Excerpts from "Arizona Cattlewoman, the Remarkable Life of Carrie Swigart Fraizer":

Arizona Cattlewoman, tells the story of Carrie Swigart Fraizer, a 31-year-old single woman who left behind a life of comparative ease working in Philadelphia, and traveled by train to the far reaches of the country, arriving in Elgin, a rural area of southeastern Arizona, in 1913, just 14 months after the Territory of Arizona achieved statehood.
She and her older sister Rhoda, also unmarried, were hoping to get in on the 160 acres of free land the U.S. Government had made available to those willing to spend three years on the acreage, build a house and raise crops, called “proving up.”

The challenges facing them – the transition from a big city to the outback, no knowledge of the Hispanic culture or language predominant in the area, no roads, water, electricity, transportation or even easy access to groceries, and all without the aid or companionship of a husband, seemed not to faze them at all. In fact, Carrie was quoted as saying, “We had the time of our lives doing it.”

Follow Carrie’s story as her life leads her through the hardships of proving up on barren, dry land, following her heart to a marriage with another homesteader, starting a family and becoming a leader in the community.

Her life is a testament to her courage, perseverance, indomitable will, love of family and animals, especially her many cats and her beloved herd of cattle, and most of all, her love of the outdoor life in Arizona. A life that she chose and lived for over sixty years and swore to never leave.

Her legacy endures through her children and grandchildren who have all contributed in their own ways to the enrichment of the community through their volunteer service and generous participation in the life of the area.


Carrie married Jim Fraizer in 1915 and they built this home on his property, which adjoined hers, because he already had a well in pumping condition. Their first child Sam, pictured here, was born at the homestead in 1919.This photo was taken the following year.


Carrie was at the depot to see the last train to come through Elgin in 1962 almost 50 years after she had arrived at the same stop in 1913. From left: Jim, Janet and Jean Fraizer Rowley (Carrie’s daughter), Lynn Fraizer (her granddaughter) and Carrie. (Ilene Fraizer Photo, courtesy Lynn Fraizer Kelley.)