Rose Garden PhotographsAnnie “Mettie” (Simmons) Evans was born in Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, May 28, 1879, the daughter of John Franklin and Sarah (Akard) Simmons, who came from two colorful pioneer families. Her father, John Franklin Simmons, was the son of John Wilson Simmons, who served in the third and fourth Arizona Territorial Legislatures. The Simmons family came to Arizona Territory in 1864 from Kansas and settled along Willow Creek in Williamson Valley.

In December 1882 her mother, Sarah, died in childbirth, and her infant twin daughters, Phoebe and Maggie, died a few weeks later in January 1883. After her mother's and sisters' deaths, four-year-old Mettie was sent to Peeples Valley, where she was raised by her mother’s family, the Akards.

Her father, John Franklin donated the land for the Simmons Cemetery Section that is part of the Pioneers’ Home Cemetery. Both sets of Mettie's grandparents along with other Simmons relatives are buried in the Simmons Cemetery Section. Sharlot Hall and other Prescott pioneers were also buried there.

On December 20, 1899, Mettie married Charles N. Evans, and they moved to a small cattle ranch in Kirkland. The marriage was witnessed by their friends and former sheriff, George Ruffner. In addition to ranching, Charles also ran the local bar and grocery store. He had a freight hauling company and transported supplies and miners to the local mines and ranches.

During the course of their marriage, Mettie and Charles had four children: Virginia, (September 22, 1900 – January 1916), Charles Walter, (November 12, 1909 – June 23, 1911), Norman, (February 3, 1912 – September 2, 1914) and Verner, born July 12, 1916. Mettie lost three children in four years. Life as a pioneer woman was difficult.

Later in life, her son, Verner, built a tufa stone house at 832 Miller Valley Road, where Mettie lived until her death at age 69. Mettie spent her entire life in and around Prescott, Arizona, and was truly a native pioneer woman. She died on August 19, 1948, and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery.

Donors: Cheryl Shaner and Charlene Sellers, granddaughters, 2011
Photo Located: RGC MS-39, Box D-F, F-Evans, Annie Mettie (Simmons)
Updated:11/06/2015; D, Sue Kissel