J-Six Ranch – Benson, Arizona

In the spring and summer of 1936, JFK’s health deteriorated and it was decided that some time spent in the dry, clean air of western Arizona might improve his strength and stamina. A friend of Joe, Sr.’s suggested the J-Six ranch just

west of Benson, Arizona as a possible location. The ranch was owned by former Wall Street banker John G. Speiden, who himself had come to eastern Arizona for health reasons in 1932 and was known as a gracious host for people looking for a “ranching” experience.

JFK, who was joined by his brother Joe at the ranch, spent his time mending fences, herding cattle, and building an adobe office on the ranch for Speiden, who dubbed it “the house that Jack built.

During his free time, Kennedy no doubt spent time talking to and hanging out with the colorful local cowboy Pete Haverty, who was known for his stories and missing left leg.

JFK and Pete Haverty on J-Six ranch in 1936 (photo courtesy of Jim Turner, author of “Arizona, A Celebration of the Grand Canyon State”)

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