The city of Glendale has an interesting history. Of course, it has not always been this beautiful community with wonderful houses and wood garage doors.
In 1880, the area was nothing but desert. However, William J. Murphy, M.W. Kales, William A. Hancock and Clark Churchill in 1882 started building the Arizona Canal Co. project that brought water to the area. The canal was completed in 1885.
This ushered in the settlement of several homesteaders. In fact, in 1886, a man by the name of William H. Bartlett built the first buildings in what is now known as the Sahuaro Ranch.
However, Glendale itself started as a town site with the construction of the diagonal Grand Avenue. On February 27, 1892, the first residential area began to be established followed by the building of the Glendale Grammar School. This then became the catalyst for people coming in droves and settling in the area. With the Sante Fe railroad linking Glendale to Prescott and northern Arizona, the area further grew
In 1909, the Glendale State Bank was opened. In 1915, the town government owned the water system. Also in the early 1900s, Louis M. Sands became the proud owner of the ranch home which he named as Manistee Ranch and remains to be one of the last working cattle ranches in the area.
The city also became home to some Japanese and Russian settlers, making it one of the most culturally diverse areas in the Valley.
Did you know that Glendale is actually built on beet? This is because Glendale’s Beet Sugar Factory was instrumental in the city’s economic success. Other businesses that contributed to the boom of the city include the Glendale Ice Co., the Pacific Creamery Co., the Southwest Flour and Feed Co. and the Glendale Milling Co.
Meanwhile, during World War I, Glendale became a major producer of cotton and propelled its continued boom. This also brought more demands for housingMost of these homes are still standing and are on the National Register of Historic Places.
During World War II, the Thunderbird Field was established in order to train civilian pilots for the Army. The field was designed by artist Millar Sheets and resembled the mythic Thunderbird. While this field was being built in 1941, the Army was busy working on a larger base 10 miles west of Glendale. Built for $4.5 million, Luke Field (now Luke Air Force Base) was named for the first pilot to receive a Medal of Honor, Lt. Frank Luke Jr. Thunderbird Field would later become the Thunderbird American Graduate School for International Management.
With the presence of the military and college, there was need for more facilities such as parks and schools. This led to the building of more public facilities and recreation centers.
Currently, Glendale now hosts the Marshall Ranch and Marbrisa Ranch, the Manistee Towne Center, Northern Crossing, a successfully redeveloped power center complete with a super Wal-Mart and Lowes home improvement store.Arizona State University’s west campus grew into a major educational institution in recent years, and Glendale also became home to Midwestern University.