June 7 is the 68th anniversary of the City of Peoria’s incorporation.
Peoria’s recorded history goes back to the 1880s but the area’s beginnings go back as far as the Native Americans who inhabited and traveled along the New River. As long as humans have roamed this area, agriculture has been the reason for settlement.
The original Peoria town site was owned by Joseph B. Greenhut and Deloss S. Brown from Peoria, Illinois. In 1890, the two men acquired four sections of land from the government through the Desert Lands Act. They filed Peoria’s plat map with the Maricopa County recorder on March 24, 1897, naming the settlement after their hometown.
By 1888, Peoria got a U.S. Post Office for its soaring population of 27. To accommodate the expanding community, Central School was built in 1906 and used continuously for the next 70 years.
Gradually the town was born as entrepreneurial businesses moved in to meet the needs of the growing community.
The city was formally incorporated in 1954, which was also the year that Peoria was named the Rose Capital of the World.
By 1970 the town had about 2,500 people.
Today, with a population of more than 191,000, according to the 2020 Census, Peoria continues to grow and prosper.
To learn more about Peoria, visit www.peoriaaz.gov/government/departments/planning-and-zoning/historic-preservation/peoria-s-history.
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