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A man named Dr. John Chandler, was the first veterinary surgeon for the Arizona Territory, purchased some 80 acres of property from the government that was located in the Salt River Valley, just south of Mesa. Dr. Chandler was instrumental in building an early system of canals in what was an arid desert, by studying somewhat new science of irrigation engineering.
Dr. Chandler owned an 18,000 acre ranch by the early 1800's. However, each land owner could only get sufficient water to irrigate some 160 acres according to the charter of the Salt River Project. Dr. Chandler looked to his architects and planners to subdivide his ranch and he also drew a map of his future settlement. These Chandler Ranch locations became for sale. He advertised them nationally.
Dr. Chandler opened the office of the settlement in 1912. Excursion trains on the recently finished Arizona Eastern Railroad attracted some 300 speculators who spent $50,000 for property that day.
The settlement was comprised of the Morrison Grocery, a dining hall, and three wooden shacks. A billboard that marked the location of the luxurious soon to be the Hotel San Marcos could be seen along the highway. Dr. Chandler envisioned a central park that was surrounded by businesses and was also landscaped. Deed restrictions required all land owners to build on their property within one year. The walkways in front of the buildings would be covered by a trellis-like roof, and supported by colonnades.
Chandler had all of the signs of being an established settlement. Businesses had been established on the west and south side of the park and that included the Bank of Chandler and the Eastern Railroad depot
Encircling the park, there were graded dirt roads and there were Model T Fords, carts, and wagons. The grass covered, with newly planted trees, and was subdivided into a south and a north side.
The Hotel San Marcos celebrated its grand opening in 1923. Governor George Hunt and Vice president Thomas Marshal were among the 500 guests that were present. The hotel was an instant success with all of the rich visitors who were arriving from every in the nation country every winter.
In Chandler, agriculture was still the most important business at that time. The main crops were alfalfa, grains, and cotton. Farmers also raised ostriches, sheep and cattle.
Cotton became the most profitable and the most common crop in Chandler. Cotton was in great demand when WW I started and there was on great in demand to be used for the production of Aircraft fabrics as well as for the production of rubber tires. The Goodyear Tire Company leased some 8,000 acres just south of the community of Chandler. The Improvement Company and constructed the community of Goodyear, during the war.
The community of Chandler had a population of over 1,000 people by 1920. Automobiles had become the primary means of transportation, therefore, the roads needed to be paved. The sewage and water systems were also unreliable an outdated.
A local Justice of the Peace named Arthur Price, the community's first charter. The year 1920 brought the incorporation of Chandler as a town. Until a mayor could be elected, Dr. Chandler served as the first mayor. Soon thereafter a council and mayor were elected.
The Great Depression wasn't as bad for most of Chandler's residents as it had been for numerous cities around the nation. The 1920's, cotton crop had a much greater impact on the economy that was based on agricultural. However, during the depression years, Dr. Chandler, didn't fare so well. The Hotel San Marcos was lost to creditors and The Bank of Chandler collapsed. However, he was able to comfortably retire and resided in a cottage on the grounds of the hotel.
The community of Chandler experienced some problems that were the result of technology and growth by the late 1930's. The drivers of the new faster automobiles sometimes didn't realize that Arizona Avenue, which came to an abrupt stop at the town plaza, after jumping the curb. The large diesel powered trucks had problems navigating around the plaza on the narrow roads.
During the alignment of SR-87 during the 1940's, it was proposed to incorporate it with Arizona Avenue in 1940. Residents were unhappy beautiful park subdivided in half for a highway. In fact original design of the community was no longer practical or safe.
The United States Army Corps reported that their plans for the construction of a fighter pilot training base, in 1941 that was located just east of Chandler. That same year, the base started operating and two months later the Japanese bombers attacked Pearl Harbor. It wasn't long before it was common to see uniformed men in the community.
The residents of Chandler celebrated long into the night in 1945, when they found out that the war had ended. The population of Chandler had increased to 3,000 people by 1950, which was the same that Dr. Chandler died. The status of the town of Chandler was changed from town to a City, in 1954.
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