Historical map of the city of Phoenix, Arizona

Historical map of the city of Phoenix, Arizona

central arizona project canal

Central Arizona Project Canal

Coronation Internet Marketing – Phoenix SEO is beginning a series of articles that talk about the great city of Phoenix, Arizona. We’re are going to start with our first article on the history of Phoenix with more to come ranging from the climate, professional sports teams and prominent businesses.

Phoenix or the collective term “the place is hot” when translated directly from the Western Apache is a highly populated and the capital of a state in the U.S known as Arizona. This city is regarded as the most populated in the whole of the U.S and was first incorporated on the 25 February 1881 as a city. The residents who reside in this city are referred to as Phoenicians and in the year 2006, the estimated population was around 1,512,986 people who make it the 5th biggest city in the United States. Also, Phoenix has wide-spread city limits of about 515 square miles and has been rated as the tenth highest when it comes to land areas for cities in the U.S.

Dating back to 700AD, the civilization known as the Hohokam resided on the land that later became Phoenix. In this time the Hohokam designed and created around 135 miles of the irrigation canals that assisted this land in becoming plowable. The paths made by these channels later became the Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct, Central Arizona Project Canal, and the Arizona Canal. It has been suggested that between the era of 1300 AD and 1450 AD, periods that involved severe floods and drought resulted in the disappearance of the Hohokam people.

Jack Swilling,

Jack Swilling, first Phoenix postmaster

In 1867, a man by the name of Jack Swilling of Wickenburg passed through Phoenix and stopped for a rest at the point of the White Tank Mountains foot. He took this time to examine the land and decided that this area had the potential for plans in farming. The climate and the terrain were ideal, other than the lack of suitable irrigation and precipitation. Swilling went on to remedy this particular situation by instituting the development of canals that followed along the paths of the Hohokam canals.

The development of canals resulted in the formation of a peaceful community that developed about 4 miles to the east of today’s city. Swilling was, in fact, an ex-Confederate soldier, proposed to name this city “Stonewall” after the General Stonewall Jackson. Other community members came up with the name “Salina.” Both these names were denied and in the end, the name “Phoenix” was suggested by Lord Darrell Duppa. This name was preferred as it described that this city was born out of ruins that came forth from former civilizations.

On the 4 May 1868, the Yavapai County Board Of Supervisors recognized the name “Phoenix” for this city and went on to create the election precinct. On the 15 June 1868, the very first post office for the city was established, and Jack Swilling was nominated as the first postmaster.

John Charles Fremont, Arizona Governor

John Charles Fremont, Arizona Governor

On the 10 April 1874, the president at the time Ulysses S. Grant issued the land patent for Phoenix. At this stage, the Townsite for Phoenix was estimated at a worth of around $550 and the downtown lots sold around seven to eleven dollars each. Soon after, the city established a telegraph-office, two banks, four dance halls and sixteen saloons. By the year 1881, the city of Phoenix had quickly outgrown the town site-commissioners type of government which led to the 11th Territorial Legislature that was passed as the “The Phoenix Charter Bill” that incorporated Phoenix along with offering a mayor-council type government. On the 25 February 1881, this Bill was signed off by the Governor John C. Fremont. By the 3 May 1881, Phoenix had a population of around 2,500 people.

John “Jack” Swilling was known among the original founders of this city and represented a dual reputation of a harsh and rough side along with kindness. Biographers suggest that he killed more than a dozen men and was addicted to alcohol and morphine.