BENSON — Monday evening’s City Council meeting opened with a proclamation by Benson Mayor Joe Konrad in recognition of the 100-year anniversary of Apache Nitrogen Products Inc.

Through the proclamation, Konrad provided a brief history of ANPI, starting with the operation’s beginnings as Apache Powder Company on May 14, 1920. It was known as Apache Powder for 70 years before the name was changed to Apache Nitrogen in 1990.

“The company was incorporated June 11, 1920, and was formed as a cooperative venture by several large mines throughout the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico,” Konrad read, adding that the company became the largest single plant for the manufacture of dynamite in the United States.

Dynamite was used in the mining industry to blast through rock in order to access gold, silver, copper and other minerals.

“The extensive operation grew to 140 buildings on more than 700 acres, employing several hundred people and making it (then-Apache Powder Company) one of the largest employers in Southern Arizona,” Konrad read.

“The company was renamed Apache Nitrogen Products Inc. in 1990, reflecting its emphasis on the nation’s mining and agricultural needs.”

Since its inception, ANPI has been vital to the economy and lifestyle of Cochise County and the southeastern Arizona region, according to the proclamation. Apache Nitrogen is known for its strict adherence to safe working conditions and practices.

“Today, the company is still driven by the same core values and principles of our founders, who insisted on personal policies of safety, honesty, integrity, respect and community,” Konrad read.

In addition, ANPI celebrates generational families who have had grandparents, parents and their children work at Apache Nitrogen, “all contributing to building the company — and Cochise County — into what it is today.”

As a historical landmark in Cochise County, the story of Apache Nitrogen Products Inc. continues to be written, and its past is documented by former employees and archived at the Benson Museum.

The proclamation concluded with the following declaration: “I, Joe A. Konrad, do hereby recognize Apache Nitrogen Products Inc. for their 100-year anniversary, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens ... on this 25th day of January 2021.”