Ever Wonder How Our Streets Got Their Names

Dated: 09/07/2014

Views: 731

Well AZ Central recently put out a great article on how some of our Arizona roads got there names! Check out some of the great roads and their stories below...

HIGLEY ROAD
Stephen Weaver Higley - a railroad pioneer, publishing magnate, rancher and businessman extraordinaire - was an Ohio native who arrived in the Wild West to embark on a hardscrabble life that ultimately reaped its rewards. Higley built the short rail line between Arizona and California which ran through Parker, Ariz. Later, he procured land in the Salt River Valley to ranch sheep: 8,300 acres in Higley, 4,600 acres in Avondale and 640 acres south of Tempe. Together with a friend, he also purchased The Arizona Republican (The Republic's predecessor) in 1909 and served as its president for two years. Higley ultimately left the area and went to Oklahoma, but his namesake road endured.
Source: Make Higley Historic.

GILBERT ROAD
Gilbert Road and the Town of Gilbert owe their names to William "Bobby" Gilbert, who sold right-of-way though his land to the Phoenix and Eastern Railroad Company in 1902. The railroad line was built from Phoenix to Kelvin, Ariz. in 1903 and was later known as the Arizona Eastern Railway. A rail siding was established on Bobby Gilbert's property; the spur line and the town that sprung up around it became known as Gilbert. While Bobby Gilbert owned land in the town, he never lived in it. He was a resident of Mesa.
Source: Gilbert Historical Museum and AZ Central. 
WILLIAMS FIELD ROAD
In early 1941, the United States Army Air Corps drafted plans to construct a training facility east of Chandler. Williams Field was completed in October of that year, and Cleveland Road was renamed Williams Field Road when inaugurated. The road, which was extended to reach the airfield, became a major point of travel between Gilbert and Chandler. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the United States found itself embroiled in war and Williams Field Road became increasingly important. Due to the location of the airbase, the road was a recipient of government funding for improvements that included road signs, widening in some areas and new paving.
Source: Driving Chandler's Streets, Chandler Gilbert Community College and AZ Central.

MCCLINTOCK DRIVE
The Hayden Ranch is the home of the most well-known local residents to settle on McClintock Drive - Sallie and Charles Hayden, and their son, long-time Arizona Sen. Carl Hayden. The Haydens built the home in 1890 at the southeast corner of present-day University and McClintock. The Haydens may have chosen to name their new street in honor of their friend James H. McClintock, who attended Tempe Normal School - now Arizona State University - from 1886-87. He lived with the Haydens for some time, and ended up leasing space over Charles Hayden's carpentry and blacksmith shops after he acquired the local newspaper, the Tempe Daily News. McClintock was the first teacher at the Kyrene School and served on the school district's board. He became the state's first official historian in the 1910s.
Source: Tempe History Museum and AZ Central.

MILL AVENUE
Mill Avenue's name was likely chosen in recognition of Tempe's most conspicuous landmark in its earliest years: the flour mill Charles Hayden built in the mid-1870s. The mill was central to the economic success of Tempe, taking in grain from local farmers as far away as the Gila River. Although the original adobe mill was long gone by the time this photo was taken, the newer mill's 1951 silos are visible downtown.
Source: Tempe History Museum and AZ Central.
BASELINE ROAD
Not that long ago, Baseline Road was known as the road of Japanese flower gardens, with colorful flower farms stretching from 32nd Street to 48th Street. However, the story of Baseline Road goes back far longer than the gardens. Baseline Road is, in fact, the baseline of the Gila and Salt River Meridian survey, which began in 1867 with a crew under William H. Pierce and was completed by Wilfred and George Ingalls in July 1868. The survey connected the territory of Arizona to the national grid system and enabled early settlers to establish land claims under the Homestead Act, essentially resulting in the first population boom in Arizona after the Civil War.
Source: Tempe History Museum and AZ Central.
ROBSON
Pioneers Charles and Francelle Robson - and their six children - were part of the Mesa Company, a group of about 80 people from Utah and Idaho sent by the Mormon Church in 1878 to establish a town near the Salt River. After moving to Mesa, Charles Robson co-founded the Zenos Cooperative Mercantile and Manufacturing Institution. The Robsons occupied a home at the corner of Second Avenue and the street that was named in their honor in 1884. In 1920, the question of whether to pave the simple dirt road sparked controversy, with the City Council ultimately deciding to move forward despite petitions against the effort. Homes and businesses on Robson illustrate the architectural styles common in Arizona during the early to mid-20th Century.
Source: Mesa Main Library and AZ Central.

