Dos Cabezas 1901
Courtesy Arizona Historical Society
Dos Cabezas's post office was established
April 8, 1879 and discontinued January 31, 1960. First settled in 1878, the town had a
barber shop, a brewery, a general store, brick yard, hotel, blacksmith, and about 300
people. The mines were worked at a snails pace over the next 80 years and the town finally
lost its post office in 1960. Today the ruins can be seen right off the highway on AZ 186
south of Willcox.
Dos Cabezas is located about 14 miles south
of Willcox on State 186. This is a ghost town that still has residents. Gold
and silver mines in 1878 put Dos Cabezas on the maps although it was in existence before
then. The town is named after two bald summits in the mountain range of Dos Cabezas.
Located on the east side of the Sulphur Springs Valley these two outstanding peaks
have always been noted landmarks. First called Ewell Springs, a half-mile east of
the town. in the 1880's there were about 300 people living here. The town has
one hotel, three saloons, blacksmith shop, post office, and stamp mill for gold ore.
Some of the richest mines on the gold-bearing ledge near the town were the Silver Cave,
Greenhorn and Murphy. Shafts were sunk up to 100 feet. Pony Express riders
used to stop here to change mounts en route from El Paso to Tucson. A drought around
1916 brought about the downfall of the community. Most mines were closed by 1926.
A few people still live in Dos Cabezas
(Spanish meaning two heads), named for he nearby twin mountain peaks. The
settlement, originally known as Ewell Springs, served as home base for members of a
commission working on boundary lines between the United States and Mexico in 1851.
In 1857 a stage station was built by the San
Antonio and San Diego Stage Lines (Butterfield-Overland). By 1861 when Fort Bowie
was established, the station had been destroyed by the Apaches. It's reported that
during the next few years, twenty-seven carriers were killed by the Indians between Ewell
Station and the fort.
The first American mining claims appear to
have been filed by seventeen soldier-prospectors in 1864. The town began to grow in
about 1878 as the result of nearby gold and silver mining activities. A stage
station was built by the National Mail and Transportation Company in 1884. It still
The town prospered well into the twentieth
century as a mining town, transportation center, and "fun town" for personnel
stationed at nearby Fort Bowie. There are no operating businesses in Dos Cabezas.
The still-standing post office was closed in 1960. As the mines closed, so
did doors of business places and homes of Dos Cabezas.