Scottsdale’s Birthday

Scottsdale was incorporated today, June 25 in 1951. Now entering our 63rd year as a municipality, we aren’t without controversy. The folks who champion our quality of life and managed growth (via our widely-regarded General Plan) continue to be assaulted by those who wish to profit from that quality of life by selling it in quantity to others.

In spite of that, Scottsdale is still a pretty great place to live, to work, and to raise a family. It can be instructive upon anniversaries such as this to look back on how we got here. To paraphrase an old expression from the cowboy movies, ‘The reason the Indians never get lost is that they look back every so often to see where they came from.’

Scottsdale City Councilman Guy Phillips posted a link this morning on Facebook to the abbreviated history that appears on the City’s website.

One thing that you won’t find in most of the history resources is that Union Army Chaplain Winfield Scott, for whom Scottsdale is named and who was instrumental in its early development, actually chose as his final home the City of San Diego. He and his wife Helen are buried there in the beautiful Mount Hope Cemetery. Their final resting place is in the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Division, Section 1, Lot 37, Grave 5, on a hillock with a sliver of a view of the Pacific Ocean. The Scotts’ simple headstone has no reference to the legacy he left us here in his namesake city.

In addition to being a chaplain, Scott was an early volunteer for duty in what would become the Civil War. He commanded troops on the field and was wounded five times in three major battles. Those wounds eventually resulted in Scott’s mustering out, but he returned as a chaplain before finally retiring.

See also, Pickett’s Charge, from last year.

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