Tag Archives: phoenix

Wharton Ready to Begin. (1892)

Mr. H. L. Wharton returned yesterday from a two month’s trip to the east in connection with the construction of the electric street railway for which a franchise was granted him and others last March.

The arrangements for its construction have been completed and Chicago capitalists have deposited in Phoenix banks to Mr. Wharton’s credit $25,000 as an earnest of their intention to go on with the work.

The six months limit named in the ordinance granting the franchise will not expire until September 7 and long before that the working laying the tracks will have begun.

— The Arizona Republican, 1892-08-10, p. 1

The Future of Phoenix (1893)

There can no longer be any doubt as to the future development of the city of Phoenix. That question is as firmly settled as it will be five years hence when blocks seven and eight stories high pierce the azure blue of the balmy sky.

Within the last sixty days a quarter of a million dollars worth of city real estate has changed hands at advanced figures. The town is full of conservative businessmen eager to invest in real estate and embark in business pursuits. Within the last six months at least a million dollars of capital has found its way into Phoenix, and the representatives of not less than a million more are now on the ground ready to bring their money here at once.

A number of the most prominent business corners, not only on Washingto but on Adams street, have been sold within a few weeks and not less than $300,000 worth of buildings are now in course of erection or ready to begin immediately. And yet there is no boom. This is a steady, quiet growth, the result of a healthy demand for every building now being erected.

Phoenix is the natural supply point for the entire southwest, and the railroads are not slow in discovering this fact. The Santa Fe will be in Phoenix during the present year, the Southern Pacific will come and the Rock Island and Denver & Rio Grande are both headed this way.

Two electric lines of street railway are being constructed, stone sidewalks are being laid on the principal streets, and all of the advantages of a metropolitian city will soon be enjoyed.

It is predicted by people acquainted with the history and growth of Denver and Los Angeles that in five years Phoenix will be larger than either. And why not? We have more advantages than both of those cities combined.

Without question now is the time to invest in Phoenix,. The city is attracting the attention of the whole country, and during the year thousands of people and millions of dollars will come into Phoenix, the peerless princess of the great Salt River valley.

— The Arizona Republican, 1893-01-18, p.4

Phoenix Voters Approve Bond Election

May 7, 1927 — Electric Railway Journal

PHOENIX — The proposed $750,000 bond issue for the complete rehabilitation of the Phoenix Street Railway, Phoenix, Ariz., was carried at the special election on April 30 by a 95 majority vote. An ordinance calling for the special election and approved by the City Commission calls for the purchase of new cars, rails, ties and other necessities for bringing the present municipal railway up to date. It means the rehabilitation of the entire system. Under the plan the system will be operated for a period of five years before the sinking fund provided to amortize the payment of the principal of the bonds begins to function.

The city of Phoenix acquired the properties of the railway by purchase on June 4, 1925, for $20,000 and assumed direct operation on Nov. 1, 1925.

$18,000 Surplus in Phoenix

Financial and Corporate

December 11, 1926 — Electric Railway Journal

Surplus of approximately $18,000 is the result of operation of the Phoenix Street Railway, Phoenix, Ariz., under municipal operations for one year ended Nov. 1., This fact was disclosed in a report submitted to the City Commission recently by City Manager Henry Rieger. In his report he recommends the rehabilitation of the line.

The report shows total receipts during the year at $160,896 and total disbursements, including expenses and other costs, $143,056. If the lines had been rehabilited and up-to-date rolling stock secured it would have been possible to cut maintenance charges to $26,666. Added to the cash on hand, it would have made $44,506 cash on hand, and with a 7-cent fare the surplus for the year would have reached $75,000 under proper operating conditions, according to General Manager Rieger.  He recommends complete rehabilitation “as a decidedly good paying investment for the city and for the citizens of the city at large.” He stresses the need for new, up-to-date, light one-man cars, which would net a savings of at least 25 percent on power bills and possibly give a six-minute headway service.

Another factor in lowering the surplus for the past year has been the change in status of the employees. When all employees were placed on an eight-hour basis, it was done without any loss in salary to the employees. Where men were working eight, ten and twelve hours a day, the eight-hour rate was computed so as to give them an amount of salary equal to what they had been drawing under the longer day plan. The placing fo the men on the eight-hour basis necessitated the employing of additional help, which raised the payroll about 20 per cent over previous years.

The city of Phoenix acquired the properties of the street railway by purchase on June 4, 1925, for $20,000 and assumed direction operation and control on Nov. 1, 1925. Various circumstances leading up to the city’s taking over the lines were reviewed in the Electric Railway Journal from time to time.

