Residents of southeastern Illinois have long remembered Anna Bixby as one of the most fascinating and legendary characters in the region's history.
One of just a handful of pioneer women remembered, Anna's life as a battered wife, medical practitioner and spiritual leader is immortalized as the local patron saint of the Anna Bixby Women's Center.
Anna is credited with finding the cause of "milk sickness", a disease which sickened and sometimes killed both cows and humans. Cows would eat the white snakeroot plant and it would infect the milk that was drank by humans. She identified this plant and spread word to help it's eradication.
There are many legends surrounding Anna Hobbs Bixby, making her a major icon of folklore in Southern IL. The Anna Bixby Women's Center in Harrisburg is just one of many things named in her honor in the region.