Kathy Klump, President of the Sulphur Springs
Valley Historical Society, has dedicated over forty years of volunteer
activities in Willcox, Arizona. She oversees the day to day
operations of the Chiricahua Regional Museum and Research Center
as archivist and research librarian. She is active in researching,
collecting and preserving the history of Willcox and the surrounding towns
in the Sulphur Springs Valley, Bowie, San Simon, and Bonita. As President,
Kathy is in charge of the care of four historic buildings in Willcox and
the historic church in Cochise, Arizona.
She served on the executive committee to help save
the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot in Willcox, and raised the majority
of the funds needed to match the grants. She was instrumental in
starting the Chiricahua Regional Museum in 1999 and raising funds necessary
to purchase the historic Valley Hardware building as its home. This museum
features the history of the Chiricahua Apache, ranching, and town history.
In 2003, Kathy spearheaded the project of saving
the Huffman’s Toggery store with its original furnishings from 1916, successfully
raising the money to pay for the building. The store became
a museum and the location of the research library. Besides books,
maps, photos, scrapbooks, etc., researchers can access the old newspapers
from 1894 on, which are being preserved, or get help with their genealogy.
She has also seen that historical, anthropological, and archaeological
classes, displays, and programs are presented throughout the year.
She founded the “Wheels of Progress” that honors important persons
in Willcox history, researches and writes their biographies, and compiled
the book, “Willcox, Arizona 1915, the Year of Incorporation In Clippings”.
She is the co-author of “Images of America: Willcox”, the
story of Willcox, Arizona through over 200 photographs.
Kathy was co-founder of the Friends of Elsie S. Hogan
Community Library in 1981. She purchased two original business
buildings on historic Railroad Avenue which were used by the Friends as
their bookstore. This continues to be the main fundraiser for the
community library. Over the past twenty years, it has provided thousands
of dollars to help build the new library building and providing books,
kids programs, necessary supplies, furnishings and equipment for the library
and cultural programs for the community. The bookstore also
helped keep the historic downtown alive and the buildings preserved.
Kathy coordinated the reprinting of “Southwestern
Town”, the official history of Willcox. She has also been
in charge of the authors and books for the Western Book Exposition
for the past eight years being held in Willcox, Tucson, and Tombstone.
While Kathy was President of the Arizona Library Friends,
she was elected one of eight delegates to represent Arizona at the White
House Conference on Library and Information Services in Washington,
D. C. Soon after this, she was recognized as “Willcox Citizen of
For nine years, Kathy was the volunteer librarian at the
Amerind Foundation’s research library in Dragoon. She has served
on the board of directors for the Rex Allen Museum, and is a member
of the Museum Association of Cochise County. She is
also a member of the Willcox Cowbelles, and on the board of directors
of Cochise County Historical Society.
Kathy was on the local committee for the new I-10 exit
340 overpass helping create a design that features Willcox’s heritage.
Kathy was named one of only 100 Arizona Culture Keepers
selected for the Centennial of Arizona Statehood in 2012 for those
who have most contributed to preserving the history and heritage of Arizona.
Kathy is a third generation Arizonan, born in Cottonwood,
Arizona. Her husband’s family settled near Willcox in 1904 and
have been involved in cattle ranching since that time. Kathy wrote
the history of the Klump Family in honor of their 100th Anniversary in
Arizona. She and her husband, Keith live in one of the original
homes in Willcox, built about 1893, and are in the process of renovating
it. They have six grown children and fifteen grandchildren.