Stan Gibson, who turned 89 on July 22, is a Globe native who spent 40 years on Globe City Council and was mayor for 10 of those years. He was also a business owner on Broad Street, as longtime owner of the building that housed Ortega’s Shoes that was a men’s haberdashery his father purchased in the early 1930s.
Gibson was born in 1929 to Jesse and Hazel Gibson. Jesse Gibson had come to Globe in 1915, where he met Hazel Story, a teacher of Home Economics at Globe High School. In 1932, the elder Gibson purchased Ralston and Troutman’s Men’s Store, renaming it Gibson’s Store, Inc.
Stan Gibson, who graduated from Globe High School in 1947, took over management of the store after his father’s death in 1949, and the business served the Globe community for 63 years before closing in 1995.
But Gibson’s legacy will forever be tied to his time on council, which began in 1960 and ended after he finished a term won in 2000 as a write-in candidate.
He decided to run for office when then-mayor Bill Hardt, a fellow downtown businessman, became mayor and asked Gibson to run.
“I was sweeping in front of the store one day when Bill came by and said he wanted me to run for city council,” Gibson said.
He ran a successful campaign, and many thereafter until a loss in 1998 gave him a brief hiatus from serving the public as a councilmember.
Throughout his time on council, Gibson worked to create infrastructure for the City of Globe. He also took care of the day-to-day chores associated with being a political leader in a small town before the advent of the internet and instantaneous communications.
“Back then, if somebody wanted to complain about a dog barking, they’d call the mayor or city council,” he said. “If a garbage can got knocked over, or someone wanted to complain about a train whistle, they’d call council.”
His time on council wasn’t all about complaints from the community though. Gibson’s councils also went about the serious business of creating infrastructure that remains to this day.
Thanks to efforts in the 1970s and early ’80s, the Globe sewer plant was built, and a source of water was secured after the area ran out in 1954.
“We had to secure an agreement for water rights from the San Carlos Tribe,” he said. “It took 10 years and had to go before Congress. It took that long to get it, but water is still a problem.”
One of Gibson’s proudest accomplishments was the creation of Round Mountain Park. Efforts to create the 360-plus-acre park began in 1971 and it took more than 20 years to finally come to fruition.
He even groomed the park’s trails for many years before he stopped four years ago at age 85.
But his efforts in public office have always been about looking toward the future and creating a livable community to pass on.
“You have to work for future generations,” Gibson concluded. “That’s what is really important.”
In addition to his service on city council, Gibson served in the Army from 1954-1956 and has been in Rotary for nearly 70 years. He also currently serves on the board of the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) of Arizona, a government entity that provides funding for building important water infrastructure in rural areas of the state.
“It’s an extension of the work done on city council,” Gibson said. “The meetings are in Phoenix though, and my wife thinks I’m getting too old to drive down there to attend.”