Arizona has become the center of population in Arizona. Mesa is located in the County of Maricopa. The community is a suburb of Phoenix and is located approximately 20 miles east of Phoenix. Mesa is the central community in the Eastern Valley section the Phoenix Metron Area. It is bordered in the south by Gilbert and Chandler, in the north at the Salt River and in the west by Tempe, After Tucson and Phoenix, Mesa is the 3rd in Arizona, as well as the 38th largest community in the United States. The population of mesa was 439,041 people, according to the census that was taken in 2010. Mesa is also home to many different intuitions of higher education. That includes the Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus.
Mesa's history dates back to when the Hohokam Indian tribe arrived about 2,000 years ago. Hohokam translates into The Departed ones or All Used UP. This is the Indian tribe that constructed original canal system. The canals were the world's most sophisticated and largest canals. Some were as wide as some 90 feet and at their head gates, were 10 feet deep, and extended for some 16 miles across the desert. Water was being delivered to a region, which was more than some 110 acres. This transformed the Sonoran Desert into a very profitable enterprise by A.D. 1,100. The Hohokam Indian tribe had constructed hundreds of miles of canals by A.D. 1,450, and many of these cabals are currently being used.
Prior to the arrival of the early pioneers and after the Hohokam Indian tribe disappeared, not much is known about the area because explorers didn't venture into this region. United States Army troops finally got the Apache Indian under control by the late 1800's, close to what is currently known as Mesa. Their effort opened the way for settlement.
A pioneer Mormon named Daniel Webster Jones led an expedition to establish a Mormon settlement in Arizona. In 1877, he left St. George, Utah and him and some of his followers arrived at Lehi, which is a region that is located within the northernmost edge of what is currently known as Mesa. Some Mormon offices asked Jones to lead a group of people to establish a settlement in Arizona. Originally, this settlement was called Fort Utah as well as Jonesville. On the recommendation of Brigham Young Jr., in 1883, the community was renamed Lehi.
In the meantime, another party of people, who called themselves the First Mesa Company arrived from Idaho and Utah, Their leaders were named Charles Robson, George Warren Sirrine, Charles Crimson, and Francis Martin Pomeroy. They relocated to the top of the Mesa, which is Mesa's namesake, rather than accept the Mr. Jone's invitation to reside at the Lehi settlement, which was owned by Mr. Jones. They dug some irrigation canals, some of which were over the original canals that were constructed by the Hohokam Indian tribe. Water flowed through those canals by 1878.
The Second Mesa Company arrived in Mesa around 1879 and resided to the west of where the First Mesa Company had arrived during 1880, as the result of no available farmland. This settlement was known as Stringtown.
In 1878, Mesa City had an area of one square mile. In 1870, the first schoolhouse was constructed. The year 1883 brought the incorporation of Mesa City. At that time, the population of Mesa was some 300 residents. A man named Dr. A. Chandler, who would later establish the settlement of Chandler, worked on enlarging the Mesa Canal in width, in 1895, in order to permit sufficient flow of water to construct a power facility. The community of Mesa bought the utility company in 1917. The revenues from the company provided sufficient capital expenditures until the 1960's. When the Great Depression hit the United States funding from the WPA provided a library, a new town hall, a new hospital, and paved streets.
Mesa Drive bisects the west and east segments of Mesa and runs north to south. Mesa uses a grid system in order to number their streets that is somewhat different than what is used in Phoenix and other parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Center Street runs north to south, serves as the west and east numbering point of origin within Mesa, and bisects Mesa into the western and eastern segments of Mesa. Streets that are located west of Center Street, that include West Main Street or West University Drive are considered to be located in West Mesa, while the streets east of Center Street that include East main Street or East University street are considered to be located in East Mesa.
Country Club Drive bisects Mesa into west and east segments and runs north to south. It is located one half mile just west of Center Street.