Town Snapshot: Parker - The Western Gateway of Arizona
In March 1908, the U.S. Congress granted a railroad right of way to the Arizona and California Railway Company and ceded additional land for railroad station grounds and terminal facilities in the location now known as Parker, Arizona. Within less than two months, on April 30, 1908, the U.S. Congress authorized the town site of Parker to be reserved and set apart. The Secretary of the Interior issued the Order dated June 10, 1908, establishing the town site of Parker. The original town site of Parker was surveyed between January 7 and March 31, 1909, by Capt. William Strover, Examiner of Surveys under the instructions from the Hon. Commissioner Fred Dennett, of the General Land Office (GLO), dated December 12, 1908.
The boundaries of the town site are located within the interior of the Colorado River Indian Reservation and as such, the town of Parker strives to maintain a good neighbor relationship with the Colorado River Indian Tribes. The town of Parker has always maintained a strong sense of community which is demonstrated by the services of the all volunteer Parker Fire Department established in 1944, the many civic organizations, churches, and schools which contribute to the town of Parker's overall quality of life. The federal government initially intended the town site to create housing for employees of the Arizona & California Railroad Company.
On June 7, 1948, with the approval of the Yuma County Board of Supervisors, the town site of Parker incorporated, becoming the town of Parker. Recognizing there was no room for expansion in the town of Parker, the U.S. Department of the Interior proposed a twenty-one section town site area at a site four miles east of the original town site when the department issued The Lower Colorado River Land Use Plan in January 1964. In 1980, Parker annexed 13,000 acres of non-contiguous land twenty miles to the southeast forming Parker Annex.
The elected officials of the town of Parker, many of them small business owners or managers, recognize the importance of small to medium size business and actively encourage and solicit new business to locate in our area. The business climate in the town of Parker and La Paz County, of which Parker is the county seat, is geared toward services and agriculture, with manufacturing/industry beginning to emerge.
The service and retail business sectors are the major contributors to the financial soundness of this area through recreation and tourism. Agriculture follows closely with hay, cotton, melons and lettuce being the main crops.
Water sports, fishing, hunting, rock hounding, golf and off-road activities bring many visitors into the area. Our mild winters entice many out-of-state visitors, whom the locals call "snowbirds," return each year for a four or six month stay. Many rent homes or stay in one of the excellent R.V. parks in the area.
The Arizona & California Railroad, a regional railway, acquired 240 track miles of railroad from Santa Fe Railway and has elected to make Parker their headquarters. Their land holdings include an industrial park.
Parker, located in the southwestern portion of Arizona, on the Colorado River, a part of Arizona's West Coast, is an ideal area for companies in the water sports and desert sports fields to locate. It remains a place of opportunity and growth in the state and is truly something wonderful in the desert.
Visit www.ci.parker.az.us for more information.
League of Arizona Cities and Towns
1820 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007