Cochise Hotel
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A BRIEF HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF THE TOWN OF COCHISE AND THE COCHISE HOTEL

 
 

Cochise Station


In 1880 a workforce of mostly Chinese laborers laid track from Tucson to New Mexico and brought life to Arizona towns like Benson, Willcox, Dragoon and Cochise. At it's peak the town of Cochise had a population of approximately 3,000 people.  There are now less than 50 inhabitants. 

                                                        COCHISE                                    Cochise Stronghold                         Cochise Photo          The County and town were named after the rebellious Chiricahua Apache Chief... Cochise or Cheis which in his own language meant "having the quality and strength of oak".  He was described as a large man (6') with a muscular frame, classical features and long black hair.  Cochise and the Apaches raided American and Mexican settlements and military positions throughout the 1860s in and effort to defend their land.  Following various skirmishes, Cochise and his men were gradually driven into the Dragoon Mountains where they established an impenetrable camp and continued there attacks, evading capture until 1872.  A treaty was finally negotiated by General Oliver Howard and Tom Jeffords, who was Cochise's only white friend.  After making peace Cochise retired to his new reservation where Jeffords was the agent.  There he died of natural causes in 1874 and was buried in the rocks above one of his favorite camps in the Dragoons now called Cochise Stronghold.  Only his people and Tom Jeffords knew the exact location of his resting place and they took their secret to their graves.  It is said Cochise would never allow his image to be photographed therefore the picture on the right is in question of authenticity.

As first spelled "Kachise"was changed to Cochise when the county seat was moved from Tombstone to Bisbee.

December 1,1977 by R.G. Roesch

   Town of Cochise 1903  Rath Hotel   Country Store                   RR Station       

                   Big Nose Kate                  Doc Holliday           George Cummings     Kate Cummings

In 1876 Mary Katherine Horony met Doctor John Holliday in Fort Griffin Texas and for the next few glorious years Big Nose Kate and Doc Holliday traveled through Trinidad Colorado, Las Vegas New Mexico, Dodge City Kansas and finally to Tombstone Arizona, 1881 and the OK Corral.  After Doc's death Kate married George Cummings in Aspen Colorado in 1890.  They moved to Bisbee Arizona where Mr. Cummings became and abusive alcoholic and they separated.  In 1899 Kate went to work for John and Lulu Rath at the Cochise Royal Hotel.  She met a minor named John Howard and together they moved to the nearby town of Dos Cabezas.  Kate died in Prescott Arizona on November 2nd, 1940.    

The History section is full of more detailed information about the Hotel and surrounding area highlighting each chapter of it's colorful past.  Read on....