Anna Mary McKee was born in 1865 in Milesburg, Pennsylvania. She attended Lindenwood College, a Presbyterian finishing school in St. Charles, Missouri (1880-1883), and earned her teaching certificate from Normal Institute in Princeton, Illinois (1883). After a year as a teacher in Arlington, Illinois, she went to Los Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, to serve as principal of a Presbyterian plaza school (1884-1885), with her assistant Alice Hyson. She met Walter Nelson Halsey in Taos, and they remained in contact while she attended school at Lake Forest University in Lake Forest, Illinois (1885-1886). When she became engaged to Walter in 1886, she was forced by LFU administrators to withdraw from school and abandon her career plans. Anna and Walter married in Ashton, Illinois in 1889. They raised six children: George Clinton, Mary McKee, Walter William, Charlotte Eleanor, Cornelia Helene, and Elizabeth Evertson. The family moved frequently due to the nature of Walter's career as an educator and minister. They lived in seven communities around Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska before setting in Omaha, Nebraska in 1902. After Walter co-founded the University of Omaha in 1908, Anna counseled students and taught part time at the university until 1918. She helped select the OU school colors and hand-sewed the university's first pennant. She enrolled as a student at OU later in life, graduating with a bachelor's degree in education in 1925, at the age of 60. She performed psychological testing on students at Omaha Public Schools, and became renowned for her research in genealogy and heraldry. Anna and Walter lived for a time in Middleton, Illinois, and Appleton, Wisconsin. After Walter's death in 1943, Anna moved back to Omaha, where she passed away in 1948.