Thatcher, Arizona

Thatcher is a town in Graham County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the town is 4,865.[3] It is part of the Safford Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Thatcher is the home of Eastern Arizona College (EAC), a college that offers two year degrees and includes a nursing school.[5]

Thatcher, Arizona
Location of Thatcher in Graham County, Arizona
Location of Thatcher in Graham County, Arizona
Thatcher, Arizona is located in the United States
Thatcher, Arizona
Thatcher, Arizona
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 32°49′58″N 109°45′46″W / 32.83278°N 109.76278°WCoordinates: 32°49′58″N 109°45′46″W / 32.83278°N 109.76278°W
CountryUnited States
 • MayorBob Rivera[1]
 • Total6.72 sq mi (17.41 km2)
 • Land6.71 sq mi (17.37 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)
2,910 ft (887 m)
 • Total4,865
 • Estimate 
 • Density749.74/sq mi (289.47/km2)
Time zoneUTC-7 (MST (no DST))
ZIP code
Area code(s)928
FIPS code04-73420
WebsiteTown of Thatcher


Thatcher is located at 32°49′58″N 109°45′46″W / 32.83278°N 109.76278°W (32.832685, −109.762879).[6]

The town is centered in the Upper Gila River Valley with one of Arizona's famous Madrean Sky Islands towering to the south and the Gila River to the north.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 6.7 square miles (17 km2), including 0.02 square miles (0.052 km2) of water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20165,027[4]3.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 4,022 people, 1,281 households, and 927 families residing in the town. The population density was 919.4 people per square mile (355.4/km²). There were 1,427 housing units at an average density of 326.2 per square mile (126.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 84.73% White, 0.77% Black or African American, 1.84% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 9.87% from other races, and 2.19% from two or more races. 19.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,281 households out of which 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94 and the average family size was 3.37.

In the town, the population was spread out with 27.6% under the age of 18, 22.8% from 18 to 24, 18.9% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $32,412, and the median income for a family was $40,392. Males had a median income of $35,815 versus $20,964 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,961. 17.2% of the population lives below the poverty line. [9]

Emergency response

In Thatcher, police services are provided by the Thatcher Police Department, often in conjunction with Eastern Arizona College Police and the Graham County Sheriff's Office. Emergency 911 services are provided by the 24/7 dispatch center of the Graham County Sheriff's Office. Fire services are provided by the all volunteer Thatcher Fire Department, which has the capability to respond with various types of equipment, including several fire engines and a ladder truck. Mount Graham Regional Medical Center is the medical services provider for the area.


Thatcher was originally settled by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The first settler was John M. Moody who arrived in Thatcher with his wife and children in 1881.[10] The founding of Thatcher is attributed to Mormon pioneer Christopher Layton, who bought two thousand acres, named the acreage "Thatcher", divided them into lots, and sold those lots to Mormon settlers. Layton also bought a gristmill and built roads, canals and homes.

Eastern Arizona College traces its history to the St. Joseph Stake Academy started by the church in nearby Central. Central is also the location of the Gila Valley Arizona Temple.

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ Office and Contact Information, Thatcher. Accessed 2008-07-07.
  2. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 18, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Thatcher town, Arizona; Graham County, Arizona; Arizona". Retrieved 2018-04-16.
  10. ^ Andrew Jenson. Encyclopedic History of the Church. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1941) p. 870. accessed via infobase CD library
  11. ^ Saunders, Diane (February 21, 2011). "Former Valley resident wins visual effects award". Eastern Arizona Courier.
  12. ^ "Arizona Archives Online. Jacque Mercer Collection 1922-1971".

External links

Chris Mabeus

Christopher Eugene Mabeus (born February 11, 1979) is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher. He played one game at the major league level for the Milwaukee Brewers.

He attended and played baseball at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska; Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher, Arizona; and Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho.Mabeus was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 13th round of the 2001 amateur draft. He played his first professional season with their Class A Vancouver Canadians in 2001, and split his last season between their Triple-A club, the Sacramento River Cats, the Brewers, and their Double-A (Huntsville Stars) and Triple-A (Nashville Sounds) clubs in 2006.

Christopher Layton

Christopher Layton (March 8, 1821 – August 7, 1898) was a Mormon colonizer and Patriarch who founded the cities of Kaysville, Utah, Layton, Utah, and Thatcher, Arizona. Layton, Utah is named after him.

Del M. Clawson

Delwin Morgan Clawson (January 11, 1914 – May 5, 1992) was an American politician. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives He also served as mayor of Compton, California.

Clawson was born in Thatcher, Arizona and attended Gila College there 1933–1934. He was manager of the Mutual Housing Association of Compton, 1947–1963.

Clawson was elected as a member of the City Council of Compton and served 1953–1957. He then served as mayor of Compton, California 1957–1963. After the death of Clyde Doyle, he was elected as a Republican to the 88th Congress, by special election. He was reelected to the seven succeeding Congresses and served until his retirement at the end of his last term on December 31, 1978.

