Willcox, at an elevation of 4,167 feet, is in the northern
part of the Sulphur Springs Valley, which cuts through
Cochise County for nearly 100 miles and averages more than
15 miles in width. The town was established in 1880 and
incorporated in 1915. Located on I-10 halfway between
Phoenix and El Paso, Texas, Willcox serves as the major trade
and service center for agriculture and tourism within the county.
Willcox was once known as the Cattle Capital of the nation.
Cattle are still an important aspect of the economy, and a large
livestock auction is held in Willcox. Row crops such as cotton
and small grains are significant as well.
The diversification of agriculture has resulted in establishment
of apple orchards, pistachio and pecan groves, ostrich
farms, grape vineyards and two hydroponics tomato green
houses. A well-established-Pick-It” industry provides fresh
produce for all of southern Arizona.
Willcox also has support industries such as finance, utilities,
schools, government, communications and a full-scale
health center. The community is home to several corporate
Tourists, as well as traveling business people, have an
important impact on the city's economy. With a mild, year-round
climate, relatively inexpensive land and housing, and a
pleasant rural lifestyle, Willcox is a desirable retirement community.
The city is part of the Arizona Main Street Program.
Cochise County is unparalleled in its historical, cultural, scenic
and recreational features. From the rugged Dos Cabezas Peaks
and the Chiricahua Mountains to Cochise Stronghold in
Dragoon Mountains (part of the Coronado National Forest),
the dramatic changes in scenery and wildlife will both delight
and amaze visitors. These awe-inspiring mountains and mystifying
deserts were once the homeland of the Chiricahua Apache
Indians, and it is from the great chief Cochise that the county gets
Visitors are encouraged to “Travel the Magic Circle of
Cochise,” a journey through the area that will bring its rich history
and unique and dramatic geology to life. The Cochise Information
Center, operated by the Willcox Chamber of Commerce and
Agriculture, has information on the tour.
Willcox, hometown of TV, movie and radio personality Rex Allen,
annually celebrates “Rex Allen Days” on the first weekend of
October with a parade, country fair, PRCA rodeo, concert, golf
tournament and dances. Willcox also hosts a Wings Over
Willcox/Sand hill Crane Celebration the third weekend in January;
the Magic Circle Bike Challenge (Labor Day weekend); and the
Christmas Apple Festival (first Friday and Saturday in December).