MACDONALD
Mayor Finter isn't the first Alex to occupy the Mesa mayor's office. Macdonald is named after Alexander Findlay Macdonald, who served as Mesa's inaugural mayor from 1883 to 1888. Born in Scotland, Macdonald came to North America after meeting Mormon missionaries in 1846. He acted as the Maricopa Stake of Zion's first president and Mesa's first leader from before moving to Mexico to settle a Mormon colony in Colonia Juarez.
Source: Images of America series, Falcon Field, and AZ Central.

POWER ROAD
James and Sarah Power settled in northern Mesa, known as Lehi at the time, in the late 1800s. After getting married, they bought farmland in Higley, where they raised cattle and farmed crops such as cotton, grains, fruit and potatoes on hundreds of acres. 
The main ranch was near the former Williams Air Force Base, the predecessor to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. A road that ran through the heart of the ranch was named Power Road in the 1920s. The Power sons took over management of Power Brothers Ranches, but developers later bought most of the land.
Source: East Valley Tribune and AZ Central.
WARNER ROAD
Warner Road began as a short "road of convenience." When the Kyrene School District was founded in 1888, area leaders decided to extend a road from the first school to the second school, naming it after the prominent Warner family.
Samuel Warner, an Indiana native, served on the Kyrene Governing Board from 1916 to 1919. Lydia Schoch Warner homesteaded 160 acres of land on the southeastern corner of what is now the intersection of Warner Road and Priest Drive. Their daughter, Edith Warner Owens, attended the original Kyrene School when she was a child.
Source: Driving Chandler's Streets, Chandler Gilbert Community College and AZ Central .
PRICE ROAD
Arthur Ernest Price served as the first local justice of the peace and drafted the city's first charter. His wife, Louise, was the niece of A. J. Chandler, the city's founder. Price owned land near what later became Chandler Fashion Center, and the family grew cotton and alfalfa on about 350 acres there. Their home, now known as the McCullough-Price House, was donated to the city in 2001 and renovated.
Source: Driving Chandler's Streets, Chandler Gilbert Community College and AZ Central.
COOPER ROAD
James "Jim" Cooper and his wife, Mildred Post Cooper, turned one cow received as a wedding present into a 400-cow dairy farm near Southern Avenue and Stapley Drive. Jim Cooper was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 1968, helped found the and was active in dairymen's associations. Together, the Coopers had six children, 33 grandchildren and 57 great-grandchildren.
Source: Driving Chandler's Streets, Chandler Gilbert Community College and AZ Central.
GERMANN ROAD
John and Mathilda Germann purchased 480 acres of land in the Queen Creek and Higley areas in the early 1910s. After setting up a home, well and pumping plant, John Germann and his sons began studying southwestern agriculture. Mathilda Germann not only produced food for her family but for Phoenix hotels as well.  As of 1924, the Germanns' son, Walter, had 100 acres in cultivation - 50 for cotton, and 50 divided between alfalfa and fruit. No one seems to know what happened to the Germanns after 1941. As for the confusing pronunciation: The road's name is widely pronounced "Jur-maine" today, but some say it was originally pronounced "Har-mahn" or "Grr-mun."
Source: Driving Chandler's Streets, Chandler Gilbert Community College.

For the full story with pictures go here, http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/mesa/2014/07/28/how-metro-phoenix-southeast-valley-streets...
~ Garner Real Estate Team

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