Eastern Arizona College

Eastern Arizona College (EAC), is a community college in Graham County, Arizona. The main campus is in Thatcher, with satellite locations in Gila County, and Greenlee County. It is the oldest community college in Arizona and the only community college in Arizona with a marching band.

Eastern College

Eastern College may refer to:

Cebu Eastern College in Cebu City, Philippines

Eastern College (Atlantic Canada) in Atlantic Canada, former CompuCollege

Eastern College Australia in Melbourne, Australia

College of the North Atlantic, formerly Eastern College, in Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Eastern Goldfields College in Kalgoorlie, Australia

Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher, Arizona, USA

Eastern Gateway Community College in Jefferson County, Ohio

College of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls, Idaho

Eastern Iowa Community College District in Clinton, Bettendorf, and Muscatine, Iowa

Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts

Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, Oklahoma

Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Oregon

Eastern Shore Community College in Melfa, Virginia

Eastern University (United States), formerly Eastern College, in St. David's, Pennsylvania

Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Moorefield, West Virginia

Illinois Eastern Community Colleges in Olney, Illinois

Montana State University Billings, formerly Eastern Montana College, in Billings, Montana

University of Baltimore, which absorbed a defunct Eastern College, in Baltimore, Maryland

Edward L. Kimball

Edward Lawrence Kimball (September 23, 1930 – November 21, 2016) was an American scholar, lawyer, and historian who was an emeritus law professor at Brigham Young University (BYU).

Kimball was the son of Spencer W. Kimball, a president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and his wife, Camilla Eyring Kimball, and wrote notable biographies of his father. Mormon historians have described these as "well crafted" biographies.

Jacque Mercer

Jacquelyn Joy Mercer (born January 7, 1931, in Thatcher, Arizona – February 2, 1982, in Los Angeles, California) from Litchfield Park, Arizona, was Miss America in 1949. She is mentioned (usually by title, once by name) several times in the 1997 Philip Roth novel, American Pastoral.

She was married and divorced her high school sweetheart, Douglas Cook, during her reign as Miss America. After this, a rule was enacted which requires Miss America contestants to sign a pledge vowing they have never been married or pregnant.

Jeremy Nelson

Jeremy Nelson is an American visual effects artist. He won a Visual Effects Society award in 2011 for best compositing for his work on the HBO mini-series, The Pacific.Nelson was born in Thatcher, Arizona and attended Thatcher High School and Eastern Arizona College. He has also worked on the motion pictures The Guardian, Clash of the Titans, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Spy and on the television shows Grimm and Bosch as well as several others.

Jess Mortensen

Jesse Philo Mortensen (April 16, 1907 in Thatcher, Arizona – February 19, 1962) was an NCAA champion track athlete and coach. Mortensen is one of only three men to win Division I Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship team titles as both an athlete and coach.

John M. Moody

John Monroe Moody (February 16, 1822 – 27 January 1884) was a member of the Utah Territorial Legislature beginning in 1859 and later along with his immediate family one of the original settlers of Thatcher, Arizona.

Moody represented Salt Lake City in the territorial legislature from 1859 to 1861. In 1861 he moved to Washington County, Utah and settled in Pine Valley, Utah.Moody was the bishop of the Thatcher Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the organization of the ward in May 1883 until his death the following January.


KFMM (99.1 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a Classic rock format. Licensed to Thatcher, Arizona, United States, the station is owned by Cochise Broadcasting LLC.It has been granted a U.S. Federal Communications Commission construction permit to reduce ERP to 6,400 watts and increase HAAT to 701 meters.

Richard F. Harless

Richard Fielding Harless (August 6, 1905 – November 24, 1970) was a U.S. Representative from Arizona.

Born in Kelsey, Texas, Harless moved to Thatcher, Arizona, in 1917 and attended the grade and high schools.

He graduated from University of Arizona in 1928.

He taught school at Marana, Arizona from 1928 to 1930.

He graduated from the law school of the University of Arizona in 1933.

He was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Phoenix, Arizona.

In Phoenix, Harless served as Assistant City Attorney and in 1936 was elected Assistant Attorney General of Arizona. From 1938-1942, Harless served as Maricopa County Attorney. He was married to Meredith Howard Harless a writer and radio personality. They wed November 28, 1948, in Alexandria, Virginia.Harless was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-eighth, Seventy-ninth, and Eightieth Congresses (January 3, 1943 – January 3, 1949). He was one of the main sponsors of the Indian Voting Rights Act of 1947.Harless did not seek renomination in 1948 but was unsuccessful for the gubernatorial nomination.

He was an unsuccessful for the Democratic nomination in 1954 for the Eighty-fourth Congress.

He served as Democratic nominee in 1960 for the Eighty-seventh Congress.

He resumed the practice of law.

He died in Phoenix, Arizona, November 24, 1970.

He was interred in Greenwood Memorial Park.

Samuel Claridge

Samuel Claridge (December 5, 1828 – September 11, 1919) was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) who was a prominent early settler of the Muddy River Valley in Nevada and Thatcher, Arizona.

