Eventually the town came to be called "Tucson" and became a part of the state of Sonora after Mexico gained independence from the Kingdom of Spain and its Spanish Empire in 1821. George Cooke with the Mormon Battalion during the Mexican–American War in 1846-1848, but soon returned to Mexican control as Cooke continued his mission westward establishing Cooke's Wagon Road to California.
Tucson was not included originally in the Mexican Cession and Cooke's road through Tucson became one of the important routes into California during the California Gold Rush of 1849.
In 1912, when Arizona statehood became reality, the total number of different flags that had flown over Tucson now numbered five: American, Spanish, Mexican, Confederate, and the State of Arizona.
During the territorial and early statehood periods, Tucson was Arizona's largest city and commercial center, while Phoenix was the seat of state government (beginning in 1889) and agriculture.
John Clum, of Tombstone, Arizona fame was one of the passengers. Fort Lowell, then east of Tucson, was established to help protect settlers from Apache attacks.
Brazelton was eventually tracked down and killed on Monday August 19, 1878, in a mesquite bosque along the Santa Cruz River 3 miles (5 km) south of Tucson by Pima County Sheriff Charles A. Brazelton had been suspected of highway robbery not only in the Tucson area, but also in the Prescott region and Silver City, New Mexico area as well. In 1882, Frank Stilwell was implicated in the murder of Morgan Earp by Cowboy Pete Spence's wife, Marietta, at the coroner's inquest on Morgan Earp's shooting. Marshal Wyatt Earp gathered a few trusted friends and accompanied Virgil Earp and his family as they traveled to Benson for a train ride to California.
Hugo O'Conor, the founding father of the city of Tucson, Arizona authorized the construction of a military fort in that location, Presidio San Agustín del Tucsón, on August 20, 1775 (near the present downtown Pima County Courthouse).
During the Spanish period of the presidio, attacks such as the Second Battle of Tucson were repeatedly mounted by Apaches.
After killing Stilwell, Wyatt deputized others and rode on a vendetta, killing three more cowboys over the next few days before leaving the state.
The Tucson MSA forms part of the larger Tucson-Nogales combined statistical area (CSA), with a total population of 1,010,025 as of the 2010 Census.
Tucson is the second-largest populated city in Arizona behind Phoenix, both of which anchor the Arizona Sun Corridor.
The Spanish name of the city, Tucsón Tucson was probably first visited by Paleo-Indians, known to have been in southern Arizona about 12,000 years ago.
Recent archaeological excavations near the Santa Cruz River have located a village site dating from 2100 BC.Tucson was incorporated in 1877, making it the oldest incorporated city in Arizona.