Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona, just for fun. Advertising-free, supported by my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

The story behind Osborn Road in Phoenix, Arizona


Like a lot of the roads in Phoenix, like Bell, or Thomas, Osborn Road is named after a farmer. He was John Preston Osborn, and that's his photo at the top of this post. His farm was waaaayyyy north of the Phoenix city limits in the 1800s (the city limits ended at Van Buren, by the way).

Of course, not much is left of the Osborn farm except the name. If you stop for a Starbucks at 7th Street and Osborn, you can see where the original Osborn school was, which was right next to Smith's Chapel, which became Bethel Methodist Church. There have actually been four churches there, and the one from the 1940s, which is still there, is the newest.


The Osborn family had a lot of influence on Phoenix. John's grandson, Sidney, became Governor of Arizona. Sidney's middle name was the same as his grandpa's, which, as a person who enjoys genealogical research, I like. Just to keep the record straight, Sidney's father was Neri.

I've always been fascinated by the names of things, even back when I was a kid. And I learned at an early age to tell whether the grownups were making stuff up to shut me up, so I became cynical. I have a lot of documentation on the Osborn family, and if you're wondering why I do this kind'a stuff, I'm wondering, too? They are no relatives of mine, but they helped to build the city that I love, Phoenix, so that makes them part of my Phoenix family.

Time capsule from 1893 at the Osborn farm


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