Any of the spiny, deep-rooted shrubs or small trees that make up the genus Prosopis of the pea family (see legume). Mesquites form extensive thickets in areas from South America to the southwestern U.S. Two races occur: one of tall trees (50 ft [15 m]), the other low and far-reaching, called running mesquite. Water-seeking roots grow as deep as 70 ft (20 m). Stems bear compound olive-green to white hairy leaves, then dense, cream-coloured catkins of flowers, followed by clusters of long, narrow, pale yellow beans. In warmer parts of the U.S., mesquites are considered pests and are eradicated. Cattle eat the beans, which contain a sweet pulp. The wood, formerly used in railroad ties, now has value only for unusual furniture and trinkets and as aromatic firewood.
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The city is located in the Virgin River Valley. It's home to a growing retiree population, as well as several casino resorts and golf courses.
Mesquite’s first name was Mesquite Flat, settled by early Mormon pioneers. The community was finally established on the third attempt after having been flooded out from the waters of the Virgin River. The name was later shortened to Mesquite and the city was incorporated in May 1984.
Mesquite, like nearby Bunkerville, had its origins in farming. The Peppermill casino, which opened in the 1970s, drove Mesquite’s diversified economy. In the mid-1990s, other casino resorts opened. Mesquite was marketed as a getaway from Las Vegas and a more laid-back gambling option for out-of-state visitors. Its population continues to grow steadily as it is impacted by the booms from nearby Las Vegas and St. George, Utah, which is another 40 miles northeast on Interstate 15.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.6 sq mi (40.5 km²). Land comprises 15.3 sq mi (39.7 km²), and 0.3 sq mi (0.9 km²) of it (2.17%) is water.
There were 3,498 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.5% were non-families. Of all households, 20.4% were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 27.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 103.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,392, and the median income for a family was $42,941. Males had a median income of $27,083 versus $24,402 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,191. About 6.2% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.3% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.
|J.L. Bowler Elementary||Bunkerville||K–5||Bighorns|
|Virgin Valley Elementary||Mesquite||K–5||Bulldogs|
|Charles A. Hughes Middle School||Mesquite||6–8||Hawks|
|Virgin Valley High School||Mesquite||9–12||Bulldogs|
Until 2002, when the new middle school was finished, Virgin Valley High School included grades 7 through 12.
In 1987, Virgin Valley’s first newspaper, The Desert Echo, began distribution out of a local home on Riverside Road. The Desert Valley Times emerged by 1995, and The Desert Echo merged with The Desert Valley Times in 1998. By this time, St. George-based The Spectrum bought and distributed The Desert Valley Times.
In 2006, Mesquite Media Group (MMG) was formed by founding partners Cindi Delaney, Sue Hurley, and Morris Workman. MMG started [MesquiteLocalNews.com] in early 2006, the community's first daily internet newspaper with current news published daily. The company started RadioMesquite.com, the community's first internet radio station. In September 2006, MMG started publishing the Mesquite Local News, a weekly print newspaper that is distributed each Thursday. MMG partnered with the Media Alliance Group (MAG) that same month to create and publish the first edition of "Mesquite Lifestyle Magazine," the city's first bi-monthly glossy magazine. MMG sold their interest in the magazine to MAG in November 2007.