Just Add Water
Development in what would become Buckeye Valley received its first great boost with the construction of the Buckeye Canal. In May 1885, Malie M. Jackson and his partners J.L. Spain and Henry Mitchell laid out the canal, which was named Buckeye in honor of Jackson’s native state of Ohio. Later that year, M.E. Clanton, TN’s brother, and others organized the Buckeye Canal Company and paid Jackson and his partners $300. TN built the first 5 miles of the canal, which was completed in 1886.
How Buckeye Got its Name
After first living in Big Bug and Phoenix, Clanton and his family moved to the Buckeye area in 1887. In March 1888, the Buckeye Post Office was established with TN’s daughter, Cora Jane Clanton, as postmaster. The post office was named for the Buckeye Canal. In September 1888, TN Clanton and OL Mahoney filed a plat for a Town they named Sidney. However, because the post office was called Buckeye, the residents continued to refer to the Sidney area as Buckeye. So in 1910, Sidney was replatted as Buckeye.
More Roads Lead to Buckeye
Advances in transportation put Buckeye on the map. In 1910, the Arizona Eastern Railroad came to Buckeye; the first automobile in 1911; a steam rail line connecting it to Phoenix by 1912; and a state highway by 1915. The coming of the railroad was so significant that the business district was moved to accommodate the location of the railroad station. Buckeye boomed as a result. By 1912, major buildings were constructed, and the business community had expanded. When Buckeye was incorporated in 1929, it included 440 acres. The first mayor was Hugh M. Watson, who started the Buckeye Valley Bank. His son, Hugh Watson, Jr. served as mayor from 1956 to 1958.