Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 27 >> Tropical Forests to Twelfth Century >> Tucson


city, arizona, miles, pima and wage-earners

TUCSON (frofn the pima °black or dark base,* in allusion to a stratum in a mountain to the westward), Ariz., city, county-seat of Pima County, on the Santa Cruz River and the Southern Pacific, the El Paso and Southwestern, and other railroads, about 120 miles southeast of Phinnix and 150 miles from the Gulf of California, lat. 32° 14'; long. 110° 54'. Tucson is the largest city in the State of Arizona, and is a mining, agri cultural and stock-raising region, and also gains great importance as a resort for those afflicted with pulmonary ailments. Its altitude is 2,390 feet, and owing to the dryness of the climate (the precipitation averaging less than 11 inches per annum) the summer heat is not oppressive, although the temperature frequently rises above while the climate in winter is delightful. The modern part of the city is well-built and paved and has numerous attractive residences, church edifices, public buildings, hotels and business houses; but the older part of the city bears the appearance of a typical adobe Mexican town of the 17th century The chief industrial establishments are the shops of the Southern Pacific Railroad, but there are also flour mills, a fibre factory, ice factory, foundry, brick and tile plant, and lumber and stock yards. The Chamber of Commerce enumerates 35 establish ments, employing 1,200 wage-earners and 125 salaried employees, and having invested a capi tal of $2,500,000. Wage-earners receive $1,279 000, and office employees $187,500. It has six excellent banks and two good daily newspapers. It is the seat of a Roman Catholic arch bishopric, with a cathedral, and also of the University of Arizona (q.v.) ; it has a good public school system, several sectarian schools, a Presbyterian boarding school for Indians, and a library housed in a building erected by Andrew Carnegie at a cost of $25,000. Tucson

contains a number of churches of various de nominations, a Roman Catholic hospital and numerous tuberculosis sanatoria. A Desert Botanical Laboratory has recently been estab lished in the vicinity under the auspices of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

When first known to history Tucson was a rancheria of mixed Papago, Pima and Sobai puri Indians the missionary at San Xavier del Bin, nine miles down the Rio Santa Cruz, be ginning to visit it for the purpose of converting the natives in 1763. In 1776 the Spanish pre sidio at Tubac was removed to Tucson, when it became known as the Presidio de San Augus tin del Tuguison. In the early days the sur rounding country was overrun and its inhabit ants harassed by the Apaches. In September 1848 its population was 760; before the close of the year it was considerably augmented by refugees ftom Tubac and Tucumcari, who had been driven out by the Apaches, but by 1852 the number of inhabitants had dwindled to 300 or 400. Being the limits of Gadsden Purchase (q.v.), Tucson was garrisoned in 1856 by the First dragoons, and on August 29 of that year a convention was held to take measures for a territorial organization of Arizona. From February to May 1862, the city was occupied by Confederate troops, in 1867 the capital was changed from Prescott to Tuc son, where it remained until 1877, when it was transferred back to Prescott. (See ARIZONA). The city was incorporated in 1877 and rein corporated in 1883, and adopted a new form of government with a manager in 1915. Pop. 27,553.