Gilbert, city (2020 pop. 267,918), Maricopa co. S central Ariz., suburb of Phoenix, located S of Mesa and E of Chandler; inc. 1920. Founded at the site of a railroad siding on property owned by William Gilbert, it was once known as the hay shipping capital of the world. Gilbert has experienced rapid growth since 1980, when it had a population of 5,717. There is irrigated agriculture on the urban fringes, including alfalfa, wheat, cotton, fruits, and vegetables, and concrete, rubber and plastic products, apparel, and machinery are manufactured. A campus of Park Univ. is there. Tonto National Forest lies to the northeast, and Saguaro National Park to the south.

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