In the 1900 US Census, Anna appears in the household of her parents in Shelbyville, Illinois, working as a millner. According to clippings from the Decatur Herald, in 1908 she was working as a trimmer in the shop of Ms. Ida Miller. Clearly they were friends, as this clipping from 1 November 1908 shows (see below).
One article from the Decatur Herald on 27 February 1909 shows Anna traveling with her younger sister Rosa:
In 1910, Anna went to Chicago to attend the latest millnery openings. It appears that Anna had also spent two years working with her Aunt Anna Maria O'Brien in Whitewater, Wisconsin but I am not certain on when this fits in her timeline. Anna returned to Shelbyville in 1912 and bought her own building for $600, which is quite an accomplishment. She opened a millnery store in September 1912. It is interesting to see how she put her own talents and career first.
Anna married Charles Carlton Stretch on 25 December 1912. The wedding occurred on Christmas morning in Tower Hill, Shelby County, Illinois:
|Decatur Herald, 28 Dec 1912|
In 1914, Anna appears in the news clippings, traveling to St. Louis and Chicago for millnery supplies and to attend showings. In February 1914, her Aunt Anna Maria O'Bried died in Chicago. This clipping shows that Anna worked with her Aunt in Wisconsin.
May 1914 brought spring weather to Illinois and outdoor improvements on the building that Anna had purchased in 1912 for her business.
After battling blood poisoning from a scratch on her neck, Anna died at the age of 33 on 17 October 1915.
|Decatur Herald, 19 Oct 1915|