Phoenix’s City Manager on the Grill

Charges of Incompetence Brought Before Commissioners Results in Call for Hearing on the Matter

The Phoenix city charter commissioners met today and adopted a resolution as is provided in the city charter when a movement is on foot to remove the city manager, fixing February 11th as a day on which the city manager in this case Ad Farish may appear and answer to charges which have been filed…

…Of the specific charges which the commission will demand that he answer, one is his failure to require from the White Line Street Railway company a bond that they would leave in good condition the streets over which they had been given a franchise to build their right of way. The White Line Company failed financially and as a result a great many city blocks which had been dug up preparatory to laying track were left in such condition that the cost to the city in fixing them was a good many hundred dollars…

Bisbee daily review, 1915-01-26, p. 3

Trolley Line of 32 Miles

Suburban Cars Will Connect Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, and Glendale.

Work Being Pushed Phoenix, April 20. “All aboard for Scottsdale, Ingleside, Tempe, and Mesa.”

Ground was broken this morning at the corner of First and Madison streets for the construction of the “White Line,” officially known as the “Salt River Valley Electric railroad.”

By nightfall Contractor Lewis had the street torn up as far as Third street, and in a couple of days he will be at Seventh street. This is the first actual manifestation the people of Phoenix have had of the actual construction of the line, and the work of grading was watched throughout the day by interested crowds.

It is announced by Secretary Lewis that the company has in its possession, in addition to franchises through the streets of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa, private rights of way for thirty-two of thirty-five miles to be traversed by the new line.

Contracts have been closed, Lewis says, for a large quantity of ties, and the work will be pushed forward rapidly. No serious engineering difficulties are to be encountered until the Salt River, at Tempe, is reached. Here a costly bridge must be built.

— The Bisbee daily review, 1912-04-21, p. 7

Espee Planning to Get Trolley System

Yesterday’s Phoenix Democrat contains the following:

Late this afternoon it was learned that the Southern Pacific railroad has purchased from General Moses H. Sherman, of Los Angeles, the entire holdings of the Phoenix City Railroad company.

The belief is entertained in inner circles that the purpose of the Southern Pacific is to give Phoenix a first-class trolley system like that which was begun in Los Angeles by H. E. Huntington twenty years ago, and which was lately taken over by the Espee.

The move of Southern Pacific is also regarded as a recogniztion of the future tremendous possibilites of Phoenix, not only as a great distributing center of the Southwest, but as a rival transcontinental winter resort to Los Angeles.

The movement is deeply significant, following so closely as it does the announcement of the Rock Island to push its road immediately to Tucson and then in all probability to Phoenix.

The holdings of the company include franchises for a hundred miles of lines in and adjacent to Phoenix.

— The Bisbee daily review, 1911-08-04, p. 4

East Valley Interurban Proposed

Ready for Franchise

Company Will Build Interurban Car Line. To Incorporate Today.

Valley Towns Will Have Hourly Service. — Phoenix the Center of the System. Franchise Asked From City Council.

Local capitalists are reported to be embarking upon one of the greatest and most important financial adventures ever undertaken in the valley. It was learned yesterday that a body of responsible business men of this city propose to incorporate a company which will build and operate an interurban electric railway between Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, Ingleside1, and Scottsdale.

Application will be made to the city today for a franchise authorizing the company to lay tracks through the streets of Phoenix…

The new line, as at present planned will be divided into two long arms, which will come together at Chicago Avenue2, near Desert Inn3. From this junction point a single line will be run through Phoenix to the Capitol, running from Chicago Avenue west on Roosevelt to Fourth Street, south on Fourteenth to Van Buren and west on Van Buren to the capitol.

One arm of the project will end in Mesa, running from that point through Tempe, past the Hole-in-the Rock4, and onto Chicago Avenue. The other arm, will be constructed from the junction to Scottsdale [via] Ingleside…

From the Arizona Republican, July 26, 1911.

The Salt River Valley Electric Railway Company incorporated on that date, and is listed in the 1912 through 1914 Phoenix City Directory, but not in the 1915 or later editions. The Company lists as its officers president C. C. Lewis, secretary A. B. Baker, treasurer Jason M Sweatman; and the address Fleming Building, #315-316.  (The Fleming Building was at the northwest corner of Washington Street and 1st Avenue.)

Source: Jim McAllister’s Arizona Central (Arizona Republic) blog

Further Progress on Inter-Urban Line

Articles of Incorporation Filed

…The aims and progress of the company were described last night by Mr. [F. M.] Winter, the principal promoter, who said that the work of construction is expected to be begun early in September…

As has bene stated it is the purpose to ask the council for a franchise along Van Buren Street, whence the road will run to Hole-in-the-Rock, at which point it will branch, one line running to Scottsdale via Ingleside, and the other to Tempe, Mesa, and south to Chandler.

Westward the road will run to Alhambra, Glendale and Peoria. A thorough canvass has been made of the territory proposed and everywhere the most earnest support has been encountered…

It is proposed to levy assessments on the acreage and practically every property owner along the proposed route has been interviewed. Mr. Winter said that in no case had a refusal been encountered. The company has offered to give stock for the amount of the assessments so that the line will be essentially a people’s line.

