history of peoria az

The history of Peoria AZ is a tale of humble beginnings. Despite its modest start, the now thriving metropolis is often called one of the top 100 places to live in the United States. From initially being a town of dozens to becoming the home of the best garage door repair Peoria AZ company, this desert oasis has come a long way.

The Early Days of Peoria

history of peoria az

The story of Peoria begins in the late 1880s. It was then than Arizona Canal worker William John Murphy began recruiting settlers to start a new community in the state. Many of those who made the trek came from Peoria, Illinois, thus establishing the name Peoria for the new settlement in May 1897. The lone major transportation route connecting Phoenix to near present-day Wickenburg was an old desert road until 1887. That was until the formation of Grand Avenue, which angled through Peoria, Alhambra and Glendale.

Peoria was granted its first post office in August of 1888. It served a population of 27. The town would later get its first school building in 1891. Until that time, students took classes at an unoccupied brick store.

Continued Growth of Peoria


Peoria continued its growth as it entered the 20th century. The Peoria Chamber of Commerce formed around 1919. It served as the town’s informal government until incorporation in 1954. The year 1920 saw the formation of the Peoria volunteer fire district, and the completion of the O.O. Fuel’s Paramount Theatre, the Mable Hood Building and the John L. Meyer building. The town’s first library was also held at the women’s club the same year.

The population increased to nearly 2,000 by the mid-1950s. This was due to several factors, including the mass-production of air conditioning and the presence of Luke Air Force Base. The population rose exponentially over the ensuing decades. Nearly 5,000 called Peoria home in 1970. The number jumped to over 12,000 in 1980 before rising to over 50,000 in 1990. The town’s police department opened with 1989, with the main courts and city hall to follow in 1991.

Present Day Peoria

history of peoria azPeoria is one of the fastest-growing cities in Arizona. Here are some fast facts about Peoria today:

  • The total population is over 170,000
  • The average age of residents is 39 years old
  • 52% of the population is married
  • The average size of the household is 3
  • The median family income is just under $76,000
  • The median gross rent is $1,104
  • The median house value is $189,700
  • The average commute time is 27 minutes

There’s also no shortage of things to do in Peoria today. Baseball fans can take in a game at Peoria Sports Complex. The facility serves as the spring training home of both the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners. The whole family can get plenty of fresh air at either the New River Trail or the Rio Vista Recreation Center. Those looking to get away from the blistering summer temperatures can do so at the Polar Ice Den. And if you’re seeking a more cultured experience, you can take in a world-class show at Arizona Broadway Theatre.