Chandler Museum

Dr. Alexander J. Chandler

Dr-Chandler 

Dr. A.J. Chandler was the Arizona Territory's first veterinary surgeon. Entrepreneurial in spirit, he was a man with a vision. His ambitious plan transformed Chandler from a 3-building town to a beautiful landscaped central park surrounded by businesses. Walkways in front of the buildings were covered by trellis-like roofs, supported by colonnades.

All this was made possible, in part because Dr. Chandler studied the relatively new science of irrigation engineering. He was instrumental in building an early system of canals. For many years, Chandler and the man who founded it thrived. The Great Depression was not a devastating experience for most of Chandler's residents.

The cotton crash of 1920 had a far greater impact on the agriculturally based economy. Dr. Chandler, however, did not fare so well during the depression years. The Bank of Chandler collapsed and he lost the San Marcos to his creditors. Able to retire comfortably, though, he lived in a cottage on the hotel grounds.