The town of Pearce was discovered by and named after Cornishman, James Pearce, miner and cattleman, 1894. Pearce and his wife had originally been in Tombstone where Pearce was a hard rock miner and Mrs. Pearce managed a miner’s boarding house. After saving some money over a period of years they moved to the Sulphur Springs Valley with their two sons and daughter, starting a cattle ranch. One day Mr. Pearce was out riding the range and decided to take a break on the top of a small hill. After dismounting, he sat down and relaxed…..idly picking up a rock and hitting on a nearby rock ledge. It broke, and the break showed gold! Taking it to Tombstone to be assayed showed a high ore content of both gold and silver, upon which Mr. and Mrs. Pearce and their 3 children immediately filed claims and started working the claims. Thus was born the Commonwealth mine…..said to be one of the richest mines ever found in Arizona, producing over fifteen million dollars in gold.

Pearce replaced Tombstone as the local Wild West town. When gold was discovered in 1896, many families and businesses relocated from Tombstone, where the mines had flooded. The Alvord-Stiles Gang, responsible for numerous robberies and shootings, operated out of Pearce. The town prospered into the 1930s before emptying. Yet sitting on U.S. Route 191, Pearce survives. Several historic buildings are intact, and a couple of shops are open for business.,_Arizona