Born in 1871, she was the daughter of artist Stephen J. Ferris and Elizabeth Moran Ferris, the sister of artists Thomas, Peter, John and Edward Moran. Her brother Jean Leon Gerome Ferris was also an artist.
She studied etching with her father, and took the Antique class at the Pennsylvania Academy in 1888-1889. She actively exhibited in the 1880s and 1890s, exhibiting under the last name Ferris until she married Noah B. Smith in the 1890s.
Peter Hastings Falk (Editor), Who Was Who in American Art