It is proposed to handle beside passenger traffic, freight, express and mail… It will be a rapid transit line equipped with the latest models of cars used for interurban traffic.

The profits have been figured by Mr. Winter who has had extensive experience in such matters and he believes that a divident of twenty-five per cent on the stock will be realized…

Though in the present plans of the company the matter has not yet figured, Mr. Winter said that in all probability there would be an extension of the road into the Buckeye country, as petitions covering a large stretch in that direction have been received…

— Arizona Republican, 27 July 1911, page 6.


  1. Ingleside, Arizona was located in what is today a neighborhood of Scottsdale, around the site of the Ingleside Inn, which was at what is now 61st Street and Indian School Road.  Here is a history of the Inn.
  2. Chicago Avenue was renamed 44th Street in 1956.
  3. Desert Inn was a sanatorium located at “Clayson’s Ranch” according to the 1909 Phoenix City Directory.
  4. Hole-In-The-Rock is located in today’s Papago Park on McDowell Road west of 68th Street.


Plans for Gridironing Valley with Electric Lines to Mesa, Tempe and Scottsdale

Arizona [Phoenix] Gazette, 26 July 1911, Page 1.

The launching of a stupendous transportation project was signalized today by the filing of the articles of incorporation of the Salt River Valley Electric [Railway] Company, which contemplates the building and operation fo sixty miles of rapid transit electric lines, connecting Phoenix with Glendale, Scottsdale, Peoria, Ingleside, Mesa, Tempe, and Chandler. A superintendent of construction has already been hired, and according to the confident assertions of the promoters, actual work will be commenced within thirty days. The initial work will be on the Scottsdale and Ingleside branch.

This ambitious project, which it is claimed will immensely stimulate land values and give Phoenix a population of 125,000 within ten years, was born only two months ago. The incorporators are F. W. Winter, rancher; Jacob Kleck, rancher; W. S. Furman, attorney; Dr. J. m. Swetnam, physician and banker; and C. C. Lewis, rancher.

The company is capitalized at $600,000, divided into 6000 shares of $100 each. The articles of incorporation provide that the incorporators shall act as the board of directors until the first annual meeting, July 26, 1912.

The promoters say this will be a people’s line. For every dollar contributed an equal amount of stock will be issued, and no bonuses of any sort will be asked. The promoters are going ahead with their project in a manner that indicates their absolute faith in the outcome and their further faith that a line of the sort contemplated will be a paying proposition from the beginning.

Plans for the proposed route have been prepared, but these are subject to change, as the existing plans of a more or less tentative nature. However, it is proposed to connect the towns and villages named, and it is further proposed to take in every scenic spot possible in running the lines.

To this end one of the lines will pass by Camelback and the Tempe line will proceed directly east on Roosevelt Street, past Hole in the Rock [later Papago Park] and across the river not far from Tempe. The river will be crossed on the company’s own bridge.

The equipment will be of the most modern kind and the road in both its construction and operation will be up to date in every particular.  As an illustration of the expected early consummation of the company’s plans, it may be mentioned that J. C. Harwood, who built the Glendale line and who is a railroad builder of long experience, has been chosen superintendent of construction and purchasing agent. There is every reason to believe that Mr. Harwood will be an extremely busy man during the next several months.

One feature emphasized by the promoters is that the new line is to be a strictly home institution. As it is expected that the money necessary to construct and operate the line will be furnished largely by the people of the Salt River valley, so it is intended that all this money, or at least as much as is possible, shall be kept here. All the officers live either in Phoenix or in this vicinity and no outside aid will be asked.

“Every man who subscribes a dollar to the fund required for building this road will subscribe to one of the greatest transportation projects that was ever conceived in this valley,” Mr. Winter, one of the promoters, said today. “We are not asking bonuses. We are merely asking the people of this valley to support a proposition that will immensely increase the value of their property and which will, as nothing else could, aid in building up the city of Phoenix. Everyone knows that one of the crying needs of this valley is more adequate transportation facilities, and that is what we propose supplying. We feel certain the lines will be a success because we know there is a real demand for such an improvement. Each contributor will be a stockholder and will participate in the profits, whatever they may be.”

The promoters are confident they will have absolutely no trouble in securing the necessary franchises, nor in floating the requisite amount of stock.  As stated above, they say actual construction work will be begun within thirty days.

The sale of the stock will begin at once and a ready response is anticipated. And if the enthusiasm of the incorporators is as valuable as enthusiasm is generally supposed to be, there should no be difficulty whatever in financing the project. Furthermore, if the company makes good its claim as to the upbuilding of Phoenix it will have accomplished a task that can be fitly classed with the marvelous.