How Cloud Road Got Its Name

This article authored by: Catherine Hallberg


Those of you who’ve traversed Sabino Canyon Road between Tanque Verde and River Road are sure to have crossed Cloud Road. This relatively short East-West road runs from E Calle de Amigos to N. Elena Maria just East of Sabino Creek. Its whimsical name led me to wonder if it fell from the sky or possessed some other characteristic which caused it to be named “Cloud”, so I did a little research.

Turns out Cloud Road was named after Joseph Cloud who was actually born in Bates County, Missouri in 1869. His father served in the Civil War in the Confederate Army Infantry and later became a judge in the county court.

In 1893 Joseph married Fannie Buck who was also born in Bates County. She and Joseph had a son and daughter, Leo and Marie.

Sometime after 1900 the whole family relocated to Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles where Joseph worked building small boats. He even made his own tools.

Around 1910, they moved to Tucson. Joseph became the owner of the Modern Grocery Company and continued doing carpentry work. In fact he built his home at 916 E. Seventh Street which still exists today.  Fannie gave birth to another son, Ken, in that very house.

It was at this point that Joseph purchased 120 acres along Sabino Creek. The family continued to thrive, with Leo attending the U of A where he was chosen to be the captain of Company A of the cadet battalion. He also played football, basketball and was UA’s tennis champion. In 1915, while painting a concrete water tank of the university, he was electrocuted by an unprotected wire. Joseph sued the UA for negligence and received compensation from the state of Arizona.

Marie also attended UA and earned a BS in home economics. She wed Lowell “Tedd” Bailey and they had two children, Mari and Lowell Jr.

In 1922, Joseph and nine other land owners petitioned Pima County to build a county road from Sabino Canyon Road to the beginning of Joseph’s property near Sabino Creek. It was named Cloud Road.

Joseph’s property was actually sold when the family fell on hard times. However the many descendants of Joseph and Fannie Cloud still live in Tucson.

Today Cloud Road provides access to subdivisions such as Sabino Vista , Indian Ridge Foothills , Mesquite Creek, Riverbend Ranch Estates and others. It remains a popular road. So now you know how Cloud Road came to be. Next time you’re at dinner with a group of people, you can impress them with a nugget of Tucson history.

Rob and Catherine Hallberg are Associate Brokers with Long Realty, a Berkshire-Hathaway Affiliate and Southern Arizona’s largest Brokerage. Since 2008, they have been ranked in the top 5% to 8% of all U.S. REALTORS®. Send Rob and Catherine an email  for a fast response to your questions; for an even faster response, Call (520) 407-8667.

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