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City Government
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Parents > United States > Arizona > Counties > Maricopa  
Established May 05, 1879
Disbanded Still Active
Last ModifiedThomas Walker July 24, 2007 02:31pm
DescriptionAll-America City Winner 1984-85 and 2003.
All-America City Finalist 1990.

Largest employers in Tempe:
Arizona State University 14,000
America West Airlines 4,000
Motorola 3,775
Salt River Project 2,175
City of Tempe 2,000
Honeywell 1,800
Chase Manhattan 1,700
Tempe Elementary School District 1,700

Population Figures:
1894______ 885
1900______ 885

Following the establishment of Fort McDowell on the eastern edge of central Arizona´s Salt River Valley in 1865, enterprising farmers moved into the area. They dug out the irrigation canals left by the prehistoric Hohokam people and built new ones to carry Salt River water to their fields. Valley farms soon supplied food to Arizona´s military posts and mining towns.

The first settlers to move to the Tempe area, south of the Salt River and east of Phoenix, were Hispanic families from southern Arizona. They helped construct the first two irrigation canals, the Kirkland-McKinney Ditch and the San Francisco Canal, and started small farms to the east and west of a large butte (Tempe Butte). In 1872, some of these Mexican settlers founded a town called San Pablo east of Tempe Butte.

Another settlement, known as Hayden's Ferry, developed west of Tempe Butte. Charles Trumbull Hayden, owner of a mercantile and freighting business in Tucson, homesteaded this location in 1870. Within a few years, he had built a store and flourmill, warehouses and blacksmith shops, and a ferry. This community became the trade center for the south side of the Salt River Valley.

Both settlements grew quickly and soon formed one community. The town was named Tempe in 1879. "Lord" Darrell Duppa, an Englishman who helped establish Phoenix, is credited with suggesting the name. The sight of the butte and the wide river, and the nearby expanse of green fields, reminded him of the Vale of Tempe in ancient Greece.

As more farmers came to settle in the Valley and started raising alfalfa and grains for feeding livestock, the Tempe Irrigating Canal Company provided all of necessary water. With a network of canals that extended several miles south of the river, irrigation water was carried to more than 20,000 acres of prime farmland. Crops of wheat, barley, and oats ensured a steady business for the Hayden Mill. The milled flour was hauled to forts and other settlements throughout the territory. By the 1890s, some farmers started growing new cash crops such as dates and citrus fruits.

In 1885, the Arizona legislature selected Tempe as the site for the Territorial Normal School, which trained teachers for Arizona´s schools. Soon, other changes in Tempe promoted the development of the small farming community. The Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad, built in 1887, crossed the Salt River at Tempe, linking the town to the nation's growing transportation system. The Tempe Land and Improvement Company was formed to sell lots in the booming town. Tempe became one of the most important business and shipping centers for the surrounding agricultural area.

The completion of Roosevelt Dam in 1911 guaranteed enough water to meet the growing needs of Valley farmers. On his way to dedicate the dam, former President Theodore Roosevelt applauded the accomplishments of the people of central Arizona and predicted that their towns would grow to become prosperous cities. Less than a year later, Arizona became the 48th state, and the Salt River Valley was well on its way to becoming the new population center of the Southwest.

Tempe was a small agricultural community through most of its history. After World War II, Tempe began growing at a rapid rate as veterans and others moved to the city. The last of the local farms quickly disappeared. Through annexation, the city reached its current boundaries by 1974. Tempe had grown into a modern city. The town's small teachers college had also grown, and in 1958, the institution became Arizona State University.

Tempe´s commercial center along Mill Avenue declined during these years. Prompted by Tempe´s centennial in 1971, Mill Avenue was revitalized into an entertainment and shopping district that attracts people from throughout the Valley. Today, Tempe is well known nationally as the home of the Fiesta Bowl and the Arizona Cardinals. It is the seventh largest city in Arizona, with a strong modern economy based on commerce, tourism, and electronics manufacturing.

Today Tempe Arizona is a thriving city of 160,000 residents and popular destination of vacationers and business travelers. The main attraction is Down Town Tempe along Mill Avenue where turn of the century flavor blends with modern day amenity. Downtown is home of the world famous New Year´s Block Party, attended by over 100,000 joyous revelers each year. The Block Party celebrates the new year and the Fiesta Bowl Championship held at Sun Devil Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University.

Downtown is a pedestrian-friendly area of entertainment where people live, work, play and watch other people. It´s an intimate atmosphere of shady brick sidewalks amidst a showcase of dining, shopping, nightlife and entertainment. Take a canoe ride down Tempe Town Lake, enjoy a Broadway show at Grady Gammage, hike the small mountains and experience a major college of NFL football game.

Tempe hotels feature casual southwestern style hospitality. Choose from modest motels, full-service hotels to the luxury amenities of some of the world´s best resorts. Like the Wyndham Buttes Resort where you can view the nightlights of the Valley from your mountain top spa. Or the Pointe at South Mountain where luxury overlooks scenic golf with mountain top views from its Rustler´s Rooste western style dining and country music dancing. The Tempe proximity to Phoenix and Scottsdale makes Tempe the ideal lodging point to enjoy the entire Valley of the Sun and the points of interest it offers.

No need to leave Tempe to enjoy fine dining and nightly entertainment. Whether casual or elegant, Tempe restaurants offer a tasteful cuisine for every discerning palate. From southwestern Mexican flavor, prime beef, Asian delicacy to microbrewery grills, Tempe will pleasure your dining desires. And after a day of adventure, fun or relaxation, Tempe Arizona offers an endless selection of nightlife to entertain your wilder side.


Polls Close Description Takes Office

City of Tempe, Arizona  Discuss
Tempe (AZ) City Clerk  Discuss

Pty Amount % As Of Contributor
R 32,859 34.75% Jul 06, 2006 Thomas Walker
D 30,664 32.42% Jul 06, 2006 Thomas Walker
OTH 29,851 31.56% Jul 06, 2006 Thomas Walker
LBT 1,196 1.26% Jul 06, 2006 Thomas Walker


Category Name
College Newspaper The State Press of Arizona State University 
Newspaper East Valley Tribune - Tempe News 
Newspaper Tempe Republic 
Newspaper Wrangler News 

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Title Purchase Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
Dec 26, 2007 10:00am Election Guide Hallman faces no opposition in Tempe mayor race  Article Thomas Walker 
May 10, 2007 10:45am General Tempe council candidates get a jump on 2008  Article Thomas Walker 
Dec 22, 2006 11:00am Legal Ruling Cop gets $491 speeding ticket in man's death  Article Thomas Walker 
Dec 15, 2006 10:55am Proposed Legislation Ban on Tempe swing clubs proposed by commission  Article Thomas Walker 
May 19, 2006 01:00am News More Tempe towers proposed  Article Thomas Walker 
Feb 04, 2006 11:00pm General Timing, cash, shoe leather win City Hall  Article Thomas Walker