The Swilling Legacy

Author(s): Earl Zarbin

Year: 1978


Each year thousands of people come to the Salt River Valley, some to visit and some to live. They see a thriving, growing community. But like many who have spent most, or all, of their lives there, they don't know much about the Valley's origins or how it developed.

The men and women who built the Valley were like today's people. They were trying to improve their own condition. In doing that, they contributed to the well-being of one another. Jack Swilling was one of them.

Swilling organized the first modern irrigating canal company more than a century ago. Water was then, and is today, the essential element around which everything in the Valley is built. Yet, many important decisions about water remain to be made today and will need to be made in the future. Knowing something about how we got where we are today may contribute to making the right decisions tomorrow.

Earl Zarbin's interest in the water history of the Salt River Valley and his research into the subject led to the articles in this booklet. They were first published in The Arizona Republic, where he worked for 30 years before early retirement at the end of 1988.

Cite this Record

The Swilling Legacy. Earl Zarbin. Tempe, AZ: Salt River Project with permission of Phoenix Newspapers, Inc., The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix Gazette. 1978 ( tDAR id: 402839) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8402839

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


African American Apache Chileno Euroamerican Historic Historic Native American Maricopa Mexican Mimbres Pima Yavapai

Investigation Types
Historic Background Research

A. Angles Aaron Barnett Abraham H. Peeples Ammi M. White Andrew Kirby Andrew Starar Arizona Guard Arizona History Arizona Miner B. W. Hardy Basin Mine Berry Swilling California Column Capt. Joseph R. Walker Capt. Sherod Hunter Capt. William McCleave Cavalry Charles C. Clusker Charles E. Gate Charles E. McClintock Charles Trumbull Hayden Col. Jacob Snively Col. James H. Carleton Col. L. G. Taylor Confederate Soldier Crime History Curtain-Chase Mill Daniel C. Thorne Darrell Duppa Farmer Frank M. Chapman Frank Morehouse Fred Henry G. W. Wilson Gambling House Gavilan Gen. Scott George Monroe George W. Swilling Georgia Swilling Gila Rangers Gov. A. P. K. Safford Grant's Flour Mill Hardy Irrigating Canal Co. Hayden Milling and Farming Ditch Co. Henry Wickenburg Informative Ira Buffum J. Y. T. Smith Jack Swilling Jacob Starar James McCullen James Smith John Lassen John Smith John T. Alsap John Y. T. Smith Joseph H. Davis Justice of the Peace King S. Woolsey Louis J. F. Jaeger Ludvic Vandermark Mail Rider Maj. J. W. Evans Mangas Coloradas Margaret Swilling Mariana Maricopa Canal Company Maricopa County Democratic Convention Massacre Matilda Swilling Miller Ditch Mill Manager Mill Owner Miner Musician Overland Mail Company Phoenix Daily Herald Phoenix Ditch Co. Pioneer Planters Irrigation Co. Postmaster Printer Private Prospector Pueblo Viejo Ditch Co. Richard C. McCormick Rio Abajo Press Robbery Robert W. Groom Salt River Herald Samuel J. Hensley, Jr. Sheriff George A. Mowry Soldier Swilling Ditch Swilling Irrigation and Canal Company Swilling Mine T. M. Bronson Teamster Tempe Irrigating Canal Co. Thomas Barnum Thomas McGoldrick Tip Top Mine Town Ditch Trinidad Escalante Trinidad Swilling U. S. Army Union Soldier Vulture Mine Walker Party Wells, Fargo & Co. William B. Hellings William F. Scott William Kilgore William Linchan Show More

Geographic Keywords
Agua Fria River Alabama (State / Territory) Arizona (State / Territory) Arkansas (State / Territory) Black Canyon Black Canyon Creek Bloody Tanks Bradshaw Mountains Camp Goodwin Camp Verde Chiricahua Mountains Colorado River East Phoenix El Picacho Fort Belknap, TX Fort McDowell Fort Whipple Georgia (State / Territory) Gila (County) Gila City Gila River Gillett, AZ Hassayampa River Humbug District Lehi Lynx Creek Maricopa (County) Maryville, AZ Mesa, AZ Mesilla, New Mexico Territory Mexico Miami, AZ Mill City Mobile, AL Montezuma Canal New Mexico (State / Territory) New Mexico Territory New River Phoenix, AZ Phoenix Precinct Phoenix Settlement Pima (County) Pinal (County) Pinos Altos, New Mexico Territory Pioneer Mining District Prescott, AZ Rich Hill Rio Grande Salt Canal Salt River Salt River Valley Salt River Valley Canal San Francisco River Santa Cruz River South Carolina (State / Territory) Sun City, AZ Tempe, AZ Tempe Canal Territory of Arizona Texas (State / Territory) Tip Top, AZ Tucson, AZ Verde River Weaver Creek Wheatfields White Mountains White Picacho Wickenburg, AZ Yavapai (County) Yuma, AZ Show More

Temporal Keywords
1830s 1840s 1850s 1860s 1870s 19th Century Civil War Historic Mexican-American War

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1830 to 1878 (Years of life of Jack Swilling.)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.195; min lat: 31.279 ; max long: -105.535; max lat: 35.125 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Salt River Project Cultural Resource Manager

Contributor(s): Kearney Egerton; Arizona Historical Foundation Charles Trumbull Hayden University Library

File Information

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