Monday, June 12, 2017
Cochise, Arizona April 22, 2017
Cochise, Arizona, is located about 20 miles east of Wilcox off of Interstate 10. The semi-ghost town is located off of Highway 191 which runs south to Douglas, Arizona. Today about 25 people mostly ranchers live in a town that used to have 3,000. There are a number of interesting buildings from the 1800s. If a visitor likes to watch trains the Union Pacific runs through town with about 30 to 40 trains daily.
Cochise is different in that it was created as a water and fuel stop for the Southern Pacific. In 1882 John Rath built the Cochise Hotel to serve railroad workers. Over time the town's population reached 3,000 as more individuals moved to the area to ranch. In 1889 Billy Stiles and Matt Burts robbed a train on the Southern Pacific they were eventually caught by a tip from a informant. In 1903 the Arizona and Colorado built a branch line to Courtland, Arizona, to the south. The ultimate aim was to build the line all the way to Naco and finally Mexico. In 1909 construction of the line came to a halt in the Arizona desert and was never completed because of declining revenue from the mines around Courtland. In 1931 SP abandoned the line. Cochise, Arizona, declined because of the diesel locomotive and ability to go longer distances between stops. (Information from: Arizona Ghost Towns and Mining Camps by Philip Varney and http://www.abandonedrails.com/Cochise-Douglas_Branch)