Kathryn "Kate" Alice (Dunning) Adams was born on September 23, 1846, to Andrew and Abbie (Ransom) Dunning in Plattesburg, New York. Kate was a graduate of the Normal School at Oswego, New York. She joined the westward movement in 1877 at the age of thirty-one and travelled to Santa Paula, California. In December 1879, she came to Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, which she described as “the wilds of Arizona” to become a schoolteacher at the Prescott Free Academy.

The January 9, 1880, Weekly Journal Miner stated, "Miss Dunning, the new school mistress...we hear spoken of very highly. We think that a young lady who has the courage to leave friends, home and plenty to come into this far-off land to teach our young folks and prepare their minds for great and good deeds hereafter should receive the extended hand of welcome from all."

On July 6, 1881, she married local businessman, Amos D. Adams, of the firm of Clark and Adams -- a lumber business whose old sawmill on the Groom Creek Road was a landmark of that vicinity. The Adamses had five children, including Helen Colton, who is also represented in the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden; Alice Adams Knipe; and Henry Adams. The Adams' son, Arthur, died at the age of thirteen and a daughter, Louise, was lost in infancy.

One of the many persons helped by Kate was Sharlot Hall, whose ranch was too far from town to allow her to go to school. Sharlot lived at 103 S. Mount Vernon with the Adams family as Kate's helper.

Kate died on January 5, 1921, and according to her obituary, she was a "deep thinker, a giver of counsel, thoughtful, aesthetic and bright." She was buried in Mountain View Cemetery.

See also Surname Vertical Files on Helen Colton and Claudia Lodge.

Donors: Henry Adams and Alice Knipe
Photo Location: RGC MS-39, Box A, F-Adams, Kathryn - (PO-1697P)
Updated: 3/11/2015, Gretchen Hough Eastman