If you are new to Arizona Place Names you may want to take a moment to read the About Page to get an idea of what this blog is about and what I am trying to accomplish. Thanks, Peggy



"This name is taken from an Indian pueblo at the'little spring' from Ari-small and son-a spring or fountain."  Taylor.

"An Aztec word, Arizuma, signifying 'silver bearing.' " Sylvester Mowry.

"Meaning 'Arid zone or desert.' " Gannett.

"At a point 85 miles southwest of Tucson, is a place in Sonora called Banera, some 8 miles west of Sasabe.  Three hundred years ago many Indians lived on a creek here now called Sucalito, but the Indians call it 'Aleh-zone' meaning 'young spring.' " McFarland.

In 1854 New Mexico memorialized Congress for the creation of the Territory of Arizona.  These names were suggested: Pimeria, Gadsonia, and Arizona.  The latter was adopted as the most euphonious.  Arizona then was part of New Mexico in Dona Ana county.  This bill died but was re-introduced in Congress in 1859.  Reported out in December, 1860, as an "Act to organize the Territory of Augumo" (sic)  No reason given for the change in name." Farish.

McClintock says: "There is no doubt that Arizona was named after some springs near Banera 8 miles south of the border and about 85 miles below Tucson.  These springs are called 'Aleh-zon' by the Papago, meaning 'small spring.'  They also apply the name to a small nearby mountain and a ranch.

This origin is now accepted by all modern historians.  The word Arizona seems to have first been used in printed or written form by Padre Ortega, sometime prior to 1754.  He speaks of " 'The Real of Arizona,' meaning the country or province by that name."

Lieut. Hardy, English Navy, used the word in a book he published in 1827. He spoke therein of "the Arizona Mine."  Bancroft says: "Anza used this name as early as 1774 when he speaks of a 'Mission of Arizona.' " In 1829 Ward published a book in London on Mexico in which he spoke of a place called "Arizona."

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