Incorporated in 1970, Chino Valley received its name in 1854 from U.S. Army Cavalry Lt. Amiel W. Whipple. He was traveling through the area and took note of the plentiful gama grass growing in the region. The Mexican word for this grass was “chino”—thus the community’s name. From January – May of 1864, the site of the first Territorial Capital of Arizona was established at Del Rio Springs in Chino Valley. Later that year, the Territorial Capital was moved to Prescott.
It was a railroad that brought much activity to Chino Valley. Jerome Junction was established in 1895, becoming a major center of goings-on from 1900 until 1925, when it was moved farther north. Afterward, from the 1920s to the late 1940s, most of the families of Chino Valley took up farming and ranching. In the 1950s and 1960s, dairy farming became a large source of revenue.
Chino Valley has experienced much growth since its early beginnings. Affordable housing, large plots of land and significant availability of services continue to draw residents and businesses to the area.