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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Willcox in Cochise County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The Ericksons: Pioneer Settlers

 
 
The Ericksons: Pioneer Settlers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, March 3, 2010
1. The Ericksons: Pioneer Settlers Marker
Inscription.
"Sacred to the memory of these
pioneers, they came when only the
brave dared come: they stayed
where only the valiant could stay."
Lillian Erickson Riggs

Swedish immigrants, Neil and Emma Erickson married in 1887 and established a homestead not far from here. Known as Faraway Ranch, it was one of the first permanent settlements in this area. The ranch is located about a mile east of here along the park road.

The Ericksons' first child, Lillian, was born at Fort Bowie. Two more children, Ben and Hildegarde were born at the ranch house nearby. All except Lillian are buried here in the Erickson family cemetery.

Family members eventually left to pursue careers elsewhere, but Lillian Erickson remained to become the "Lady Boss of Faraway Ranch." In 1923 she married Ed Riggs, and together they operated a guest ranch where visitors could enjoy the beauty of this "wonderland of rocks." The interest they generated in the area led to the establishment of Chiricahua National Monument in 1924.
 
Location. 32° 0.5′ N, 109° 23.262′ W. Marker is near Willcox, Arizona, in Cochise County. Marker is on Bonita Canyon Road, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is just past
The Ericksons: Pioneer Settlers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, March 3, 2010
2. The Ericksons: Pioneer Settlers Marker
the entrance station at the Chiricahua National Monument. Marker is in this post office area: Willcox AZ 85643, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Erickson Family Cemetery (here, next to this marker); Faraway Ranch (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Chiricahua Apache (approx. 1.8 miles away); First Fort Bowie (approx. 9.9 miles away); Apache Spring (approx. 10 miles away); John Ringo (approx. 10 miles away); The Battle of Apache Pass; July 15-16, 1862 (approx. 10.1 miles away); The Chiricahua Apache Indian Agency (approx. 10.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Willcox.
 
Also see . . .  Faraway Ranch. Neil Erickson was a Swedish immigrant who joined the U.S. Army in 1881 and was stationed at Fort Bowie with the 4th Cavalry during the Geronimo campaigns. After attaining the rank of First Sergeant, Neil Erickson was discharged from the Army in 1886. He continued working at odd jobs at Fort Bowie, and married Emma Peterson in 1887. (Submitted on March 10, 2010.) 
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
The Ericksons: Pioneer Settlers image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, March 3, 2010
3. The Ericksons: Pioneer Settlers
The Erickson family on a picnic here in Bonita Canyon in the late 1800s. From left to right: Hildegarde, Emma, Neil, and Ben. Not shown is Lillian Erickson Riggs who is buried in the Riggs family cemetery a few miles west of here.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,154 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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