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About the Society

Our Mission

Our historical society’s mission is to collect, preserve, and exhibit cultural and industrial items related to the history of the Douglas, Arizona community, from its earliest settlement to the present time; and to operate a museum of Douglas memorabilia in the Douglas-Williams House in order to educate and promote pride in the importance of this community as we prepare for the future with knowledge of our past.

The Douglas-Williams House

Our historical society’s mission is to collect, preserve, and exhibit cultural and industrial items
related to the history of the Douglas, Arizona community, from its earliest settlement to the
present time; and to operate a museum of Douglas memorabilia in the Douglas-Williams House
in order to educate and promote pride in the importance of this community as we prepare for the
future with knowledge of our past.

The Douglas-Williams House

The Douglas-Williams House is named for the two families that made the house their home for more than 80 years. James S. Douglas was the son of Dr. James Douglas, the man for whom the town is named. Dr. Douglas was instrumental in development of Arizona and New Mexico copper mining in the late 1800s and early 1900s. James S. was deeply involved with Phelps Dodge Corp., and worked at copper operations in Arizona and Sonora. Ben F. Williams bought the house in 1943. Born in Bacoachi, Son., Williams was a borderlands cattleman, miner and inventor. He served as Douglas Mayor, as did his son, Ben. F. Williams Jr., an attorney. When Ben Sr. died, Ben Jr. sold the house to the State of Arizona. 

The Douglas-Williams Museum includes period rooms honoring the Douglas and Williams families, spaces with regularly changed displays, research library and specialty areas. These are world-class Marty-Dess camera collection, Douglas smelters, Douglas schools memorabilia, Douglas Fire Dept. and Sonora’s Elías family, including Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles. The museum is adjacent to Church Square, site of four churches on one block, and Raúl Castro Park, named for the former Arizona Governor who grew up in Douglas.

Today, this historic House is owned by the Arizona Historical Society. It serves as the official museum of history for Douglas and its surrounding areas. 

2021-2022 Board of Directors

President: Mario Novoa

Vice-President: Abe Villarreal

Secretary: Cindy Hayostek

Treasurer: Lea Dodge

Past-President: DeNise C. Bauer

Directors: Joel Camacho, Brenda German, Barbara Kaiser, Alexis Moreno, Mark Romo, Anita Rose

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