Compiled from Days Past articles by Barbara Patton and research and writings by Sue Kissel, Brenda Taylor and Nancy Kirkpatrick Wright.
Kate Thomson Cory was born in Waukeegan, Illinois on February 8th, 1861, to James and Eliza Cory. She was raised with a sense of justice and respect for all; her father was an abolitionist, Underground Railroad supporter and friend of Abraham Lincoln. In the late 1870s, the family moved to New York City, and, encouraged by her mother, Kate studied art at the distinguished Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art where she had success as a landscape artist.
In 1905, Kate met Louis Akin who had been in Arizona painting portraits of Hopi people and village scenes. His descriptions of the vivid colors and majestic panoramas of the Southwest piqued Kate’s interest, as did the idea of joining his proposed artist colony on Hopi lands.