Mesa is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.S. state of Arizona, and is a suburb located about 20 miles (32 km) east of Phoenix. The city is home to 439,041 people as of 2010 according to the Census Bureau.
The history of Mesa dates back at least 2,000 years to the arrival of the Hohokam people. After the disappearance of the Hohokam and before the arrival of the early settlers little is known, as explorers did not venture into this area. By the late 19th century near present-day Mesa, U.S. Army troops subdued the Apache opening the way for settlement.Mormon pioneer Daniel Webster Jones led an expedition to found a Mormon settlement in Arizona. This settlement was initially known as Jonesville and Fort Utah and did not receive the name of Lehi until 1883, when it was adopted on the suggestion of Brigham Young, Jr.At the same time, another group dubbed the First Mesa Company arrived from Utah and Idaho. Their leaders were named Francis Martin Pomeroy, Charles Crismon, George Warren Sirrine and Charles I. Robson. Rather than accepting an invitation to settle at Jones' Lehi settlement, they moved to the top of the mesa that serves as the city's namesake. They dug irrigation canals, some of which were over the original Hohokam canals, and by April 1878, water was flowing through them.The Second Mesa Company arrived in 1879 and settled to the west of where the First Mesa Company settled in 1880, due to lack of available farmland. This settlement was called Stringtown.On July 17, 1878, Mesa City was registered as a 1-square-mile (2.6 km2) townsite. The first school was built in 1879. In 1883, Mesa City was incorporated with a population of 300 people. Dr. A. J. Chandler, who would later go on to found the city of Chandler, worked on widening the Mesa Canal in 1895 to allow for enough flow to build a power plant.