History of Glendale


"The basis of Glendale's economic progress throughout its 100 year history as a community might be best summed up by two words: water and transportation. More than just supporting the usual needs of the city's population, water actually created Glendale's industry.

The Arizona Jack SwillingCanal and Roosevelt Dam assured a stable water supply and freedom from the effects of droughts and floods.As a result of these water sources, Glendale became an agricultural mecca, specializing in lettuce, melons, sugar beets, and cotton.

Phoenix's founder, a saloon brawler and drug addict named Jack Swilling, re-excavated a network of prehistoric Hohokam Indian canals that irrigated thousands of acres of farmland along the Salt River. His efforts also helped give birth to Southeast Valley Settlements that became the cities of Tempe and Mesa.

Unfortunately, for the northern and western portions of the Salt River Valley, no Indian Canals were there to restore. So the lands that make up Northwest Phoenix, Glendale and Peoria today remained raw desert more than 15 years after the East Jack SwillingValley cities had already been settled. For the baren Northwest Valley to come to life, it, too, needed that all-powerful resource--water."

Source: Glendale: A Century of Diversity

Chronological History of Glendale

1884 — Alex Silva settles in Glendale, becomes first official resident along with a high population of Hispanics

1886 — Arizona Canal completed; William Bartlett started a 640-acre fruit farm now known as Sahuaro Ranch.

1888 - Grand Avenue constructed

February 27, 1892 — W.J. Murphy's New England Land Company, along with Burgess Hasdell completes a survey and platte of Glendale's first residential area. This date is celebrated as Glendale's official birthday. The same year, advertisements for all settlers were produced in papers throughout the United States originating in the Arizona Weekly Gazette. Glendale Temprance Colony founded. City founded for the Church of the Brethren of Illinois

1895 — Santa Fe Railroad Depot established along Grand Avenue: first school, the Glenldale Grammar School, was built; first library was built on what is now Murphy Park with the help of Victor E. Messinger and 400 books from his own collection

1909 — 22 Glendale residents are first to use the telephone, by 1912 there are over 250 users: the Glendale State Bank was opened

June 18, 1910 — Glendale incorporated with a population of over 1,000 people, First Mayor is A.W. Bennet and the first Town Clerk is Victor E. Messinger

1912 — Glendale News founded by Fred C. Woodward: Glendale High School built at a cost of $20,000

1926 — a second newspaper, The Glendale Herald, was established

1927 — Chamber of Commerce founded

1930 — Glendale becomes one of the nation's top produce shippers; Town of Glendale becomes City of Glendale

1938 — Library built in Murphy Park

1940 — Population 4,800

1941 — Desert land cleared for Air School site. Thunderbird Airfield created for training pilots for Army Air Corps in World War II. Construction of Luke Air Force Base also begins.

1946 — Thunderbird field transformed into Thunderbird School of International Management

1948 — Glendale becomes only city in Arizona with 100% of its streets paved

1950 — Population 8,179

1960 — Population 15,696, Annexation of Maryville in May 1961 brings Glendale's population over 30,000; Northwest Hospital built at 61st and Northern avenues

1964-1975 — Population grows from 42,000 to 67,000

1965 — Glendale Community College opens

1977 — Glendale Star founded

1981 — Sperry (now Honeywell) builds Glendale's first aerospace facility

1986 — New Glendale Municipal Airport opens

1988 — ASU West opens

1990 — Catlin Court Historic Shops District created in downtown Glendale

1993 — Arrowhead Towne Center mall opens

2006 — Glendale's multi-purpose football stadium opened

2008 — Glendale hosts its first Super Bowl

2015 — Glendale hosts its second Super Bowl


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