Addie (Smith) McKean




Life and Work

Addie Smith moved with her family from New Hampshire to Anamosa, Iowa where her family owned and operated a brickyard. She became a teacher and later married Fergus McKean. Two children were born - a son, Herbert, who died at age nine from pneumonia, and a daughter Clarice McKean.

In March 1910, the family came to Dickson, Alberta over the Soo Line, via Portal, Manitoba. They settled on the NE1/4-27-35-3-5 which they had acquired from Rudolf Lundgren (also a Dickson pioneer) by trading land in Wisconsin to him. Over the years, five additional quarters purchased separately by Fergus, Addie and Clarice were farmed as a unit. Crops were grown, livestock and various kinds of poultry were raised. The McKean home was always open to accommodate the summer supply of students for the New Raven Mission church. These ministers included Frank Wheeler from Oxford; A.G. Lea of Kitscoty; Dr. Thompson, later to become dean of St. Stephen's College, University of Alberta. After the untimely death of her husband, Addie and her daughter continued on with the family enterprise.

Addie was a gracious, welcoming hostess and an excellent seasoned cook who took advantage of the wild fruit in season, canning and preserving all that was available. She loved gardening and growing flowers, all to make her home a special place to live. Her home was the centre of her daily work.

She was well read, especially enjoying poetry, had a quick wit, and carried on an active correspondence with family and friends in the United States.

Addie was one of the initial members of the Farmers' co-operative store at Spruce View. She furnished a good portion of the rough lumber used for the building of the New Raven Mission church which was built in 1939. Addie was active as a Sunday school teacher and she led in the formation of the Red Raven School.

Addie was secretary-treasurer of the Dickson Drainage District for 10 years and hosted monthly meetings. She passed away on January 20, 1945. Her contributions were many and she is remembered with respect and appreciation.


  • Contributors: Carole (McKean) Norman/Dickson Store Museum