The Rotary Club of Scottsdale welcomed native Arizonian Steven Brophy, CEO of Aztec Land and Cattle Company, as its keynote speaker at recent Club's weekly luncheon meeting held at McCormick Ranch Golf Club.  When introducing Mr. Brophy, Rotarian Jim Bruner, noted that Steven is a vocal advocate, businessman, farmer and rancher, and is President/CEO of one of Arizona's largest landowners - Aztec Land and Cattle Company.  Aztec has a vested interest in development of transportation and commerce.  Mr. Brophy's family immigrated to US from Ireland in 1879.  
Per Mr. Brophy, following its formation by Eastern industrialists and Texan cowboys in 1884 and incorporation in early 1885, The Aztec Land and Cattle Company, Limited purchased a 1,000,000-acre tract of land in northern Arizona from the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad, imported approximately 32,000 head of cattle branded with the Hashknife brand from Texas, and commenced ranching operations in Arizona. 
The land, or part of the land, on which Snowflake and Taylor and even Heber now stand was once part of the vast holdings of the ranching company.   Land owned by the Aztec Land and Cattle Company stretches from Holbrook and Joseph City to the north, to Heber on the southwest and slightly south of Snowflake/Taylor. Its eastern border is mainly along state Route 77. Most of the property is in sections checker-boarded with federal Bureau of Land Management sections and State Land sections. A section is one square mile.
As of 2017, Aztec and its affiliates own approximately 240,000 acres in Navajo County, Arizona and 320,000 acres of minerals rights (some without surface ownership) in Navajo and Coconino Counties. Aztec is the second largest private landowner in Arizona and holds one of the few remaining large-scale tracts of rural private land available for development in the state.  
Aztec, with a partner, also owns the Apache Railway, a Class III short-line railroad running for 55 miles off the BNSF Railroad’s transcontinental mainline near Holbrook, Arizona. The Apache Railway serves much of Aztec’s land, providing access to both national and international markets, and has operated continuously since its incorporation in 1917.
During his talk, Mr. Brophy talked about impact of land surveys, US deed grants and land exchanges; mineral rights; water supplies; and, Aztec's impact on US forest service and TontoNational Forest. Per Mr. Brophy, 82% of Arizona land is public and 18% is private - concluding that Arizona is one of the most densely urbanized areas within the US because its strong link to Salt River Valley's Roosevelt Dam and its canals.