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Ben Williams - Bisbee Mining Pioneer


older man in a suit with mustache
Ben Williams

Big Jeep Tours invites you to delve into the fascinating history of Bisbee mining, one of Arizona's most prosperous mines, and its visionary leader, Ben Williams. If you're seeking activities in Bisbee or guided experiences in the area, join us for a thrilling journey to uncover the history of Bisbee and the renowned Copper Queen Mine.

Ben Williams, born in Wales in 1852, immigrated to the United States and settled in San Francisco, where he worked for Bisbee, Williams, & Company. Williams' initial position in Arizona was as Superintendent of the San Xavier Mine near Tucson, and he later ventured to Charleston, Arizona, prospecting in the Huachuca Mountains.

In 1880, Bisbee, Williams & Company was appointed to manage the nearby Copper Queen Mine, with Williams and his brother Lewis rapidly applying their technical expertise and procedural skills to develop the mine and construct a small smelter to process the copper from the raw ore. Their efforts paid off, and the Copper Queen Mine swiftly became one of Arizona's most successful mines, yielding over 700 tons of copper in 1880 alone.

By 1884, the Copper Queen Mine merged with the Atlanta Claim, forming the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company and appointing Williams as general manager. A visionary leader, Williams recognized the mine and surrounding area's potential and consistently sought ways to advance and develop the region.

One of Williams' most notable achievements was the development of the Caverns situated 350 feet below the Copper Queen Mine's surface. Although now replaced by the Holbrook Extension Pit, the Caverns were once among Arizona's top attractions, thanks to Williams' ambition to showcase the grandeur of the Caverns to visitors worldwide.

Under Williams' guidance, Bisbee transformed from a small mining town into a thriving community dubbed the "Queen of the Copper Camps." If you're planning a day trip to Bisbee or exploring Arizona tours, our tours should be a priority. Join us on our tours to uncover the enthralling history of this town and the Copper Queen Mine.

Williams retired in 1899 and passed away in 1925, but his legacy endures. He will always be remembered as an essential Arizona pioneer and the driving force behind the Copper Queen Mine. Our local Bisbee-born tour guide will lead you on an exhilarating adventure through southeastern Arizona's rugged terrain to learn about the area's rich history, geology, and breathtaking views.

Whether you're a history enthusiast or seeking an exciting adventure, Big Jeep Tours caters to all interests. Don't miss this exclusive opportunity to explore Bisbee's mining heritage, Western pioneers, and the lasting impact of Ben Williams!


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