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Phoenix Is Born


By 1868, a small colony had formed approximately four miles east of the present city. Swilling's Mill became the new name of the area. It was then changed to Helling Mill, after which it became Mill City, and years later, East Phoenix. Swilling, having been a confederate soldier, wanted to name the new settlement Stonewall after Stonewall Jackson. Others suggested the name Salina, but neither name suited the inhabitants. It was Darrell Duppa who suggested the name Phoenix, inasmuch as the new town would spring from the ruins of a former civilization. That is the accepted derivation of our name.

Phoenix officially was recognized on May 4, 1868, when the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors, the county of which we were then a part, formed an election precinct here.

A post office was established in Phoenix on June 15, 1868, with Jack Swilling as postmaster. The sharp whistle of the first steam mill in the Valley added a brisk note to the sound of emerging industry. It advertised the Richard Flour Mills, built in 1869, where the Luhrs Tower now stands.

Selecting a Townsite - Washington Street in the 1870s.
The rapid influx of pioneers continued, and by 1870, it was clear that a townsite had to be selected. On Oct. 20, 1870, a meeting was held to select such a site in the home of John Moore.

This well-known farmer offered 40 acres to the cause, but 320 were purchased by a popular subscription that raised $50. The official designation of this new townsite was the North Half of Section 8, Township 1 North, Range 3 East. Today, it would encompass the downtown business section, bounded on the north by Van Buren Street, on the south by Jackson Street, on the east by Seventh Street and on the west by Seventh Avenue.

Source: http://phoenix.gov/citygovernment/facts/history/

The Early Real Estate Photography back then was a challenge, lighting and dust became the enemies.

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