Arizona’s Contention City

Contention City Arizona
Mason’s Western Hotel in Contention City, 1880.

Contention City was an Arizona boom town that soon went bust.

Founded in 1879, about 10 miles outside Tombstone, the place had possibilities.  It had water and a railroad depot (which Tombstone didn’t).  It also had trouble.  In March 1881, the Benson state was robbed just outside town.  In 1887, a shootout between lawmen John Slaughter and Jeff Milton and members of the Jack Taylor Gang left two dead outlaws.

But Contention was gone by 1890, a victim of closed mines and services available in other towns.

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Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine as well as the editor of The Tombstone Epitaph. He also serves as pastor for Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in Indiana.