Chandler, Arizona is a city with a deep and captivating political history. Founded by Dr. Alexander John Chandler in 1891, the city has grown from a small settlement of three wooden huts to a bustling metropolis of over 240,000 people. From its humble beginnings to its current status as an innovation hub, Chandler has experienced many changes throughout the years.
Dr. Chandler purchased 80 acres of land from the federal government in the Arizona Territory and set about creating a city. He studied irrigation engineering and constructed a primitive canal system in what was then an arid desert. He then announced the sale of Chandler Ranch land and deed restrictions required landlords to build on their land within one year.
By the turn of the century, Chandler had become a thriving city with businesses lining the west and south sides of the park, including the Bank of Chandler and the Eastern Railroad depot. The city was surrounded by dirt roads and was home to wagons, cars, and Model T Fords. The park was covered with grass and newly planted trees, divided into two sides by the Commonwealth Canal. Cotton became the most profitable crop in Chandler during this time and when World War I began, long-fiber cotton was in high demand for rubber tires and aircraft fabrics.
The Goodyear Tire Company leased 8,000 acres south of the city to the Chandler Improvement Company and built the city of Goodyear. In 1920, citizens voted to join and become the city of Chandler with Arthur Price as their first mayor. The Great Depression wasn't as devastating for most Chandler residents as it was for other cities due to their agro-based economy. However, they did experience some problems driven by growth and technology which led to the need for paved roads and updated water and sewer systems. During World War II, the population of Chandler doubled and in 1940, Route 87 was aligned along Arizona Avenue which split the park in half.
In recent years, Chandler's borders have expanded and its economic base has diversified from agriculture to manufacturing and electronics. The shop windows in the center have been restored with a modern version of their original appearance from the beginning of the century. Today, Chandler is home to parks, pools, museums, art galleries, hotels, resorts, golf courses, restaurants and extensive shopping opportunities making it one of the best cities in Arizona to live, play and work. It is also an ideal place to start or grow a business due to its many advantages. Chandler's political history is one that is full of growth and progress.
From its humble beginnings to its current status as an innovation hub, it has seen many changes over time that have molded it into what it is today.