillusioned drifter...