The Southern Pacific Railroad built a switch and section house here in 1902 and named the settlement "Eloi" (which was shortly changed to Eloy after the Spanish word for "My God!"). In 1916, 3 former California cotton farmers came to the area and set up shop. They farmed their properties for a couple years, then decided to subdivide and promote a new community called "Cotton City." The Southern Pacific didn't like the new name and carried all mail addressed to Cotton City right on through. With that situation, the postal service also rejected the name Cotton City and stuck with Eloy. Today, Eloy is rated as the 4th fastest growing population center in Arizona and now covers more than 99 square miles. The official City of Eloy website says there is a major theme park slated for construction in the area (which development is being seriously challenged by the present economic situation), but for now, the largest single employer in Eloy is Corrections Corporation of America (and the prisoners they keep are included in the census figures). Eloy is also home to Skydive Arizona, the world's largest Skydive Dropzone.