[Source: W. Lane Rogers, Arizona Range News] — In 1890, Alexander Arnold McGinnis and his wife Nora settled in Benson. Established by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1880, Benson’s first decade witnessed a transition from a town made up largely of single male railroad workers to a more structured community of family homes, businesses, churches, a school, and social and fraternal organizations.
Benson was the hub city of railroads and travel in southern Arizona nearly always necessitated making a connection there. With all its hustle and bustle, it was a friendly town that welcomed travelers. It boasted at least two good restaurants and three hotels-the Trask House, Virginia, and Mansion. Still, the McGinnises determined that Benson could support another. Property north of the depot was purchased and in 1907, Hotel Arnold’s main building (pictured) was completed at a cost of $4,423. Built in an architectural style that would come to be called Anglo Territorial, the building contained 12 rooms. A double-roofed dwelling was constructed, as well a red brick building that housed four units, an adobe carriage house and half a dozen small cottages. Water was pumped from a well driven by a windmill and a rudimentary generator provided electricity years before the town enjoyed such luxury.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Lane Rogers.]