Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden

Born on February 8, 1861, in Waukegan, Illinois, Kate Cory was a pioneer in more than the usual sense of the word. She was indeed extraordinary. A "maiden lady" of 44, she journeyed alone to the Hopi mesas of Arizona hoping to become a member of a developing artist colony.

When no one else joined her, she remained, little realizing that she would become a valuable ethnographer of the Hopi. In the seven years she lived in the pueblo of Old Oraibi, she became friend and confidant of the Hopi, and, as an artist of great talent, was able to capture their culture in photographs and on canvas.

Although not born in Arizona, it was Prescott that Kate considered home. Living in a stone house in the Idylwild Tract on Thumb Butte Road, she continued her work as an artist and sculptor, becoming one of the West's most famous artists. Her paintings can be found today in the Smoki Museum, Sharlot Hall Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the First Congregational Church, and in the homes of the descendants of her many friends and relatives. Kate belonged to the First Congregational Church and was an honorary member of the Monday Club. Cory Avenue off West Gurley Street in Prescott is named for her.

She left a memorable impression on all who knew or met her. She was not concerned if the clothes she wore were old or her house in disarray. And her food for the day might consist of eating only beans from a tin. Her values revolved around artistic expression and sharing with others. Stories of both her generosity and eccentricity still continue to surface. Kate died on June 12, 1958, at the Arizona Pioneers' home and was buried in the Arizona Pioneers' Cemetery.

Donor: Museum Rose Garden

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