Park Locations

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Mitchell Park was once part of the vibrant Mitchell School campus. When the Tempe Elementary School District closed Mitchell School along with Ward and Rural schools in the 1980s, the City moved to acquire the school for both a park site and future building use. 

The park and school bear the name of one of Tempe’s most prominent citizens, William W. Mitchell. William Mitchell is the grandfather of Harry Mitchell and great-grandfather of current Mayor Mark Mitchell. William Mitchell was born in Johnson County, Illinois in 1880. He grew up in the area and later became a school teacher in the county. Looking for adventure, he moved to Mesa, Arizona where he oversaw the publication of a local newspaper. 

Always possessing a soft heart for education, he donated land he owned to the Mesa Public Schools for Booker T. Washington School. In addition, he was instrumental in having the University of Arizona develop their experimental farm Mesa. 

Shortly after WWII, William began a residential development for veterans and others moving to the state. The development was located in west Tempe between University (old 8th Street) and 11th Street in what is referred to today as the Mitchell Park East and West neighborhoods. While Mitchell donated the land for the school, the school district decided to conduct a vote for the school’s name. The Tempe community voted overwhelmingly to name the school in honor of William. 

As a long-time Tempe resident and pioneer, William represented the community in the state legislature for 7 terms. He also was an active businessman, newspaper publisher, farmer and land developer. We are fortunate to have citizens like William precede us in the community. Through his civic involvement and philanthropy Tempe is a better community. His legacy will long be remembered and Mitchell Park shall honor his contributions to our community for many years to come. 

Park size is 11 acres.
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