The town of Cochise sprung up out of the lush grasslands of the Sulfer Springs Valley as the Southern Pacific Railroad and Arizona Eastern Railroad joined together at this point. A railroad telegraph operator named John J. Rath from Benson Arizona recognized the need for a place the railroad workers could stay and built a double adobe hotel across the dirt street from the railroad tracks. Rath was the first telgraph operator stationed in the area when the Southern Pacific Railroad came through in 1881. The community's history is wrapped around such milestones as the establishment of the railroad station in Cochise in 1887, the post office in 1886 and the Wells Fargo station in 1903. The exact date as to when J.J. Rath began construction is unclear. Most reports over the years claim it was built in 1882, while other suggest it may have been in the early 1890s.
The Hotel Rath opened with just beds and rooms, but the new addition, the kitchen, dining room and the cinder wall false front came along in the early 1890s. in 1881. The business was pleantyfull. Railroad workers who would stop at the Cochise Station to take on water and coal, the cowboys who would ship their cattle east, the miners who would deliver their ore for transport and the passengers who were either east or west bound on the railroad. The hotel quickly became a hub for the area and served as the Wells Fargo Express office, telegraph office, post office and hotel / restaurant.
The exciting story of the history of this ground will be reviewed for you in this web site. The hotel changed hands several times and was purchased by Liz Husband in 1958 and she operated it as the Cochise Hotel until her death in 2002. Now in 2014 the hotel has it's 6th owner. Phillip Gessert a local part time resident since 1972 with the other time working in the film business of California. He has now begun yet another chapter of this landmark and with the help and enthusiasm of Mrs. Husband's grandson Willie Adams, the grand old building is under renovation to bring it back to it's glory days.
Many of the words written in this website are taken directly from the stacks of old newspaper clippings loaned to us by Willie Adams. When possible a line in italics is written below a paragraph that was mostly taken directly from the news article.
The Publication, The Date, by the Author.