The city of Benson is often "found" in much the same way it was "founded." Nicknamed the "Hub City," Benson is frequented by those who are passing through on their way to somewhere else. Nowadays, Interstate 10 crosses Benson going east to west, while those who would travel to or from Tombstone, Douglas, Bisbee, Sierra Vista, and Fort Huachuca cross the city moving north or south. It was always that way. In 1880, the Southern Pacific Railroad was built over the San Pedro River, and Benson sprang into being. The railroad was the artery which kept Benson alive through much of the Great Depression, and when mining went through various booms and busts, local ranchers and farmers provided the pulse. With the rise of the automobile, highways were built and paved following the established transportation routes, and Benson became a hub for automobile as well as railroad traffic.
Much of Benson's history and culture comes from the American tendency to move, to travel, to just "see what's out there." Fourth Street, the main thoroughfare, is replete with evidence past and present of that cultural tendency. Early photographs show filling stations, "motor courts", eateries, and car repair shops lining the roadway which paralleled the railroad tracks. On this modern-day loop-tour, Benson is both practically and historically a perfect place to start and end a tour of northern Cochise County. It is still very much defined by transportation. After more than a century of settlement and civilization, Benson is still the "Hub City."