Phoenix is one of the largest cities in the United States. The name “Phoenix” was originally given to the city’s first founded by settlers from Boston in 1868 and incorporated as a city on February 4, 1881. After less than fifty years of being an incorporated city, Phoenix had already grown exponentially into what it would become today. In 1920, there were over forty thousand people living within its limits and nearly double that amount just ten years later. Today, there are well over four million people who call Phoenix home, making it the sixth most populous city in the United States . With such a massive population increase since its incorporation as a town only 150 years ago, it’s no wonder why so much has happened during the course of its history.
Phoenix’s beginnings began in 1868 with a man by the name of Jack Swilling, a wagon train operator that helped to establish the city’s first settlement . The first people who came and settled were mostly landless farmers turned prospectors from California during the gold rush . However, when all the good mining sites had been scraped clean and everyone moved on to other places, residents began to look for other ways to earn money. After being devastated by droughts in 1863 and 1865 which led to crop failures, many farmers left Phoenix leaving several tracts of land for sale . Noticing this opportunity, Swilling decided it would be profitable for him to canals that could help irrigate the land and make it available for farming. In 1868, Swilling formed a group of businessmen to help supply essentials needed for irrigation. The group agreed that they should construct canals and sell water from the Salt River, in order to develop the area’s agriculture industry. With an estimated cost of $100 per mile, the original canal was four miles long with an additional two miles being added every year afterwards.
The Salt River Valley became known as “Palm Valley” after pioneer Darrell Duppa compared its lush greenery to that of palm trees when he first arrived there in 1867. When a harsh winter came along which killed off all vegetation except cacti, farmers decided to name their new settlement Phoenix (after the mythological Phoenix that rose out of its own ashes). The town’s first post office was established on February 14, 1881 and two years later in 1883 , residents voted to officially incorporate. As more people migrated to the area, it became necessary for certain organizations to be formed in order to help further develop the city while maintaining law and order. With a police force established in 1881, the first fire department followed thereafter in 1886. Additionally, soon after becoming incorporated, voters elected their first mayor along with establishing utility companies such as electricity which came from hydroelectric power produced by dams on local waterways .
Today, Phoenix is considered as being the cultural and economic center of Arizona with its abundance of entertainment and wildlife attractions. It has the nation’s fifth largest metropolitan area which boasts a gross domestic product (GDP) within the federal state at $187 billion . These factors have contributed to making it one of the fastest growing cities in America; seeing an increase in population growth rate by approximately 2,000 people each month .
Many significant events took place during this timeframe such as hosting two Super Bowls, playing host to both Major League Baseball and National Football League franchises, and even being home to several professional sports teams including Arizona Diamondbacks (baseball), Arizona Cardinals (football), Phoenix Suns (basketball), Phoenix Mercury (women’s basketball), Coyotes (ice hockey), and Mercury (women’s basketball). There are several higher-learning institutions situated in the area including two public universities, a community college and a number of private colleges. Those who want to work can find many jobs within the retail, high-tech and aviation/aerospace industries while tourists can enjoy visiting any one of its many world-class resorts or outdoor recreational areas . After all, it is an oasis in the desert!