The community was named by the Southern Pacific Railroad, which built a switch at Eloy in the early 1900s. The name Eloy is derived from the European name meaning the “Chosen” or the “Chosen One”.
Southern Pacific Railroad built the first railroad across Southern Arizona in 1878/1880. It was known as the East Line of Yuma. In 1902 they added a siding and section house six miles west of Picacho and named the siding Eloy, the acronym for the East line of Yuma. During construction of the railroad it was easier, and faster, to handprint E.L.O.Y. on construction drawings and maps, rather than writing out “East Line of Yuma”, each time the railroad made reference to, or revised a drawing.
A 1903 Southern Pacific Timetable lists Eloy as a train stop and a 1909 SP railroad map is the earliest map found showing Eloy. A 1921 GLO roadmap is the earliest map found displaying Eloy.
Image is of the airstrip that takes tourists skydiving.
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