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Following is some information about Mesa and its history.

Located 20 miles east of Phoenix at a distance of 32 kilometers, in the State of Arizona in the country of Maricopa, is the city of Mesa. Lying towards the East Valley of the Phoenix Metropolitan Region, Mesa is a popular suburb. On the north of Mesa is the Salt River Prima-Maricopa Indian Community and in the South lie Gilbert and Chandler. Towards the West borders Tempe while on the east is the Apache Junction. The Census conducted in 2010 declared Mesa the center of Population in Arizona.

Hailed as the largest suburb in the United States and the 38th largest city, it the third largest in size, after Tucson and Phoenix in the State of Arizona. Although, according to the Census Bureau, Mesa boasts a population of 439,041, which is substantially larger than the population of cities like St. Louis, Minneapolis, Cleveland and Miami, it is still considered a ‘bedroom community’. The Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus is also situated in Mesa.

The city of Mesa has a rich history which goes back 2000 years, starting from the emergence of the first Hohokam tribes. The credit for building the initial canal system goes to the very same people. The canals not only proved pivotal in shaping the future but are still famous as the most extensive and advanced in the primeval New World. While some canals spanned over 15 miles in the desert of Arizona, others were almost 90 feet in width and over 10 feet in depth at the head gates. With the massive canal network, by A.D.1100 over 110,000 acres of land came under irrigation and the Sonoran Desert was transformed into an oasis. The construction of canals went on till A.D. 1450, by then vast areas of land were transformed through miles and miles of canals, many of which are still irrigating land today.
Since, historians failed to record events which took place after the Hohokam tribes disappeared, not many are aware of the aftermath or of the time before the insurgence of the new settlers.

An expedition was led by Daniel Webster Jones to help set up a Mormon colony in the state of Arizona. In 1877, Jones and his party left behind St.George, Utah and reached Lehi, which fringes on the north of what is today known as Mesa. Jones was following orders of the LDS officials who had solicited him to lead a group of people to Arizona in order to form settlements and populate the area. During the early times, the settlement was given the name, Jonesville and Fort Utah. Later in 1883, the name Lehi was proposed by Brigham Young, Jr. and approved.

During the same course, another company by the name of First Mesa Company led by Francis Martin Pomeroy, George M. Sirrine, Charles Crismon and Charles I. Robson, duly appeared from Utah and Idaho. Although the group, First Mesa Company received an invitation to colonize the settlement Lehi, founded by Jones, it was refused and the company moved towards the north of Mesa. The settlement adopted the name Mesa and constructed canals for irrigation. By April1878, they succeeded in directing water through these canals and irrigating land. Many of the canals built by the First Mesa Company stood over the initial Hohokam canals.

The city of Mesa was registered as a town-site of 1 square mile on July 17, 1878. In 1879, Mesa was given its first school. The recorded population four years later in 1883 was 300 individuals. Dr. A.J. Chandler, in order to establish a power plant in Mesa, started work on expanding the canals for increasing the flow of water during 1895. The doctor later became the founder of the city of Chandler. Mesa bought a utility company in 1917, which provided substantial revenues for capital expenditures till the 1960’s. At the time of the Great Depression, it was WPA that provided funds and assistance for; paving roads, a new library, town hall and a new hospital.

The inauguration of Williams Field and Falcon field in the beginning of 1940’s, opened doors for military personnel in Mesa. Population exploded in city and the rest of Phoenix with the dawn of air conditioners and the upsurge of the tourism industry. Consequently, aerospace companies developed and expanded significantly between 1950 and 1960. Up till then, the inhabitants of Mesa had been farmers and had cultivated land for a living but with the steady progress made by industry, people opted for new means to support themselves. Meanwhile, Mesa progressed greatly with the other metropolitans of Phoenix.

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