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Dewey-Humboldt was incorporated on December 20, 2004, from the existing unincorporated towns of Dewey and Humboldt, located adjacent to one another in the Agua Fria River Valley, 15 miles east of Prescott.
After discovery of gold on Lynx Creek in the spring of 1863, the Dewey area was settled around the summer 1863 by pioneer prospector, rancher and Indian-fighter King Woolsey (1832–1879), who founded the Agua Fria Ranch, in what was then known as "Woolsey Valley," to supply the miners. Woolsey used stones from a prehistoric ruin to build his ranch house, built an irrigation system off the Agua Fria (probably part of a prehistoric system), and introduced some of the first cattle into newly organized Yavapai County (1864). At the "falls" of the Agua Fria at present Humboldt, Woolsey built a small quartz mill to work gold ores from the nearby hills and a small water-powered grist mill. During 1864, he led the storied Woolsey Expeditions to the east in retaliatory raids on Apache and in search of gold; all failed to find a new Eldorado. All these activities caused his bankruptcy, and sale of the ranch property to the Bowers Brothers, sutlers at Fort Whipple. The brothers continued to use the house and farm the lands to supply the region with corn, barley, and other agricultural products. (The ruins of Woolsey's ranch house can still be seen between the old Black Canyon Highway and the Agua Fria River about one mile north of Humboldt. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.)
As the valley began to fill up with a few ranches and farms, a post office was established in 1875. The stage station (Prescott to Phoenix wagon road via Black Canyon) and post office nearby was named "Agua Fria." By the early 1870s water diversions were being used to irrigate an extensive area of corn and other crops. In the mid-1870s a small water-powered, silver-lead furnace, "Agua Fria Furnace," was built to work the ores from what would become the Iron King mine area. The small plant, built at the site of Woolsey's earlier mill at today's Humboldt, proved the value of the region, but was too isolated to make a profit.
The isolation of the region came to an end in 1898. The Prescott & Eastern Railroad was built from near Prescott to Mayer (later it was extended all the way to Crown King). The P & E followed along the Agua Fria and built sidings at Cherry Creek Siding (Dewey Post Office), and Val Verde, the site of a smelter built by the Val Verde Smelting Company—a large plant at the site of Humboldt. The Agua Fria post office closed in 1895. When a new post office opened in 1898, the community was renamed Dewey, probably to honor Admiral Dewey's great victory that year at the Battle of Manila—this was the height of the Spanish–American War. Another post office was established at Val Verde (Humboldt) in 1899.
Farming continued in a small portion of the area until 2006 when the last working farm was sold to developers.
Today Dewey is a low-density residential area.