The Skinner Years at the Cochise Hotel
Mrs. Skinner and family The Cochise Railroad Station Depot
John Skinner purchased the Cochise Hotel from the Womack family in 1919. The Skinner family owned and operated the hotel for nearly forty years. The original 30 x 60 foot adobe structure had a lobby, Wells Fargo office, Seven guest rooms and an outhouse out back. The cinder wall false front was added along with a new wing which included porches on the front and back, a kitchen and a great room. The modern hotel had a water closet with lavatory, tub and hot water. The hotel was illuminated by gas lighting generated by an acetylene machine made by the Colt gun manufacturing company.
"Ma Skinner served a meal fit for a king. Matt Lee didn't exactly smack his lips when he spoke of food served many years ago at the old Cochise Hotel, but he remembers that Mrs. Skinner bought the best of everything for her table. Lee, was a miner at the Johnson camp back about 1914. He looked forward too weekends when he would go to town and stay at the hotel. In its heyday, the old hotel was one of the best of its kind in Southern Arizona, serving the miners and others who toiled at the settlements at Russellville, Gleeson, Courtland and Pearce. Cattle from the range, en route to market, were driven into the railroad yard pens across the street from the hotel, and ranchers also used the hotel as headquarters while in town." Tucson Daily Citizen, June 6th, 1964 by Margaret Kuehlthan
Governor George Hunt, the first Governor of Arizona, organized a motor parade through southern Arizona. They picnicked in Texas Canyon and gathered at the Cochise Hotel to spend the night.
The railroad laid an opposing track in front of the hotel for more traffic The hotel back yard
By the end of WWII, the town of Cochise was on a down swing and the old Hotel was beginning to show her age. The interstate freeway was soon to be built five miles north of Cochise cutting off a major part of its travel business. The mines had tapped out and the cattle shipping business went to Willcox.
When Ma Skinner past, the Cochise Hotel remained in the family and the operation was taken over by her daughter Fern Moore, below left.
In 1917 Norton-Morgan sold the building across the street from the Cochise Hotel to the Ragsdale-Ballard Mercantile Company. Henry Morgan was the President with E.N. Ragsdale and H.C. Ballard the managers.