Sun Cities Museum Sign

Del Webb Sun Cities Museum - the first of five
model homes that opened January 1, 1960.

"Concrete, steel and lumber make the buildings, but people make the community. As has been the case so many times in the past, if people of good will sit down together with one objective - the building of a better community - the future has great promise."

— Del Webb

john meeker 

Interview of John Meeker, President, DEVCO
Interviewed by Melanie Sturgeon on March 6, 1996
Transcribed by Belva McIntosh March 27, 2007

This is Melanie Sturgeon, and on behalf of the Sun Cities Area Historical Society and the Arizona Historical Foundation I am interviewing John Meeker, the former President of the Del Webb Development Company in his home in Phoenix, Arizona. It is March 6, 1996.

MEEKER: I was born in Brownwood, Texas in 1926, June 5th. We moved to Arizona and I grew up in the Phoenix area, went to school here, went into the service in 1944, came out in 1946 and went to work for the Webb Corporation.

STURGEON: How did you decide to do that?

"Meeker: I think in the long term it really paid off for the people. They have really kept that community pretty well up. Those houses are approaching thirty five years old and some of them look pretty good. "

MEEKER: Well, I met Mr. Webb. I used to caddy after school and weekends and I met Mr. Webb on the golf course at Phoenix Country Club in 1941 and started caddying for him and when I finished high school and went into the service he asked me to come back and see him after I got out of the service and I did and decided to give the construction business a whirl rather than go to Arizona State, and I must say that I am very happy that I did because I had a very rewarding working relationship with the Webb Company.

STURGEON: And how did you start out when you started there?

MEEKER: I started out as the assistant mail clerk.  About as low as you can get. From there I worked in various — I worked in the warehouse, then moved into the accounting department, worked for various accounting functions and equipment management. At that time the Webb Company was involved in primarily Type A construction type projects, hospitals, office buildings, high-rise buildings. I worked on the Phoenix Veterans' Hospital as an assistant job engineer. Then I moved to Kansas City, Missouri on another Veterans' Hospital which Webb was working on. I was the office manager there. Then I transferred to Travis Air Force Base where Webb was building some barracks buildings for the Air Force. Then went from there to San Manuel, Arizona where I was a job engineer, where they built a thousand homes, a hospital, school, commercial and so forth for the Magma Copper Company. Then I came back to Phoenix and worked on various jobs, hotel jobs and along the way there I worked in Las Vegas on the Sahara Hotel and motel that they built and then came to Phoenix and got involved in the housing in the Phoenix area in 1954-55 and built houses in various locations around the valley for Webb until Sun City was started which was in 1959 and I became involved in the planning and model home design of Sun City. [READ MORE]

YouTube logo  "The Beginning"
Promotional video about Sun City, Arizona produced by Del E. Webb Corporation in about 1961. Great look at the 1960's - cars, customs, etc.   [click here to view Part 1] Part II of promotional video produced by Del E. Webb Corporation in early 1960's. Great look at the 60's including cars, clothes, etc.
[click here to view Part 2]
movie part 1

Jane Freeman Interview with Jane Freeman
by Beverly Brown, Aug. 5, 2007.
[click here]

WebbSpinners newsletter now online

In December 1946, Del E. Webb introduced the first edition of Del Webb’s Trade Talk with the following:

Greetings and Salutations are Extended by the Boss.

There could be no better time than during the Yule session to introduce our little paper,


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Spring 2012 Fall 2012

Del Webb Sun Cities Museum tour with museum past-president, Bill Pearson.


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