In 1928, a 12 mile rail spur was added to the Atchison Topeka Santa Fe Railroad. Along Cotton Lane, this new railroad line provided freight service for the orchards and the farms. The men who were connected with the Beardsley project, was who it was named after. This water reclamation project was privately funded and was who the original rail sidings were named after. This water reclamation project was intended to provide irrigation water to Waddell by the Maricopa Water District and to dam the Agua Fria River.
Beginning at the railroad line close to the corner of El Mirage Road and Grand Avenue, the railroad tracks ran southwesterly to Waddell Road the west side of Cotton Lane and then south to Indian School Road. In 1928, four railroads were added along with the new railroad spur next to Cotton Lane, which included the Waddell that was located Waddell Road. The namesake of the railroad and the community was a man named Donald Ware Waddell. Mr. Waddell worked at a New York based company known as Brandon and Waddell, which is who financed the established the dam. Mr. Waddell remained actively involved in the Maricopa Water District and remained on Waddell.
The railroad that was located at Glendale Avenue was originally known as Brandon. Mr. John R. Brandon was known to Mr. Donald Waddell. The name of the siding was renamed to Citrus Park after the cannery and grapefruit orchards that were located on Citrus Road just south of Northern Avenue.
The Fennemore siding is located on Olive Road. Harry Melton Fennemore is probable the namesake of the Fennemore. At the time, Mr. Fennemore, was a prominent lawyer in Phoenix and one of the lawyers that the Santa Fe Railroad used. The law firm of Mr. Fennemore's remains in Phoenix and is the oldest law firm in Arizona.
The siding at the Indian School Road was originally known as the Griggs. A man named Charles Griggs was probably the namesake of Griggs. At that time, Mr. Griggs, was the chief engineer for the Maricopa Water District. Sometime later Mr. Griggs would become the Superintendent of streets for the community of Phoenix. The Griggs station was nearest to farming operations at the Goodyear Farms and was later shown on, as the namesake of Litchfield was probably a man named Paul Litchfield who was the Vice President of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company during the 1920's, and also established Litchfield Park. The namesake of the McMicken name was probably a man named Kenneth B. McMicken, who the General Manager and Vice President and of Goodyear Farms.
Fennemore is the only siding that is still being used and provides railroad service to an agriculture and Fertilizer products is a company known as Fertizona. During the 1980', the majority of the original spur line was closed the Fennemore line is currently connected by a spur line that runs next to Olive Road. Mr. Waddell was caught up in a human tragedy that was the result of the cotton industry as well as by nature, in 1938.
That year, Cotton farmers had a record crop, and the farmers were afraid that there wouldn't be sufficient pickers. However, a recruiting campaign was launched by The Farm Labor Service. Advertisements were placed in newspapers and flyers were handed out in neighboring states, in order to attract immigrant workers to the valley. However, this program might have been a little too successful. It was reported that some 25,000 people were lured to Arizona between late 1937 and 1938.
In early 1938, transient families were being encouraged to go to California to harvest the crops there while the cotton harvest was being completed in Arizona. However, rains in January through February in California resulted in severe flooding. As the result the roads were impassable and the crops in California crops were wiped out. Numerous farm workers, who couldn't proceed to California, turned back to the Salt River Valley, where they joined those workers who had not yet went to California. With little money to live on, poor living condition, ands no work, hunger and sickness ravaged the farm camps.
The Waddell Camp, which is located at and just north of the cotton gin at Cotton Lane was one of those camps. After a public outcry associated with the conditions that had been reported, the state superintendant of public health, named Dr. Hughes and Governor R. Stanford inspected the Waddell camp. It was determined that some families were just about to starve to death. Widespread illness included typhoid fever, whooping cough, and measles. Emergency food supplies as well as nurses were sent to the camps and emergency food supplies were brought in.
Some children that had contracted typhoid were sent to the clinic in the county by ambulance. to the county clinic. The same kinds of conditions were discovered at the worker camps all around the valley.
On the southwestern intersection of Olive Avenue and Cotton Lane in Waddell, there are the remains of a prisoner of war camp that is still standing. During WW II, it is known as the Fennemore Camp, and was used to house Italian and German Italian prisoners. The men were all brought here from the permanent prisoner camps at Papago of Florence to work in the farm fields.
Once the war ended, this location was used as a camp for farm workers. The block building that is can still be seen was a wash house and a lavatory. All of the other buildings have all been relocated of destroyed. Many of the small relocated wooden cabins still exist in the region.
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