History of Ciudad Obregon

Ciudad Obregon has been the dominant agricultural power of the 19th century in the state of Sonora.

Also taking aleading role in the advancement education, technology and agricultural science.

Although a young city in terms of age, the history of Cajeme stems back many centuries. Overcoming many conflicts and obstacles, the advancement and development of the Yaquis has played a major role in the formation of Ciudad Obregon, as it is know today.

The timeline of Obregon

1610 - 1714

The Yaquis, after defeating Spanish invaders in several battles asked the defeated soldiers for peace, and on the April 25th 1610, the Yaquis region was submitted to the Spanish crown dominium. In 1614, the first Jesuit Missionaries came to Sonora to work alongside the Indians, and in 1619 Buenavista is founded by the Jesuit Missionary Martin Burgecio. 4 years later, in 1623 on the edge of the Yaquis River, the eight Yaqui Indian villages were founded.

1715 - 1897

In 1715, a mining settlement named El Realito was founded in the mountain ranges of Sonora. Several uprising with the Yaquis cause the inhabitants to flee the town of Cocorit until 1835 when they returned to rebuild the community. Then disaster strikes Cocorit again in 1875 when the current Indian chief Cajeme and his forces attack, setting the whole town on fire. Ten years later (1885) neighbors from El Quiriego and Baroyeca repopulate Cocorit, which by this time the town was under protection by the Mexican federal army. 2 years later, on April 23 1887, the Porfirio Diaz army shoots Cajeme to death in Tres Cruces de Chumampaco and 10 days later a very unusual earthquake was felt in Sonora.

1898 - 1909

Development of a new town goes underway based on the recently formed Sonora and Sinaloa Irrigation Company Street layout design and Esperanza is founded in 1898. 1906 sees the construction of Estación Corral (train station), a connection system linking Cajeme (Ciudad Obregon) to the Southern Pacific Railroad. 2 years later, in 1908 a Mexican citizen named ‘Mr Connant’ obtains a concession from the federal government to develop thousands of acres in the Yaqui Valley into agricultural land.

1910 - 1913

The Richardson Construction Company is created in 1910 and obtains a concession from the federal government to subdivide and sell agricultural farming land, and 1 year later the company establishes the Yaqui Valley Experiment Station and begins growing a program if 90 different agricultural crops to evaluate their behavior and yields. Further development around the Cajeme train station in 1912 sees the construction of a flag station and water tower, and the construction of warehouses by American settlers Leo Stecken, Henry Griegg, W.A Ryan (William Ryan) and his brother Jimmy Ryan.

1914 - 1924

1914 sees the Yaqui River overflow due to severe rainstorms in Southern Sonora, flooding Cocorit, Esperanza, La Tinajera and other towns, leaving their inhabitants to seek refuge in Providencia, which is a little village known for goat farming. As the First World War ignites in Europe, several Germans and Yugoslavians land in the Yaqui Valley. Locals happily accept them and they start contributing to the agriculture and mechanical activities in the area and in 1918, Herman Bruss, a German colonist, introduces the first internal combustion tractor and the first thresher combine harvester to the region.

1925 - 1927

1925 sees Cajeme's Yaqui Fruit Co. open a marketing office in Los Angeles to distribute Yaqui Valley's "The Yaqui Chief Brand" vegetables, and one year later, the first Holt Crawler is purchased by Alvaro Obregon to plow and develop his “Hacienda Nainari”. The following year, Anderson & Clayton install a cotton gin, and on November 29 1927, the County of Cajeme is founded.

1928 - 1946

In 1928, Don Ignacio Ruiz is elected as the first ever Mayor of Cajeme, and on July 28, the town’s name is changed to Ciudad Obregón in consideration of the progress attained in the region in recent years by Mexican President Alvaro Obregon who was killed July 17 the same year. In the 1934 American doctors, the Reynolds brothers build the first modern hospital to the area in Esperanza.

1947 - 1954

Two young scientists from the Rockefeller Foundation, Norman Borlaug (the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize) and John Niederhauser (the 1990 World Food Prize) arrived to the Yaqui Valley, introducing several technological research programs in 1947. Five years pass and in 1952, President Miguel Alemán installs the State’s largest water construction Alvero Obregon Dam known also as Lake Oviachic. Then in 1954, Ciudad Obregon sees the creation of a pilot plan to provide Social Security Medical Services for the agricultural sector.

1955 - 1972

In 1955 the first university, ITSON is established in Ciudad Obregon and 3 years later the lake Nainari is built. 1960 sees the establishment of Obregon’s first Catholic Diocese. In the following year, a DC-6 aircraft from Aeronaves de Mexico arrives to the newly built airport, and then in 1967 the airport saw its first jetliner landing, a DC-1-15 flying from Mexico City to Tucson Arizona.

1973 - 1992

The Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, established a campus in 1973, and 1978 saw Ciudad Obregon celebrate its 50th Jubilee. Later in 1986, another higher education campus named Lasalle University was established in the city.

1994 - Present

As a national pilot plan, in 1994, agricultural water distribution becomes privatized first time at the Yaqui Valley, so successful that other agricultural regions follow same concept.

1997 sees another university founded in the city, the Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Cajeme, which specialises in Mechanics, Electronics and Industrial Engineering as well as Architecture.

In 2002, Universidad Tecnológica Del Sur de Sonora opened its doors offering college degrees in Processes of Production, Commercialization, Electronics and Automatisation, followed by the celebration of Ciudad Obregon’s 75th anniversary.

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