By G. Wesley Johnson Jr.
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In the fall of 1870, federal census takers visited a new village established on the banks of the Salt River, a major tributary to the Gila River. Here they found about 300 new settlers who had excavated some of the old Indian canals and had begun irrigating the harsh desert floor. One of these pioneers was Darrell Duppa, an Englishman of some education, who marveled at the great expanse of canals left behind by the Hohokam, the ancients who had first inhabited this Sonoran Desert valley. Infected by American frontier boosterism, Duppa predicted the settlement would one day become a great city, rising Phoenix-like from the ashes of this old civilization.
In 1927, Mickle sold out to Safeway Stores and plowed his millions into creating Phoenix Title and Trust Company and building a new skyscraper in Phoenix. He changed business interests and became the very model of the successful entrepreneur who made his fortune in Phoenix, unlike Heard who arrived with heavy Chicago backing. 22 Another newcomer was Charles A. Stauffer, publisher of the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette. Stauffer lived in Dwight Heard's shadow for many years as his chief assistant, but when Heard died in 1929, Stauffer took over the Republic and merged it with the Gazette.
Many of these sources were used by the writers in this volume. While the resulting essays attempt to re-create a local history, we also believe they stand as an example of a new historical genre, public history, since the Phoenix History Project was at its outset a commissioned historical assignment. Indeed, as public history has developed during the Page xi past decade, community history of this type has become an important part of the professional repertoire of the public historian. 1 Many of the graduate students who worked on the Phoenix project came from the Graduate Program in Public Historical Studies of the University of California, Santa Barbara.