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Below is some general information about Gilbert:
Gilbert is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, located southeast of Phoenix, within the Phoenix metropolitan area. Gilbert is currently the most populous incorporated town in the United States. Gilbert was recognized in 2010 as the “36th Best Place to Live in the nation”, as well as among the nation’s “top places to live and learn” by GreatSchools.org. Washington, DC-based CQ Press rated Gilbert the “safest municipality in Arizona, and 24th safest in the nation,” in their annual report released November 2009 using FBI statistics. Gilbert’s Cosmo Dog Park has twice made Dog Fancy magazine’s list of top dog parks in the nation since opening in 2006, including being named Dog Park of the Year in 2007. The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is recognized by the National Audubon Society as being an “Important Bird Area”. Gilbert has been named as a “bicycle-” and “tree-friendly” community and receives “high satisfaction rates” from citizens in town surveys.
Today, Gilbert encompasses 76 square miles and has made a rapid transformation from an agriculture-based community to an economically diverse suburban center located in the southeast valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area. In the last two decades, Gilbert has grown at an extremely high rate, increasing in population from 5,717 in 1980 to 208,453 as of a 2010 Census Bureau estimate. According to the United States Census Bureau, in the 2000 Census, the town had an estimated area of 40 square miles. As of 2009, and due to annexations the current Municipal Planning Area of Gilbert has a total area of 76.0 square miles, of which, 75.76 square miles of it is land and 0.24 square miles of it is water.
Gilbert owes its beginnings to William “Bobby” Gilbert who provided land to the Arizona Eastern Railway in 1902 to construct a rail line between Phoenix and Florence, Arizona. Ayer’s Grocery Store, the first store in Gilbert, opened in 1910 and became the location of the first Post Office in 1912. The location of the town Post Office moved regularly before settling for many years on the east side of downtown Gilbert Road. To this very day Gilberts post office still stands and is a promonient building to the Gilbert residences because of how long it has been around. In 1912, many Mormons who had fled the Mormon colonies in Mexico due to the actions of the forces of Pancho Villa settled in Gilbert. By 1915, they began holding church meetings at the Gilbert Elementary School. In 1918, they were organized into the Gilbert Ward.
Various religious denominations are represented in Gilbert, including 17.26% claiming to be Roman Catholic, 11.12% Protestant and 12.6% Mormon. The town has been known for its high Mormon population, a fact evidenced by the LDS church’s recent announcement to construct a temple in Gilbert. Gilbert is also rated as a town of relatively low crime. According to FBI records, Gilbert was the largest city in the United States with zero murders in 2005.
Gilbert is served by two area freeway—the Santan Freeway portion of Loop 202 and US-60. Several major arterials also serve the area, including Williams Field Road, Chandler Boulevard, and Gilbert Road. The town enjoys relative closeness to Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport, which is located in east Mesa; and is a twenty-five minute drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Recently, a park-and-ride facility was constructed in downtown Gilbert for bus service and future commuter rail service. Although the facility borders the Union Pacific (formerly Southern Pacific) tracks and has provisions for commuter rail service, there is currently no such service. However, buses operate to downtown Phoenix from here, and future commuter rail service to Gilbert will require little modification since most of the facilities are already built. Most people get around by cars or bikes.
Source: Gilbert on Wikipedia