Benson High School/Territorial Reform School - Trost Society

Benson High School/Territorial Reform School

Hotel Paso Del Norte

Benson High School/Territorial Reform School

The Arizona Territorial Reform School was a beautiful Romanesque structure designed by Trost & Rust, and erected in Benson, Arizona in circa 1902. Historical consensus is that the structure was condemned and demolished only a decade later, probably because of the quality of materials used in the construction. This consensus is based on one narrative from a 1970 article (Jay J. Wagoner, Arizona Territory, 1863-1912; a Political History (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, [1970]), page 404). However, the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, on its history website (please see claims that the school was closed because of a change in jurisdiction, and not because of the quality of the building. The Benson, Arizona Visitor Center website, on its historical page ( states that after the Reform School left the building, a secondary school with 45 students continued to utilize the Trost & Rust structure starting in 1914. Many local historical sources, supported by photographic evidence, state that the building then became the Benson High School, and was located close to the intersection of 6th and Patagonia (Please see

Postcard photograph of the beautiful Romanesque structure is from a card for sale at Ebay; picture with caption is from Western Ag Life Magazine’s The Butterfield Overland Mail Company – Fall 2019 by Pat Sepulveda-Myers at

— Mark Stone

Additional Details

Other Names: Arizona Industrial School, Benson High School
Type: Government
Construction Date: Jan 1, 1902
Address: South Patagonia Street & West 6th Street, Benson, AZ, USA
Condition: Demolished