Anna M. Woodruff was born in Hartford, Ohio on July 28, 1844. She prepared for college in the public schools of Newton and Grinnell, Iowa. She graduated from Iowa College with the class of 1868. Her teaching career began in Newton public schools 1868-1877. Later, she taught in both Bozemen and Helena, Montana. She received an Iowa State certificate in 1871 and a Montana Life Diploma in June of 1895.