Estimated location of the site of the original Phoenix.
"Swilling has an 'original' idea. - In the late 1860's a guy named Jack Swilling and a group of people moved to a flat area just north of the Salt River, planted corn, wheat, squash and pumpkins, and started a city. They called it Swilling's Mill, then Helling Mill, and then a few other names. They just couldn't find a good name. Anyway, it didn't make much difference because they didn't like the location anyway. So they moved down the road to this spot, where there happened to be old Indian ruins and the remains of pre-historic canals. The settlers built a few houses, a store and a saloon. They needed a name for the new settlement, again. One person said the place should be called Salina. One moron suggested Pumpkinville, pointing to the crop out in the field. Still no name. After a few fist fights and a round of booze, a guy named Duppa stood up and said it should be called Phoenix, probably because the town (all five mud huts of it) was obviously built on top of the ruins of an ancient Hohokam Indian village (which archeologists call "La Ciudad"). Anyway, somebody grabbed a pen and wrote down the word Phenix on the map. Close enough."