110 Years of Arizona History

2019 marks our family’s 110th anniversary in Arizona; three years before it became the 48th state.  A state where my Great-Grandfather (Harry Hill), with a 6th grade education, became the Chief Clerk of the Phelps Dodge Company in Morenci (the largest copper producer in the state) and a four-term senator (two as the President of the Arizona State Senate). 

It has been fun to learn about our family history.  Thanks to a few family members who have done some serious research we have copies of the Senate session notes, family letters, mini-biographies, newspaper articles, and more.  Seeing the old pictures and reading the Morenci newspaper from that time period has been fascinating:  Poncho Villa was still raiding border towns, major prohibition era liquor seizures were happening all over, women were granted suffrage in Arizona (eight years before national suffrage), the establishment of the Welfare Commission just before the great depression (which my great-grandfather took over in 1938 and helped establish Arizona’s first Food Stamp program); it was literally the time period that Arizona was transitioning from the wild-west to an industrial 20th century state. 

Now we’re the 5th largest metro area in the Unites States with 44M people passing through Sky Harbor each year!  This state has given our family so much and I love seeing it grow and diversify in so many ways. #YesPHX

M. Preston Clarke is the Managing Partner of Arizona Venture Consulting. Preston has a wide breadth of experience in operational leadership, strategic planning, financial management, business development, research and analysis, client service and marketing as a principal in multiple enterprises. Preston is actively involved in the local and regional entrepreneurial ecosystem and is passionate about helping early-stage companies succeed Preston received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Wheaton College (Massachusetts) and his Master of Business Administration from the Eller College of Business at the University of Arizona. He resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.