The History of Mesa, AZ

Mesa is one of the cities in the United States that has a rich and interesting history. The city you know today dates back to about two thousand years ago when it was inhabited by the Hohokam Indians, a name that when translated to English means The Departed Ones. This community built the first ever canal system that was 125 miles long, and the astonishing fact is that this fascinating element is used until today.

During the late 1500s and in the early 1600s, missionaries such as Marcos de Niza, Coronado, and Father Kino came to Arizona. Explorers were also not left behind as they transverse this area in search of what they termed as the city of gold.

In the 1700’s, the Apache Indians drove the Spanish Missionaries away, and they took charge of the land and the structures they had set up. However, the American Army fought these Apache Indians in the mid-1800, and this opened doors for white settlement.

Many settlers came to the area through the Salt River, and the population started increasing. In September 1877, 85 Mesa Company members left Idaho and Utah and settled in this vast land. The company leaders namely Sirrine, Robson, Pomeroy, and Crismon arrived in the area first, and the rest of the members arrived later on.


When they were settled, they started marking the land and clearing the original canals established by the Hohokam Indians, and the work was complete by July 1878. In the same year, one of the company leaders; Theodore Sirrine travelled to Florence in a quest to register Section 22, which is today known the Town Center.

The postal authorities named the town that had rapidly developed Mesa, despite the fact that this name was not acceptable at first. In 1885, DR. A.J. Chandler, who later established the city named after him in the southern side of Mesa expanded the canals utilizing heavy machinery. He also built the first post office complex, and began an electric power plant that provided electricity to the town. This utility was later purchased by the city of Mesa which earned it enough money to carter for capital expenditures.

In the early 20th century, African-Americans started arriving in the area, and the population was boosted. Chinese and Japanese immigrants also came, and they began farming and trading. Eventually, the city started expanding.

In the period of the World War II, the city saw another major advancement. The Williams Air Force Base and the Falcon Field Airport were established in the area, and they offered training for the US and British pilots respectively.


In the late 1940s, air conditioning technology was introduced, and tourism started taking shape. By the end of 1950, aerospace companies and other industries started business in the area and created employment for the locals. The period between 1960s and 1990 saw major technological advancements in the city. Well-equipped health facilities came up in an effort to service the ever-growing population. Employment rates increased over the years, and the GDP grew more than ever.

Today, the city of Mesa is still booming. Of course, this place has its share of its challenges, but the spirit of its forefathers is still visible in today’s generations. The city is home to various attractions, educational institutions, not forgetting that it is home to thousands of people thanks to its amazing nature of livability.

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