During the late 1800s, prospectors in search of gold, silver, and copper began to settle around the Pinal Mountains area in Miami. By 1918, several mining companies had established roots and contributed to the town’s booming growth. The community established housing, schools, a hospital, and a town government, and the population grew to 5,000. Soon, Miami achieved recognition as one of the main mining towns in the state, along with neighboring Globe, Jerome, Morenci, Superior, Ajo, and Ray-Sonora. The new mining opportunities brought immigrants from around the world to settle in the area and eventually turned Arizona into a leading contributor to the copper industry. Although mining’s hold on the local economy has changed over the years, today at least 20 percent of Miami-area employment is centered around copper mining, which remains close to the heart of the first hardy miners’ descendants.
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