Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden
EFFIE ANDERSON SMITH

Effie, daughter of Adolphus and Martha Adelia Anderson, was born in Sevier County Arkansas on September 29, 1869. She attended Mrs. King’s School and Hope Female College in Hope, Arkansas. As a teenager, she developed an interest in art and took up painting. She became a teacher at an early age and taught school in Little Rock, Arkansas.

In 1892, she, with her ailing mother, moved to the West for her mother’s health and settled in Deming, New Mexico, where Effie had accepted a teaching position. Unfortunately, her mother died that same year.

In 1894, she met Andrew Young Smith, a mining engineer. The couple was married on August 1, 1895, in Bisbee, Arizona Territory. Effie didn’t know anybody in the mining camp, but the local ladies who knew Andrew took charge of the wedding. They invited the guests, baked cakes, made ice cream and even supplied a flower girl for the ceremony held at the Bessemer Hotel in Bisbee.

Andrew and Effie settled in Pearce, A. T., where Andrew was associated with Commonwealth Mining, Milling and Development Company. Andrew was eventually named president of the company, and the couple moved into the lavish Commonwealth Mine’s “Managers Home.”

The Smiths had three children: Andrew Bosworth who died in infancy; Lewis Anderson, born August 12, 1898; and Janet Annadel, born September 1, 1906. She died at the age of seven months. The couple became wealthy in the booming mining town, entertained lavishly and were leaders of the social whirl.

Effie loved the desert landscape, resumed her interest in painting and studied in San Francisco, Laguna Beach and at the Stickney Memorial School of Fine Art in Pasadena. She eventually became a well-known Impressionist landscape artist. Her paintings hung in the El Tovar Hotel at the Grand Canyon, in the lobby of Tucson's Santa Rita Hotel and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D. C.

When the output of the Bisbee mines began to decline along with Andrew’s income and failing health, Effie and Andrew moved into a small frame house. The couple’s main income was supplemented by sales of Effie’s paintings.

After Andrew died in October 1931, Effie lived with her son Lewis, also a mining engineer, in various mining camps. About 1940, Effie moved to Douglas and lived and painted in the Gadsden Hotel. Here she taught classes in painting and even “entertained the troops” at USO gatherings at the airbase in Douglas during World War II.

From about 1915 until the late 1940s, E. A. Smith (also known as Mrs. A. Y. Smith) completed more than 100 paintings, many appearing in exhibitions in Arizona and in major eastern and West Coast cities. She became known as “The Dean of Arizona Women Artists.”

In 1951, Effie moved to the Arizona Pioneers' Home in Prescott, where she died on April 21, 1955. She was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Prescott.

Donor: M. Steven Carlson, great-great-nephew
January 2011



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