A Brief History Of Tempe AZ

Tempe is a fast-growing city in Maricopa County AZ. This is one of the most amazing cities in the United States with many fun attractions and rich cultural history. Tempe AZ is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Many locals and tourists enjoy the many fun attractions in the city throughout the year. But most of these people do not know the history of this lovely city and its humble beginnings. Here is a brief history of Tempe AZ. 

Fall Of The Hohokam

To understand where it all started, you have to go back to the prehistoric times of the Hohokam. This was an ancient native society or community that lived in the North and American Southwest for many centuries. The Hohokam people were very innovative and resourceful and they had dug irrigation canals to support their agriculture throughout the area. This society abandoned their settlements in this area in the 15th century and only a few individuals and families were left behind. 

Establishment Of Fort McDowell

The establishment of Tempe AZ as a town or as a rather small city can be attributed to the establishment of Fort McDowell in 1865. The fort brought in military servicemen and Hispanic workers who worked in the fields to ensure a steady supply of food to the fort. All these people built camps near the river and these were the first settlers to live in the valley after the Hohokam had left. 

“Official” Founding Date

Tempe AZ was “officially” founded in 1871 although there were people already living there by this time. Pioneer “Lord” Darrell Duppa, an Englishman who helped establish Phoenix, is credited with suggesting the name Tempe for the new town in 1879. By this time, the town had become a busy business hub with lots of agricultural activities and various service industries. The city was incorporated in 1894.

Early Growth

True growth and expansion were experienced in Tempe AZ before the First World War. The Roosevelt Dam was completed in 1911 and it made Arizona a very productive state in agricultural products. Tempe AZ was experiencing rapid growth at this time especially after the completion of the Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad, which connected the town to the rest of the country’s expanding transposition network. 

After World War II

After World War II, many veterans and their families moved to Tempe AZ and the neighboring towns and cities. This boosted the growth and expansion of these small Arizona towns and cities significantly. Tempe AZ reached its current boundaries in 1974 following annexation. The last agricultural farms disappeared soon after the war and the initially small town was transformed into a full-blown city.  

The City Today

Tempe AZ continued to grow in the 1980s and 1990s. Today the city is the eighth largest in the state of Arizona with all types of industries. The city has a very strong economy and it has grown to become a suburb of Phoenix. Tempe is now a center of education, tourism, commerce, and electronic manufacturing. The city is very beautiful with many fun amenities. 

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