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Community Resources

About Benson

When the Southern Pacific Railroad came 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 you're living in Benson or stopping for a visit you will find Benson offers a broad range of services and community facilities.


  • Benson Community Center
  • Benson History
  • Benson Municipal Airport
  • Benson Public Library
  • Charitable Resources
  • Economic Development
  • Education
  • Financial Institutions
  • Medical
  • Parks and Recreation
  • San Pedro Arts & Historical Society
  • San Pedro Golf Course
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; Summer Camp Activities, 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. The Spanish missionary, Father Eusibio Kino, established Catholic Missions in the late 1600's. For thousands of years Native Americans made their home along the San Pedro River. Familiar names like Cochise, Chief of the Chiricahua Apaches and Geronimo, an Apache freedom fighter, eluded the American army for many years and are very much a part of the history of the beautiful San Pedro Valley.

Father Kino brought Christianity to the agriculturally based resident 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 Historical Museum and the Benson Visitor Center.

Benson Municipal Airport

Benson's Municipal Airport was named "2000 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 throughout Cochise County. Our online catalog allows the option of browsing materials from library computers as well as from home.

Charitable Resources

Community Food Pantry of Benson Weekly Wednesday distribution of food which includes bread, canned goods, fresh fruit and vegetables and when available, meat.

The Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona in partnership with Benson Hospital allows Benson residents access to hygiene supplies making diapers, incontinence supplies, and period products available during times of need.  Contact the Benson Hospital for more details on how to access the items. 

Disabled American Veterans Thrift Store, 770 E. 4th Street.  The monies earned support local DAV Chapters, which provide support to disabled veterans, the Veterans Affairs hospitals and its veteran support agencies.

Produce On Wheels With Out Waste (P.O.W.W.O.W.) 70 pounds of fresh produce for a contribution of $12. 

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, 181 S. Patagonia Street.  Provides assistance for those in need through the case work program and thrift store donations.

Southeastern Arizona Community Action Program offers utility assistance, weatherization/ utility repair, replacement & deposit assistance and rental assistance.

Economic Development

Benson is situated along several trade routes: 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, retail chain stores, and several unique specialty shops can be found on 4th Street and offer a variety of goods. Many residents also 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 scenic 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  effectively uses resources to provide a quality curriculum, instruction and assessment system that ensures avenues of success for all students.

Cochise Community College has a Benson Center on  State Route 90 just off Interstate 10 at exit 302. Special emphasis is 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.

The neighboring communities of St. David and Pomerene also offer K-12 education programs.
Financial Institutions
There are two Banks and two Credit Unions in Benson.

Washington Federal
149 W. 4th Street
Benson, Az 85602
(520) 586-2279

National Bank of Arizona
555 W. 4th Street
Benson, Az. 85602
(520) 586-2228

American Southwest Credit Union
654 E. 7th Street
Benson, Az. 85602
(520) 586-8821

Southeastern Arizona Federal Credit Union
182 E. 4th Street
Benson, Az. 85602
(520) 586-7095


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.

Chiricahua Community Health Center opened a brand new facility in the summer of 2018. 

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.

San Pedro Golf Course

The San Pedro Golf Course is an 18 hole, 7400 yard championship course with a newly installed executive course located on the banks of the San Pedro River. The golf course stretches out to 7,373 yards from the tips and there are five sets of trees to accommodate golfers of all skill levels. The golf course also features the Benson City Grill and a Pro Golf Shop.