HISTORY OF THE MIAMI ARIZONA AREA
By the time of the establishment of the first silver mining claims in the Globe area in the 1870s it was common knowledge that there were also huge deposits of copper in the region. After silver mining decreased in the latter years of the nineteenth century, the area west and north of what is now Miami began to see many successful copper mines placed into operation. No need was felt at first for the establishment of another town, but by the first decade of the twentieth century two very successful mining companies (Inspiration Copper Company and Miami Copper Company) began to develop large operations. Of course, many businessmen felt that miners and their families would prefer living closer to the actual mines, rather than having to travel over bad roads every day. Soon, one businessman in particular began to promote the idea of establishing a new town: Cleve W. Van Dyke. He expected to make a considerable fortune from the idea, but he was also convinced that a new town would be a true blessing to the many miners pouring into the region.
By 1907 Van Dyke's idea of a new town was enthusiastically embraced by many others. Some businessmen in Globe were fearful of the idea of a neighboring town siphoning off profits, but most were in favor. Van Dyke then decided to promote his idea of a "planned community" throughout the U.S. He placed articles in many papers and tried his best to drum up enthusiasm. He also decided on a particular date that would be the actual beginnings of the town. He decided on 11 October 1909 as "Miami Townsite Day" and organized several events by which to celebrate it. Other real estate companies in Globe also enthusiastically supported the townsite date. On that day there was to be a "land rush," in which prospective land owners could claim lots upon which to build homes. Most of the land was already owned by Van Dyke and the other real estate men of Globe, but they were willing to sell the land for reasonable prices.
Thus the town of Miami was born. Three months after "townsite day" there was a population of 2000. There were also grocery stores, meat markets, general stores, a bakery, dairies, hotels, eating places, and a barber shop. There were also the ubiquitous saloons of mining camps nine of them.
Van Dyke realized comfortable profits from his venture, but he later fell upon hard times and suffered many reverses. Much of his failures were brought about by his willingness to help struggling friends and neighbors. Although he had dreamed of becoming a very rich man, he never quite achieved that status. Nevertheless, he was well thought of by most people in the area, and his legacy of a new town in the Pinal Mountain region--Miami--remains today. Since the time of its founding Miami has gone through the same vicissitudes as Globe. The two communities have had a friendly rivalry that has made life more interesting for both. After the mines close to Globe closed in the 1930s the mining operations in Miami have supported the real growth in this area. It is primarily because of the Miami mines that Globe is able to even exist today.
Most of this material came from the following excellent booklet:
Sain, Wilma Gray. Miami: A History of the Miami Area, Arizona. Globe: Gila County Historical Society, [c. 1990].
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