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Thatcher, Arizona
Spencer W. Kimball Childhood Home Marker
Spencer W. Kimball Childhood Home Marker
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
Country United States
State Arizona
County Graham
 • Total 6.62 sq mi (17.14 km2)
 • Land 6.60 sq mi (17.10 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)
2,910 ft (887 m)
 • Total 5,231
 • Density 792.22/sq mi (305.86/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (MST (no DST))
ZIP code
Area code(s) 928
FIPS code 04-73420
GNIS feature ID 12277
Website Town of Thatcher

Thatcher is a town in Graham County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the town is 4,865. 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.


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

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.
1890 320
1900 644 101.3%
1910 904 40.4%
1920 899 −0.6%
1930 895 −0.4%
1940 1,106 23.6%
1950 1,284 16.1%
1960 1,581 23.1%
1970 2,320 46.7%
1980 3,374 45.4%
1990 3,763 11.5%
2000 4,022 6.9%
2010 4,865 21.0%
2020 5,231 7.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census 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 84.7% White, 0.8% Black or African American, 1.8% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 9.9% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. 19.5% 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.


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.

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.


San Carlos Apache Nnee Bich'o Nii Transit provides transportation from Thatcher to the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, Safford and Globe. Greyhound Lines serves Thatcher on its PhoenixEl Paso via Globe route.

The Arizona Eastern Railway operates rail freight through town on a branch formerly operated by the Southern Pacific. Traffic is primarily copper products on the route between Bowie and Miami, AZ.

Notable people

  • Frank Wanlass, inventor of CMOS and pioneer in the field of solid-state electronics.
  • Spencer W. Kimball, former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Don Lancaster, early print on demand and personal computer pioneer, involved in the keyboard design of the Apple I computer.
  • Jess Mortensen, former coach and NCAA-champion track athlete from USC and former world record holder in decathlon.
  • Elliot Johnson, professional baseball player MLB
  • Jeremy Nelson, award-winning visual effects artist.
  • Jacque Mercer, Miss Arizona and Miss America, 1949.

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