History of Phoenix

From 1850 through 1862, the area was part of the New Mexico Territory. The following year, it was made into the separate Arizona Territory consisting of the western half of the New Mexico Territory. In 1865, the United States established a military outpost called Camp McDowell northeast of the current city to protect the road between Tucson and the original capital in Prescott. In 1868, Jack Swilling, a miner, prospector and saloon owner along with his friend Darrel Duppa were recognized as the founders of Phoenix. Phoenix was incorporated in 1881 and named the state capital of the Arizona Territory eight years later. The name of ‘Phoenix’ was proposed by Duppa who related back to the story of the rebirth of the mythical Phoenix from the ashes, the basis being the rebirth of a city of canals, rebuilt on the site of the ancient Hohokam canal systems that dated back to about 700-1400 AD. Phoenix became a trading and processing center once it was connected to the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe railroad lines. In 1912, Arizona achieved statehood and became the 48th state and last of the contiguous states admitted to the Union. The population of Arizona grew steadily, but after WWII growth exploded. The introduction of air conditioning made the desert summers more tolerable. That, coupled with the region’s mild winters, drew cold weather retirees to flock here. The city’s business community annexed land, built massive, master-planned communities and welcomed new industries. In just 50 years, the city had grown from 100,000 persons to three million – half of the population of the entire state! Arizona is one of the Four Corners states and is the largest landlocked U.S. state by population. In addition to the breathtaking Grand Canyon, many other national forest, parks, monuments and Indian reservations are located in the state.