Many people think that Mesa’s history started in 1877 when Daniel Webster Jones established a Mormon Settlement that eventually transformed into what we today call the City of Mesa, AZ. However, this is not the case. Many historians believe that a group of people called the Hohokam have been living in Arizona since 2,000 BC. The Hohokam were in e people are well known for their advanced prehistory methods of irrigation. They ran canals for thousands of miles across the Southwestern United States. There was a canal discovered in Mesa, AZ that was 15’ deep and 45’ wide. Nobody is entirely sure of why the Hohokam people disappeared from Mesa, may suspect that it was due to Smallpox.
Later on, it is rumored that Spanish Explorer Coronado may have had expeditions that skirted into Mesa as well as Catholic priest, Father Kino.
After Daniel Webster Jones first settled in Mesa, AZ, additional settlements arose and created new canals using the preexisting ones from the Hohokam. The City of Mesa was first registered on the 17th of July, 1878 and was incorporated five years later with a pop. of 300 citizens. In 1917, the Mesa Canal had enough volume to construct a power plant. This power plant financed many improvements to Mesa including, roads, hospitals, town hall and library.
Two things that had a major effect the population on Mesa, were Falcon Field and the invention of the air conditioning. With when Falcon Field was brought into existence it drew many military people to Mesa. The air conditioning of course made Mesa a much more livable place. Mesa has continued to grow and today has an approx. population of 0.5M people.
There are still may historical attractions in Mesa today including Mesa Grande which was a large center for ceremonies for the Hohokam people. The Mesa Grande Temple has been persevered and can still be seen today.
Mesa has not only had an increasing population but also an increasing and diversifying economy. Historically, Mesa’s economy was primarily composed of agriculture but with the rise of technology and divisions of labor, agriculture has declined. Today there are companies from all different economic sectors including agriculture, technological, mining, construction and financial in Mesa, AZ.