Selecting a Townsite Washington Street in the 1870s - Phoenix | SEO | ServicesThe 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.
To administer this new townsite, the Salt River Valley Town Association was formed with its articles carrying the following signatures:
Wm. B. Hellings & Co.
Barnett and Block
John T. Dennis
William A. Holmes
James M. Buck
John T. Alsap
Columbus H. Gray
Martin P. Griffin
James McC. Elliot
J. P. Perry
Charles C. McDermott
John P. Osborn
James D. Monihon
John T. Alsap, James Murphy and J. P. Perry were selected by majority vote to be the townsite commissioners. Alsap acted as chairman and Capt. William A. Hancock was secretary.
Capt. Hancock was also a surveyor, and he made the first survey of the townsite and laid out the lots and the town. This first town of Phoenix was one mile long, a half-mile wide and contained 96 blocks. Washington Street was the main street and, on the early maps, showed to be 100 feet wide.
The east and west streets were named after our presidents. Washington Street was placed in the middle and Adams, who was the second president, was given the first street to the north. Our third president, Jefferson, had the first street south of Washington named after him. And the pattern followed - one to the north and one to the south - until recent years.
The north-south streets originally carried Indian names, but these were changed in favor of the more easily remembered numbers - with streets being to the east of Central Avenue and avenues to the west.
Source: Phoenix City Government
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