Anna Katherine Deisch Morss

Name: Anna Katherine Deisch Morss

Lifespan: 83 years, 1885-1968. Born in Gales Twp, White Lake, 07/27/1885. Died in Los Angeles County, CA, 07/24/1968.

Locations: Gales Twp (1885), White Lake (1917), California (1945).

Spouse: Andrew B. Morss, 1889-1942. Born in Iowa. Married 1917 in White Lake. Carpenter, World War I veteran. The couple divorced sometime between 1935 and 1941.

Profile:  One of the early and successful businesswomen in White Lake, Anna Diesch ran her own millinery shop. While her opening date is unknown, we do know that her sister Mary opened a dressmaking shop in 1900, and Anna was advertising in the newspaper by 1910. To stock her store, she bought supplies in Minneapolis, MN, traveling by train each year in the spring and fall. Her shop in 1911 was located on east Main Street across from the Hanten Brothers building. The brothers were married to her sisters Mary and Celia.  The next year, she moved to the Griffeth building, and in the early 1930s, her shop was located on the mezzanine of Hanten’s building. Anna married Andy Morss in 1917, about the time he was drafted and served in World War I. They later divorced. She closed her shop in 1945 and moved to California. Her niece, Esther Hanten, noted that Anna ”designed and made many beautiful hats, especially for weddings.”

Roles/Talent: Milliner, business owner, wife, divorcee’.

Parents(Ethnicity): John Diesch and Elizabeth Rechfertig, Luxemburg. John’s parents immigrated to Wisconsin from Luxemburg between 1848 and 1850. Elizabeth’s parents immigrated from Luxemburg to Illinois between 1856 and 1861.

Children: none

Sisters: Mary Hanten, Celia Hanten, Helena Steinfeld, Julietta Engstrand, Susie Buckland, Katie Foote.

Brothers: Jacob, Peter, Sylvester,


Work Experience: Millinery shop owner

Church, Clubs and Organizations: St. Robey Catholic Church,

Family Connections/Occupations: Anna’s parents homesteaded in Gales Township in 1882 near other relatives and neighbors from Gilbertsville, IA, many of whom had earlier emigrated from Luxemburg. Relatives included her mother’s brother, Christ Rechfertig, and her grandmother, Elizabeth Gales Deisch. Other Luxemburg families included Gales, Goeres, Gilbertz, and Hanten’s (two of her sisters married Hanten brothers). Anna and several of her sisters ran millinery or dressmaking businesses. Mary opened a dress-making business in 1900, at age 17. Helena later opened a dressmaking business in connection with the millinery shop. Mary and Celia helped their husbands run the Hanten Brothers General Store in White Lake, later purchased by Mary’s son Albert. Her sister Susie became a hat designer in Los Angeles. Her brother Jacob lived in White Lake, Peter in Kimball, and Lester in Presho.

Time in Aurora County: 60 years

Physical Appearance:

Date of Submission: March 2021

Latest Update: May 04, 2021

Name and Contact Information of Submitter: Ruth Page Jones,