Orley S. Stapley
Orley S. Stapley was an influential member of early Arizona society. He was a member of the Arizona Constitutional Convention, where the Arizona Constitution was written in anticipation of statehood. He also served one term as the state senator from Maricopa County. In about 1908, he signed on as a dealer for the newly formed International Harvester Company. Eventually, Stapley became the largest International Harvester farm equipment dealer in the United States, as well as the owner of the largest mercantile business in Arizona during the 1940s and into the 1950s.
Stapley was physically active. He played baseball for the Mesa City team. His accuracy with a rifle was legendary, and his sons were all great baseball players and hunters. In 1927, Stapley was involved in a serious accident in Chicago. Stapley, who was in the middle of the street, had to jump between two cars, which came at him from opposite directions. While this saved his life, he suffered many broken bones as the space between the cars was only eight inches. Stapley never fully recovered from this accident, and it became necessary for his six sons to take over the more active management of the company.
Known for his compassion and generosity, Stapley quietly made sure widows had firewood, the hungry had food and the homeless found shelter. He donated much of his time and money to the growth of his church and community. Many farmers also could relate stories about how they got their start in farming due to his generosity in providing credit. Orley Stapley died in April 1942, in Mesa, just short of his 70th birthday.
Our school is named after him because of his lifelong efforts and service to Mesa and to Arizona. We hope all our students and staff will also be dedicated to building their community and society and to serving others.