Images of America: Mexicans in Tempe


Santos C. Vega, Ph.D. discusses the influences and impact Mexican pioneers and settlers have made in Tempe and the surrounding area.  From their arrival in the early 1800s in the San Pablo area (now the major portion of ASU’s main campus), to this day, Dr. Vega speaks of the vital importance the Mexican settlers had on the  area’s economic development via ranching, agriculture, private industries, and in the defense of our national security.

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Many Mexican pioneers settled in San Pablo, just south of Tempe Butte in the early 1800s.  By the 1870s, the “Tempenenos” were vital to Tempe’s economic growth, assisting in the construction of the C.H. Kirkland and McKinney Canal, Hayden’s Flour Mill, and agriculture with the advent of Fort McDowell.

The agricultural fields cultivated by these Mexican settlers of San Pablo now make up the majority of Arizona State University’s main campus.  Much of this property was obtained by eminent domain, with its inhabitants dispersed throughout Maricopa County.

Dr. Santos Vega discusses how the Mexican popluation of the area contributed to the economic development of Arizona ranching, agriculture, private industries, the public sector, and served in the defense of the United States during times of war.

Published by Arcadia Publishing