She was born in 1862 in Illinois. When she was 21 she moved with her parents to Dakota Territory. She was of age and could file a homestead petition in her own name. Six years later Eliza was granted a land patent for 160 acres next to her father’s grant in Farmington Township, Day County, South Dakota.
Eliza never married. She farmed all her life, with the help of her younger brother, Charles H. and a German farm manager, Henry Oating. Henry died before Eliza did in 1922. Eliza left her farm to Charles for his lifetime, but he lost it due to non-payment of taxes.