Anson Smith is widely recognized as the father of the Boulder Dam. As early as 1890, Smith became interested in the potential of the Colorado River as a source of power and of water for irrigation. Year after year, his newspaper advocated the building of a dam in Boulder Canyon.
When he presented his ideas to Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior under President Woodrow Wilson, Lane wrote a reply in which he called Smiths ideas a wonderful dream of a wonderful undertaking but warned that it was just 50 years ahead of time.
Smith later described as one of the biggest moments of his life the occasion on which, in June 1933, with the dam about one-third completed, he stood in the dry bed of the Colorado, its water flowing through diversion tunnels on either side. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, while presiding at the Santa Fe conference on the Colorado River Compact in 1922, called Anson Smith the Father of the Boulder Dam.
He was active in promotion of good roads, and at the time of his death he was endeavoring to obtain prompt completion of the highway from Kingman to Boulder (Hoover) Dam. Today there is a road in Kingman named after him.
It was said that almost unaided he waged a campaign for the acceptance of a bond issue to build the Mohave General Hospital.