Formerly known as “Arizona’s Antique Capital,” today’s Glendale ranks as the state’s fourth most populous city. Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, AZ in the city’s northwest, has emerged as a major economic player in recent years. When compared to other Valley cities, Glendale is widely regarded as providing superior services and amenities. Professional sports teams play in the city, and it also has one of the best vintage shopping districts in the country. The city has a population of approximately 252,380 as per the most recent census in the United States.
It’s easy to see why, with the city being home to two major sports arenas, a restored downtown, a botanical garden, and over a thousand acres of desert preserves. The Caitlin Court Shopping District in historic downtown Glendale features numerous boutiques, eateries, and antique shops. Famous for its wide range of low- and middle-priced housing alternatives, Glendale has long been a magnet for people from all walks of life.
In the late 1800s, when the area now known as Glendale, Arizona was originally settled, it was completely desert. The 40-mile (64-kilometer) long Arizona Canal stretched from Granite Reef to New River under the direction of William John Murphy, a native of New Hartford, New York, who made his home in the town of Flagstaff in what was then the territory of Arizona. They hired him to work on the Arizona Canal. In 1885, he constructed the canal that would eventually supply the parched area with water. After agreeing to be paid in Arizona Canal Company stock and bonds as well as land instead of cash, Murphy found himself in serious debt.
With Murphy’s help, Burgess Hadsell brought seventy Brethren and River Brethren families to Glendale in 1891 and formed a temperance community. The town’s ban on alcoholic beverages attracted new residents shortly thereafter, and the population boomed. In 1895, Murph platted the first town site, which was later revised to include a park and some businesses.
The community was bounded by Lamar Road to the south, 55th Avenue to the east, Myrtle Avenue to the north, and 59th Avenue to the west. By exchanging the right-of-way Murphy had established along Grand Avenue, a train could be built connecting Prescott and Phoenix. The railroad allowed residents of Glendale to more easily transport goods to northern markets and acquire necessities like lumber.
The Beet Sugar Factory, which opened in 1906 and is still operational, was essential in the development of present-day Glendale. The plant only operated until 1913, but it had a major impact on the influx of new immigrants and migrant workers to the city.