Claridge was born in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England, to David Claridge and Elizabeth Pratt Hopkins. In 1849, he married Charlotte Joy and in 1851 they joined the LDS Church. In 1853, they emigrated to Utah Territory, settling in Nephi. In 1868, Wilford Woodruff appointed Claridge to preside over the Latter-day Saints living along the Muddy River in Nevada (then in Utah Territory). The eastern border of Nevada was later shifted east, and with the attempt to charge back taxes to those living there, the Latter-day Saints moved away. Claridge moved to Kane County, Utah.

In 1875, Claridge was one of the founders of Orderville, Utah. He left his wife and children there in 1877 to serve a church mission in Britain. After his mission, Claridge lived in Orderville until he moved to Thatcher, Arizona, in 1883. He served as the bishop of the Thatcher Ward and later as the first patriarch of the St. Joseph Stake, which was headquartered at Thatcher. Among those who received patriarchal blessings from him was Spencer W. Kimball.

Claridge's daughter, Elizabeth (1852–1924), was the wife of Alfred William McCune, Sr. (1849–1927) and a prominent benefactor of the operations of the LDS Church in the 1920s.

S. George Ellsworth, a grandson of Claridge, wrote a biography of Claridge titled Samuel Claridge: Pioneering the Outposts of Zion. Claridge's daughter, Charlotte "Lottie", married Brigham Young III, a son of Brigham Young, Jr. and his wife Catherine Curtis Spencer. One of Claridge's sons, David Claridge, was a member of the Arizona House of Representatives.

Spencer J. Palmer

Spencer John Palmer (October 4, 1927 – November 27, 2000) was a chronicler of the development of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Asia as well as a major player in these developments. He was a historian of Korea, a scholar of comparative world religions, and wrote many books on these and related topics.

Spencer L. Kimball

Spencer LeVan Kimball (August 26, 1918 – October 26, 2003) was an American lawyer and professor at the University of Utah, the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Chicago.

Kimball was the oldest son of Spencer W. Kimball and his wife Camilla Eyring Kimball. He was born in Thatcher, Arizona and raised in Safford, Arizona. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and then served in the United States navy on the Admiral's staff as a Japanese interpreter during World War II.

He received his law degree from the University of Utah. He was later a Rhodes Scholar studying at Lincoln College, Oxford. He received his SJD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He later served on the law faculty there and was the youngest dean of law in the history of the University of Utah. He was also on the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Chicago. At the University of Chicago he was the Seymour Logan Professor of Law.

Kimball helped to established an American Civil Liberties Union chapter in Utah.

Although he was widely associated with the LDS Church because of his father's prominent leadership positions, Kimball ceased his activity with the church while in his thirties and remained irreligious for the rest of his life. Kimball never desired to formally leave the LDS church, and took pride in his Mormon pioneer heritage and his father's position as church president, but gradually stopped believing in the divine claims of the LDS church and all other religions.

Spencer W. Kimball

Spencer Woolley Kimball (March 28, 1895 – November 5, 1985) was an American business, civic, and religious leader, and was the 12th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), from 1973 to 1985. Grandson of the LDS apostle Heber C. Kimball, Spencer was born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory. He spent most of his early life in Thatcher, Arizona, where his father, Andrew Kimball, farmed and served as the area's stake president.

From 1914-1916, he served an LDS mission (see below), then worked for various banks in Arizona's Gila Valley as a clerk and bank teller. Kimball later co-founded a business, selling bonds and insurance that, after weathering the Great Depression, became highly successful. He served as a stake president in his hometown from 1938-1943, when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Like most other church apostles, Kimball traveled extensively to fill a variety of administrative and ecclesiastical duties. Early in his time as an apostle, Kimball was directed by church president George Albert Smith to spend extra time in religious and humanitarian work with Native Americans, which Kimball did throughout his life. He initiated the Indian Placement Program, which helped many Native American students gain education in the 1960s and 1970s while they stayed with LDS foster families.

In late 1973, following the sudden death of church president Harold B. Lee, Kimball became the twelfth president of the LDS Church, a position he held until his death in 1985. Kimball's presidency was noted for the 1978 revelation ending the restriction on church members of black African descent being ordained to the priesthood or receiving temple ordinances.

Kimball's presidency saw large growth in the LDS Church, both in terms of membership and the number of temples. Kimball was the first church president to state publicly that the church expects all able-bodied male members to serve missions in young adulthood, resulting in an increase in missionary service.

Thatcher High School

Thatcher High School is a high school in Thatcher, Arizona. It is the only high school in the Thatcher Unified School District. Its current building opened in 2000.

Thatcher Police Department (Arizona)

The Thatcher Police Department (TPD) is the municipal law enforcement agency responsible for policing the town of Thatcher, Arizona. It has an approximately 10-man uniformed division.

Thatcher Unified School District

The Thatcher Unified School District serves the town of Thatcher, Arizona. It includes Jack Daley Primary School (grades K–2), Thatcher Elementary School (grades 3–5), Thatcher Middle School (grades 6–8), and Thatcher High School. The middle, elementary, and primary schools are located 3 blocks up 2nd from Reay.

In 2009, Jack Daley Primary School was named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Municipalities and communities of Graham County, Arizona, United States
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