The City of Clovis was named after its public spirited pioneer, Clovis M. Cole, a man who spent nearly all of his life in the vicinity. The area was known for its thousands of acres of wheat, which he had developed in the Fresno County area. The first thoughts of settlement, however, are credited to Padre Martin, who explored the area in 1806 while searching for a mission site. Missionaries and trappers were the first non-native people to roam the area. Miners soon followed during the "gold rush" period, displacing the many Native American tribes that were settled in the foothills and near the rivers.
Another earlier settler, Marcus Pollasky, proposed and coordinated the construction of a railroad through the grain, cattle, and mining country and into the timber-rich forests of the nearby Sierra. The City eventually grew up around the San Joaquin Division of the Southern Pacific Railroad, which played an important role in the founding and growth of Clovis. In addition to the arrival of the "Iron Horse," factors such as completing the 42 mile-long Shaver log flume, developing the 40-acre Clovis mill and finishing plant, expanding grain production, and raising livestock all combined to ensure the founding of Clovis in 1891.
Located in the northeast quadrant of the Fresno-Clovis Metropolitan Area, Clovis is situated in the midst of the agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley. Since its incorporation in 1912, Clovis has been the "Gateway to the Sierra." Today, Clovis continues to plan and adapt to meet the needs of its present and future citizens. The City's economic base consists of retail sales and services and light manufacturing. Availability of housing, quality hospital care, excellent schools with modern facilities, responsive safety services, a mild climate, access to varied recreational opportunities, and strong community identity all contribute to Clovis' reputation as a great place to live.
Clovis has maintained a small town community spirit as envisioned by its early founders, which is exemplified by such community events as the annual Rodeo Days, Big Hat Days, and Clovisfest celebration. This community pride, combined with Clovis' unique growth opportunities, continues to attract new residents, developers, businesses, and industries to the City.