History

historyHistory of Gilbert

Gilbert is a young, affluent community in central Arizona. Incorporated on July 6, 1920, Gilbert is a relatively new community that has seen tremendous growth during the past two decades. The 2009 Gilbert Community Profile provides a broad overview of this growing town and metropolitan area, including demo-graphics, business resources, and community resources. It is an excellent reference for businesses and residents alike.
Historical photos from the Gilbert Historical Society

The Hay Capital of the World
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In 1902, the Arizona Eastern Railway asked for donations of right of way in order to establish a rail line between Phoenix and Florence. A rail siding was established on property owned by William "Bobby" Gilbert. The siding, and the town that sprung up around it, eventually became known as Gilbert. Gilbert was a prime farming community, fueled by the construction of the Roosevelt Dam and the Eastern and Consolidated Canals in 1911. It remained an agriculture town for many years, and was known as the "Hay Capital of the World" until the late 1920s. Gilbert began to take its current shape during the 1970s when the Town Council approved a strip annexation that encompassed 53 square miles of county land. Although the population was only 1,971 in 1970 the Council realized that Gilbert would eventually grow and develop much like the neighboring communities of Tempe, Mesa, and Chandler. This proved to be a farsighted decision as Gilbert positioned itself for growth in the 1980s and beyond.

 

Past Gilbert Mayors

Gilbert Mayors have listened to residents since the Town was incorporated on July 6, 1920. Our Mayors have fought for this Town and have led its celebrations. Together, through an intertwining process consisting of hard work and heart, our Mayors have triumphed in creating a Community of Excellence. As we celebrate 90 years of Gilbert history, we thank them for their hard work and guidance as we look ahead to a future that is brighter than ever.

 

Everett R. Wilbur, 1920 - July 16 | 1921 - August 2 
E.R. Stoner, 1921 - August 6 | 1921 - November 1
R.W. Merrell, 1921 - November 7 | 1923 - June 4 
Claude J. Cullumber, 1923 - June 22 | 1925 - June 1 
R.R. Creed, 1925 - June 18 | 1927 - June 7 
Walter W. Page, 1927 - June 7 | 1937 - June 7 
Ward C. Burk, 1937 -June 10 | 1939 - June 5 
Wayne McFrederick, 1939 - July 10 | 1943 - June 7
Ward C. Burk, 1943 - July 5 | 1945 - June 4 
M.S. Vaughn, 1945 - June 12 | 1947 - June 9 
R.D. Hearne, 1947 - June 25 | 1949 - January 3 
Roy Fuller, 1949 - February 7 | 1949 - June 6 
Tom Clement, 1949 - July 11 | 1955 - June 13 
George Russell, 1955 - June 16 | 1956 - January 9 
Kenyon Udall, 1956 - January 17 | 1959 - June 8 
Morris Cooper, 1959 - July 1 | 1967 - June 12 
John Moore, 1967 - July 5 | 1967 - September 11 
Jack Smith, 1967 - October 9 | 1969 - June 9 
Vernon Gist, 1969 - July 1 | 1971 - June 14 
Dale Hallock, 1971 - July 1 | 1976 - June 14
David Thompson, 1976 - July 21 | 1978 - August 11 
Ed Lane, 1978 - August 22 | 1981 - May 29 
L.J. Reed, 1981 - June 2 | 1987 - June 2 
James Farley, 1987 - June 9 | 1989 - June 6 
Steven Berman, 1989 - June 13 | 1991 - June 4 
Jo Albright, 1991 - June 4 | 1992 - April 28 
Wilburn Brown, 1992 - May 26 | 1992 - December 4 
Wilburn Brown, 1993 - March 16 | 1997 - June 10 
Cynthia Dunham, 1997 - June 10 | 2001 - June 12 
Steven Berman, 2001 - June 12 | 2009 - June 15