Annie Flowerree was born in Helena Montana on Nov. 21 1866.Annie, and her older brother William, two sisters and 1/2 brother were exposed to ranch life and lived in the city of Helena. They all loved animals and the open Montana spaces. After schooling in Montana Annie went to finishing school at Andover Massachuetts. Through her brother William she met Willard Velie who was attending Yale. After graduatiion in 1888, Willard went directly to Montana to woo Annie and after two years they were wed in Helena on May 21, 1890. Both were 24 years old. The same year after the honeymoon they moved to Moline and Willard went towork for Deere and company.
They remodeled a Big three story house on 11th st & 12th ave. By May of 1892 their first baby was still born. Soon after that they took a long Vacation in Montana. They traveled often and even to Europe where Annie fell in love with the big Italian stone Villas. Annie's son was born on July 2nd 1896 Willard Jr, followed by a daughterMarjorie on May 20 1898.
Annie's father built another home in Florida. Then a year later in 1900 he bought 600 acres to start a booming citrus business. By 1909 the Velies had a winter home also in Fort Meyers.
In 1911 the construction of the Villa Velie in Moline was underway.When the Villa was complete the four moved in. The Villa was a 46 room home.The grand opening was Dec.5th with 500 guests.
Annie a young lady from a little town in Montana, was slowly excepted into the High class Moline society, with a lavish home and center of entertainment.
After Willard Velie died, Annie and her brother's wife took a trip together, a round the world in 1930.Near the end of the trip in Hawaii Annie broke a leg. It was slow to heal and painful.A doctor there gave her a pain killer and at home she continued. In 1938 legal guardianship was granted because she was chemical dependent.Annie was No longer the center of Moline society. Local newspapers had articles from time to time about the family.
On March 31 1961 at the age of 94, Annie Flowerree Velie died. This grand old gal out lived her family by all but two granddaughters of her son and two grand daughters of her daughters.