In 1880, what is now Glendale was just an empty desert. However, in 1882, William J. Murphy, M.W. Kales, William A. Hancock and Clark Churchill started the Arizona Canal Co. project, which would bring water to the desert land. Murphy and his team completed the canal in May 1885. By the late 1880s, homesteaders began to settle around the new canal. In the mid 1890s, Glendale became the pathway for a major line of the Santa Fe Railroad, linking the Valley to Prescott and to northern Arizona. The railroad allowed Glendale settlers to transport goods to the north and receive badly needed building materials.
Victor E. Messinger, one of the first graduates of Stanford University, came to Glendale in 1895 and helped found the town’s first library with 400 books from his own collection. The first library was soon built on what is now Murphy Park.
Over the years, Glendale grew to become one of the most culturally diverse cities in the Valley. The city owes much of its heritage to early Hispanic settlers as well as Japanese and Russians who moved to Glendale from California. The first Glendale News was published in 1912, the day after Arizona became a state.
World War II brought the building of Thunderbird Field to train civilian pilots for the Army. Luke Field (now Luke Air Force Base) was named after the first pilot to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor, Lt. Frank Luke Jr.
Glendale today is the sports destination for all of Arizona, as Jobing.com Arena and NHL Coyotes continue to attract fans to the western areas of the city.