TOP PHOTO: Her real name is Anna Smith though you may know her best at The Queen of Bear Wallow.

CARYVILLE, TN (WLAF) – The Queen of Bear Wallow turns 101 years old today!

Born in 1920, Miss Anna Smith has seen over a century of life in these mountains. Smith is from Bear Wallow and has spent most of her life in the area.  She got her nickname, “The Queen of Bear Wallow” from Jehu Parks, who was the pastor at Bear Wallow Church years ago. One of Anna’s friends JoAnn Parks said it was her husband Jehu who gave Anna the nickname and it “stuck ever since.”

Bear Wallow pastor Jerry Foust holds up the cake for “Miss Anna” last year for her birthday party. Anna, known as the Queen of Bear Wallow, turned 101 today. 

According to Parks, Miss Anna knows everyone in Caryville, and everybody knows her. She is an important part of the community.

“She’s just a wonderful woman who has taken care of everybody around here,” Parks said. Miss Anna was there when Parks was born and has always called her ” her baby.”

“She’s never met a stranger and has just always been about helping others and taking care of the church,” Parks said. Anna was the janitor at the Bear Wallow Church for years.

 Anna Smith was surrounded by family and friends for her 100th birthday celebration in January 2020.

At Anna’s centennial celebration last year, Bear Wallow Church pastor Jerry Foust, said Miss Anna is still taking care of the church and everybody. Foust has known Anna for over 30 years. “Miss Anna is just the best woman you’ll ever meet; she’s helped a lot of people in our community,” Foust said.

Anna’s daughter Carol Smith takes care of her and said she does good for someone her age. “She’s always had lots of visits from family and friends and we think that’s what has been keeping her going strong all these years,” Smith said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/22/2021-6AM)