When the Southern Pacific Railroad cam through Arizona in 1880, the town of Benson was founded. The new town, at a somewhat different location from that of the earlier stage town (Ohensorgan Stage Station) was the rail shipping point for the booming new town of Tombstone to the south.
Present day Benson is known as the Gateway to Cochise County and Home of Kartchner Caverns with easy access to much of Cochise County making it a great place to stay and play. If your living in Benson or stopping for a visit you will find Benson offers a broad range of services and community facilities.
Father Kino brought Christianity to the resident agriculturally based Pima Natives. The Pima shared the land with the more aggressive Chiricahua Apache, who eventually gained control of the area. During the time that the Army was waging a difficult campaign with the Apaches, the Butterfield Overland Stage was founded and the Pony Express began. In 1880 the Transcontinental Southern Pacific Railroad opened the way for two more major rail lines, transporting copper and silver from neighboring mining communities. Benson quickly matured into a bustling railroad town.
Millions of years ago the dinosaur and mammoths roamed this area, as is evident from the diggings of the paleontologists and archeologists. Today much of the area is still relatively untouched by modern civilization. The vastness of the landscape, the majesty of the mountains and the cleanliness of the air make this a truly pleasant place to live. Benson and the San Pedro River Valley are rich in natural wonders and provide a home for a myriad of wildlife, including more than 500 species of birds.
Benson is truly a unique place with so much diversity for more on Benson's History be sure to stop by the Benson Arts and Historical Society and the Benson Visitor Center.
Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc., Apache Nitrogen Products, City of Benson, Benson School District and the Benson Hospital are the area's major employers. In addition to retail chain stores, there are several unique specialty shops found on the main 4th Street that offers a variety of goods. Many residents, however, commute to Tucson and Sierra Vista for employment and shopping.
The City supports a large retired population and is a winter refuge for visitors from colder climates. Its nearby historic and senic sites are increasingly popular with tourists.
Benson Unified School District is located on 350 S. Patagonia with students for High School, Middle School, and Primary School levels. Benson Public Schools is a learning community that will effectively use our resources to provide a quality system of curriculum, instruction and assessment that ensures avenues of success for all students.
Cochise Community College has a Benson Center on the State Route 90 just off Interstate 10 at exit 302, with special emphasis on computer aided learning. Cochise College was established in 1961 as the second Community College in Arizona. The Benson Center is committed to serving the citizens throughout the county for all educational needs.
New West Charter School is located in the J-Six area on 3225 West Navajo Trail. The mission of the New West Charter School is to ensure that all students learn the skills, knowledge, behaviors and attitudes necessary for productive living in a changing, democratic society. The learning environment will be safe and productive. The New West Charter School has a commitment to excellence for all students.
Visions Unlimited Academy is located near Pomerene on 1275 E. Barney Lane. Visions Unlimited Academy, an Arizona Charter School, is a learning family instilling the desire for all individuals to reach their fullest potential. Grounded in integrity, excellence, and unlimited vision, the school community offers exceptional learning opportunities led by master teachers.
The neighboring communities of St. David and Pomerene also offer K-12 education, respectively.
Bank of America
149 W. 4th Street
Benson, Az 85602
National Bank of Arizona
555 W. 4th Street
Benson, Az. 85602
American Southwest Credit Union
654 E. 7th Street
Benson, Az. 85602
Southeastern Arizona Federal Credit Union
182 E. 4th Street
Benson, Az. 85602
Good Samaritan Society - Quiburi Mission is a Medicare-certified rehabilitation and skilled care center in Benson, nestled between the Whetstone Mountains to the west, the Dragoon Mountains to the east, the Huachuca Mountains to the south and the Winchester Mountains to the north.
Congregate meals are available at the Benson Community Center, Monday - Friday, for persons aged 60 and over (or spouse regardless of age) who are in greatest social and economic need for meals and/or socialization. All participants are given an opportunity to donate towards the cost of the meal.