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Finest in the Territory
by Rita Ackerman
Read what other travelers have to say about hotels in Tombstone Arizona

P W Smith co.   The Nugget of December 28, 1881 proudly described P. W. Smith & Co.'s new building on the southwest corner of Allen and Fourth Streets. Frank Walker whose name is on several early Tombstone buildings including the Cochise County Courthouse designed it.

It stretched ninety feet along Allen Street and seventy feet down Fourth. The adobe walls were covered by cement plaster made to look like granite. The ceiling was sixteen feet high and the inner walls were lathed and plastered.

A large cellar measuring 35 x 40 feet was lined on three sides with solid masonry and a ceiling of nine feet. It would be used to store liquors and perishable goods for the Pioneer Store which would take up most of the space on the ground floor.

A part of the building was separated for the use of the local branch of the Agency Pima County Bank of Tucson. Its portion fronted twenty feet on Allen and forty-seven feet on Fourth making use of the prime corner of the building. A twelve-foot doorway included double doors sat at an angle across the corner. Prior to this the bags bank employees from Tucson came to town with bags of money for payroll and other banking needs.

Counters and desks were made of black walnut and mahogany "beautifully furnished." The counter was built by John Bruce of San Francisco and hailed as the "finest in the Territory."

Even the vault was carefully described as being the same as the Farmers and Merchants' Bank of Los Angeles. It was claimed to be burglar and fireproof; steel-lined, with iron netting and furnished with triple doors, two combinations and a time lock. This same vault was sold to L. Goldwater of Benson in June 1891. It weighed 6,000 pounds and "took considerable ingenuity to get it on a wagon." (Epitaph, June 28, 1891)

Manager Heyman Solomon's office was behind the lobby and was 10 x 12 feet and the director's room was 12 x 19. Both were handsomely and comfortably furnished.

Solomon felt the future of Tombstone was sound and a local bank of its own would improve the quality of service. In February he joined with Philip William Smith, Eliphalet Butler Gage, Lionel M. Jacobs and Baron M. Jacobs to incorporate the Cochise County Bank. It opened in the same location in early May. In 1890 the building was refitted for the Bank Of Tombstone.

The Bank of Tombstone was reorganized as the Tombstone Bank due to changes in tax laws passed by the legislature in 1893. Tombstone was in decline. Since then the building on the corner of Fourth and Allen has been a hospital and the Chamber of Commerce. It still stands proudly on the corner.

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NOW AVAILABLE!
from Cindy Hayostek
Connections: The Life and Times of B.A. Packard in 1880s Tombstone and on the Arizona-Sonora Borderlands .
Well researched with many images!
(LINK WILL OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW)

WANTED
Any Information on Tombstone's Past from the 1880's to 1990's including, but not limited to:

PHOTOS, DOCUMENTS, LETTERS, BROCHURES, STORIES, MEMORIES, POST CARDS, VACATION PHOTOS, BOOKLETS, ADS, PROGRAMS and other items.

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Tombstone, AZ 85638
(520) 457-3884

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