Georgia Lee Swickheimer

June 7, 1937 -
Role: Rancher
Known for: Ranch toughness
Maiden name: Swickheimer

Georgia Lee was born and raised on her family’s ranch just outside of Fannin, Texas. a small community near Goliad. The Swickheimer Ranch was purchased in 1901 and has been successively managed by three generations starting with George Julius Swickheimer, the founder. Upon George, Sr.'s, passing, his two sons, George and Lee, took over and subsequently bequeathed the ranch to George’s two children, David and Georgia Lee Swickheirmer. It's Georgia Lee's ranch now and she perfectly embodies the spirit of the women ranchers in South Texas; tough when necessary (she runs the ranch with an iron hand), but full of heart for the land and the animals. When her father George, Jr., ran the ranch Georgia Lee opted to join the Marines her senior year in college, but her roots pulled her back every summer and most holidays. After her retirement, and with her parents in declining health, she returned to run her family’s ranch full-time. She is not only an adept rancher and manager of the land, but a great story teller, regaling her audiences with her wildlife and ranching adventures. Her connection to her family's land heritage is evident in all that she does.

Introduction to Georgia

Louise S. O'Connor
Voice of Georgia Swickheimer
Georgia Lee Swickheimer – I feel that myself, I was born to the land and the lands in my blood. And I'd soon work in the land and on a ranch than do anything in the world. When you're born to land you get up and everything you do has to do with the cattle business. Well you know…I knew at the time when I was, you know, in my teens and twenties you know, when you were going to get a job that there wasn't really a place here for me yet. And so I knew that I needed a job, and I had thought about the military, and always intended to come back and go back in the cattle business when I retired. And that's what I did. It goes back to doing what you like, what you have your heart into. Even though your heart may not be…it may not be profitable. And you may not be making a lot of headway. But you have a dream that you gonna make it, even though we are bucking against the tide. And you gonna find your way outta of the end of that tunnel. I guess its survival. I think it was my grandparents, you know, they worked the land, you know, when it was horse and mule and wagons. The material that they built this house with, they had to come in here with wagon, from Houston or whatever. It took a year to build this house. I don't want to see that stuff go down the drain. I don't want to turn loose of it. I want to hold on as long as I can hang on.