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Betty Accomazzo (1926-1989)
Inducted in 2008
Betty Accomazzo, ranch woman from Laveen, had a very strong commitment to documenting the history of Arizona ranching people. She compiled and edited seven volumes of the Arizona National Ranch Histories of Living Pioneer Stockman. She began this project in the 1970s. She felt a sense of urgency to document this history because many elderly ranching pioneers were dying. She worked with people from all over the state to compile the histories. She and other volunteers interviewed old timers or convinced them to write their own memoirs. Each book contains approximately 25 descriptions of ranch families’ lives, including women’s stories. They are a wonderful compilation of ranch and farm peoples’ stories reflecting life in rural Arizona from the late 19th century to the 1940s. Her work has become an invaluable resource for anyone researching ranch life during this period.
Betty also wrote Arizona Cowbelles: This is Your Life. This book contains biographies of women from throughout the state who were active in Cowbelles, a ranch woman’s organization. Women from the Douglas area first organized the Cowbelles in 1939 to promote the beef industry and to organize social events for ranching people. Other chapters of the Cowbelles were organized throughout Arizona and eventually in other states. It is now a national organization with roots in Douglas. She also wrote Laveen Centennial History.
Betty Accomazzo was active in community organizations in Laveen. She was involved in 4-H leadership, Community Council, Laveen PTA, Laveen Homemakers, and the Arizona State Cowbelles, Inc.
She was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in 1983 for her work and dedication in preserving the histories of Arizona pioneer ranching families.