In 1891, Dr. Alexander John Chandler, the first veterinary surgeon for the territory of Arizona, bought 80 acres of land from the federal government south of Mesa in the Salt River Valley. Dr. Chandler studied the relatively new science of irrigation engineering and was instrumental in building an early system of canals in what was then an arid desert.
By the turn of the century, Dr. Chandler owned an 18,000 acre ranch. In 1912, he subdivided his ranch and the town of Chandler was born. At that time, the town consisted of three wooden shacks -- the townsite office, a dining hall and the Morrison Grocery.
Agriculture was the big business in Chandler at the time. Cotton, grains and alfalfa were the primary crops. Farmers also raised cattle, sheep and even ostriches.
Even today, ostriches are celebrated by way of the Chandler Ostrich Festival. The Ostrich Festival is a community family event featuring live ostrich races and ostrich-themed activities, national and regional entertainment, carnival midway, spectacular food, upscale arts & crafts, a Saturday morning parade and much more.
In recent years, Chandler's borders have been expanded and the population has boomed -- from 30,000 in 1980 to more than 240,000 today. The economic base of Chandler has been diversified. While agriculture is still somewhat of a vital element, Chandler now enjoys a strong manufacturing and electronics sector.
The downtown storefronts have been restored to a modern version of their original turn-of-the-century look, and the plaza has been redesigned and named after the City's founder. The Center for the Arts, new parks, restaurants and retail centers mark an exciting future for the City.
The above information barely scratches the surface of all that is Chandler. Come check out this wonderful town that so many call home. There is a place for you here too!
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