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Like the mythical bird it is named after, Phoenix rose from the desert heat to become a prosperous and vital city. Settled on the lands of the ancient Hohokam Indians, Phoenix began as an agricultural community in the 1860s. It was appointed county seat
of Maricopa County in 1871 and territorial capital in 1889. By 1900, town boosters were calling Phoenix an "Oasis in the Desert" and the "Denver of the Southwest." By 1920, Phoenix was on its way to being a metropolitan city with a population of 29,053 and sporting an eight-story "skyscraper." Many farsighted individuals documented this development through photographs, allowing today's residents to see the community's amazing growth from small town to big city.