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Home / Times Past / Gilmore and Salisbury’s ‘custom’ smelter (access required)

Gilmore and Salisbury’s ‘custom’ smelter (access required)

Benson was established in June 1880 by the Southern Pacific and became an important maintenance center for the railroad and the shipping point for the Bisbee and Tombstone mines, neither of which was served by rail. The town was less than three months old when, according to the Tucson Citizen, “the first shipment of copper bullion from Bisbee (arrived) in Benson, where it (was) shipped to San Francisco.” It was transported to Benson by mule-drawn wagons, weighing 43,003 pounds.

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The old Clifton jail, probably taken in about 1900.

Builder and First Inmate of the Clifton Jail

This is a photograph of the old Clifton jail, probably taken in about 1900. The identity of the nattily dressed man is unknown, as is the explanation for the rubble piled high in front of the fence. We do know some about the jail, however.