Excerpts from ANTHEM TO ANNA-- A HYMN OF PRAISE written by her family and edited by Pat Taylor Crouse.
The third of eleven children, Anna was close to her warm and wonderful family throughout her life although she would leave Ohio to teach at Indian schools in Oklahoma. Her father, John W. Kellough (pronounce Kello) was a tough taskmaster and stern disciplinarian, but he always called her “My Little Annie” and on April 18, 1867 he wrote in his Diary: “Anna Rebec has 1 tooth and can sit alone!”
Her stature [five feet] was the only thing “little” about her. Her shiny black hair, blue eyes, square jaw, determination and dedication to Women’s Rights are only a few of the things her descendants remember with pride. Well-educated and well-read for those days, her family was proud, politically involved, community conscious and progressive.
Anna eloped to Washington Court House, OH and married John A. Sollars September 28, 1882. She had just turned 16 and he was 23. This marriage was not exactly made in heaven. Anna’s father wrote in his Diary: “Awful Morning! During the night Anna stole out of the house and eloped with one John Sollars a scalawag fellow of the neighborhood went to Washington and was married this morning about 2 o’clock – oh how shocking. He has been stealing in about the house and she meeting him and keeping his company and I knew nothing of it. Lord! Lord! How heavy the weight to bear. We feel that she is forever lost. Oh! That she had died in her infancy.”
[Anna and John had sons Fred and Lloyd [died as an infant] and daughter Marie during the first five years they were married but it was eleven years before they divorced.] Most people were told that John went to town to get a loaf of bread and never came back. Actually there was a bona fide divorce January 26, 1893. John was last seen in 1919 in Wirt, OK (also called “Ragtown” due to the flapping of the tents during the high winds in that oil field town} when he paid a surprise visit to his son Fred and family. The story goes that John was very handsome, richly dressed – even sporting the gloves of a gentleman and was definitely in a hurry! Fred was working out in the field but John didn’t wait. He disappeared just as mysteriously as he had come – as if in a puff of smoke! There was only one road to town and, although many neighbors were outside working in their fields, no one had seen him come or go!
Anna was married to George Gottlieb Wyss on April 6, 1904. They had Charles Kellough Wyss [died as an infant] and Arnold Visonhaler Wyss.