Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden
Vernie Crozier was born on September 27, 1888, at the Crozier Ranch near Hackberry, Arizona, the daughter of Samuel F. and Ida Baker Crozier. She was the youngest of the Crozier children.

Vernie’s formal education in the local school was supplemented with reading and learning at home. At an early age, Vernie took over the household duties in her mother’s absence to care for an older brother.

Vernie met William F. Grounds, a young cowboy who leased land and sold wild cattle in the Music Mountains. When he felt financially able, they were married on the Crozier Ranch on June 26, 1907. They first lived in a small two-room frame cabin on the Milkweed Ranch that could be reached only by horseback. She put her homemaking skills to work, cooking on campfires in dutch ovens and carrying water to feed the 20 hungry men employed by Bill to build fences and tanks on the land near the Hualapai Reservation.

Their first son, John, was born on March 6, 1908, at their home on the Milkweed Ranch. Bill had gone for help from the Crozier Ranch 40 miles away, but he and the doctor were too late. Vernie delivered her son by herself.

Vernie and Bill moved to Clay Springs in the Music Mountains, where their second son, Howard, was born on June 12, 1911. A daughter, Alice Vivian (Mrs. Truman McDaniel) was born on December 12, 1912, in Fresno, California, and another daughter, Bonnie (Mrs. Raymond Gift), was born on February 14, 1915, at the Clay Springs Ranch.

In 1916, the family moved to Denver, Colorado, where Bernie raised their children while Bill managed their ranch holdings that by now stretched into four states. The blizzards of 1919-1920 plus the withdrawal of federal grazing permits forced Bill to close his Arizona operation.

The Grounds family made a new start in Colorado, living in Hayden, where the children attended school. Their fortunes climbed only to be struck down by the depression and more blizzards.

Bill took a job as chief inspector of the Arizona Livestock Sanitary Board, and, in 1933, Vernie moved to Prescott to be reunited with Bill. She was able to travel with him throughout Arizona until 1938, when they decided to once again become ranchers. They, with the help of son Howard and his wife, built their ranch holdings to 179,000 acres near Kingman. In 1946 they purchased the Crozier Ranch, and Vernie returned to her birthplace to live for nine years.

In 1955, Bill and Vernie sold their holdings to their son and moved to a home on Ricca Drive in Kingman.

Vernie was a charter member of the Mohave Pioneer Association and worked hard for the preservation of Mohave County history. She was also a charter member of the Mohave County Cowbelles.

Bill died on October 16, 1968, and Vernie remained in Kingman until her own death in May 1975.

Vernie’s sister-in-law, Lottie Grounds Crozier, is also represented in the Rose Garden.

Donor: Dorothy Chafin, niece
May 2005

Additional documentation and photographs may be available in the Sharlot Hall Museum Archives and Library.