Eda Lord Dixon came from a prominent line of Evanstonians. Her grandfather, Harvey B. Hurd, was the incorporated village’s first president. As a successful lawyer, he served as dean of the Northwestern University Law School, and he also wrote the statutes for the state of Illinois. Her mother Eda Hurd Lord was one of the first successful businesswomen in the city, platting the city’s land and developing a large swath of the residential spaces in the city. Her father George S. Lord worked as a wholesale druggist in Chicago for Lord, Owen & Co., a successful company started by his father Thomas Lord who moved to Evanston from the East Coast in 1857.
Eda was trained in the art of enamels by Alexander Fisher, a London-based artist; her skill in jewelry-making came from her training with Chicagoan James Winn. During her marriage to William, Eda began displaying the jewelry and other decorative pieces she fashioned from metals and enamels. The first account of her displayed work comes from the Arts and Crafts Society of Detroit in 1907, and the Art Institute of Chicago also exhibited her pieces in 1908. While her work was not accepted as a masterpiece, it was clear that Eda had skill in metalworking and enamels. Eda and William divorced after thirteen years of marriage. On July 26, 1909, Eda married Laurence Beecher Dixon, an MIT graduate educated in the bookbinding trade. Soon after marrying, the couple moved to Riverside, California, where they cultivated an orange grove at their new home, and Eda continued to hone her craft. She and Laurence worked together to design new silverware and jewelry pieces, traveling across the country to showcase their creations.