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Home of Kartchner Caverns State Park

About Benson

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.

  Benson Community Center

The Community Center is available for parties, anniversaries, and special events. During the week there are a variety of activities at the Community Center; a Senior Nutrition Program, Bingo and Line Dancing just to name a few. Use of the facility is scheduled through the City's Recreation Department. 

 Benson History

Although founded in 1880 Benson civilization began long before even the Spanish missionary, Father Eusibio Kino, established Catholic Missions in the late 1600's. For thousands of years Native American made their home along the San Pedro River. Familiar names like Cochise, Chief of the Chiricahua Apaches and Geronimo, an Apache freedom fighter who with his band of warriors eluded the American army for many years, are very much a part of the history of the beautiful San Pedro Valley.

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.

  Benson Municipal Airport

Benson's Municipal Airport was named "200 Airport of the Year" by the Arizona Department of Transportation's Aeronautics Division! The Airport was in the planning stages since 1989 and finally came to life in December 1999. The airport is physically located two miles north of the SR 90 and I - 10 interchange, but the access road is located one mile north of I-10. Take exit 304 (Ocotillo Road) from I-10 and go north to Aviation Drive.

 Benson Public Library

Benson Public Library is 8,175 square feet offering a wide range of media and resources for all types of needs. Materials are also available from other libraries though out Cochise County. Our online catalog allows the option of browsing materials from  library computers  as well as from home.

  Economic Development

Benson is situated along several trade routs: Interstate 10, State Route 80, State Route 90 and the main line of the Union Pacific Railroad.

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 is currently served by several public and charter schools for all ages, and a Community College.

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.


Benson Hospital is a 22 bed facility with a 24 hour emergency service. Benson employs both resident doctors and dentists with additional physicians and specialists visiting the hospital at various times during the month.

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.

  Parks and Recreation

Benson offers a range of Community Facilities including three parks, a golf course, a Community Swimming Pool and a Community Center. Currently there are three parks within the city limits; Historic Apache park is approximately 2 acres in size and is a traditional neighborhood park, Union Street Park; located next to the City Pool and Community Center offers two small Ramadas with grills, horseshoe pits and future plans for playground equipment, Lions Park, covering nearly forty acres, is a community park just north of downtown Benson. Facilities located within Lions Park include little league baseball and softball fields, multiuse fields, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a playground area and restrooms. Benson also offers an active Recreation Program for children, particularly during the summer months.

  San Pedro Arts & Historical Society

San Pedro Arts & Historical Society; also known as the Benson Museum houses history from Benson and surrounding areas. Featuring displays of a Horse Drawn School Bus, Jail Doors, family histories, a gift shop and much more. An annex to the museum is the Quilt Gallery. The Gallery has a wonderful display of quilts by local artisans, and has many handcrafted items in their gift shop.

  Senior Nutrition Program

Catholic Community Services in Southeastern Arizona provides nutrition services to older people in a group or home setting. Meals are available five days a week and meet one-third of the recommended dietary allowances for older adults. These meals and other nutrition services are provided to improve the dietary intakes of participants and to offer opportunities to be linked with other community resources.

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.