Johnson Station and mining camp, on Dragoon branch
railroad, east side of Little Dragoon mountains. Post Office established April 5,
Nestled on the eastern side of the Little
Dragoon Mountains are the tattered, tangled remnants of Johnson, Arizona. Johnson
more or less absorbed nearby Russelville. The town was named for a Mr. Johnson who
was the general manager of the founding Peabody Company operations, which were established
at the site in 1883. The population of Johnson that year has been estimated to be
three hundred to five hundred.
The Lake Superior copper owners imported a
Tombstone man to survey the town site and to "lay our street seventy feet wide". Ed Benson,
also of Tombstone, initiated stage line service. Mrs. Kelly of Benson opened a
school, and Johnson flourished as had hundreds of other mining camps.
Johnson was stung by the financial panic
of 1907 but began to recover about two years later. The following years were good
years, and the population of the camp burgeoned to about one thousand.
But with the drop of copper prices during
the Great Depression, Johnson passed out of existence. From the postal register, its
post office was closed in late 1929. Limited mining operations were carried on
during Would War II and later; but for many years now, Johnson's skeletal remains have
been "playthings of the wind." There isn't anything left of
Johnson currently and the land is privately owned.