Annie D. Tallent was born in Livingston County, New York. After graduating from the Lima Female Academy, she became a teacher. In 1854, she married David Tallent, a lawyer, with whom she had a son. In 1874, the family joined a pioneer expedition to the Black Hills of Dakota Territory, where gold had been discovered. They were among the first white settlers of the area. The early years were rough and dangerous because of tensions between the gold prospectors, the U.S. Army, and Native Americans, and the Tallents had to move several times. They later lived in Rapid City, South Dakota, for 14 years. Mrs. Tallent served on the Board of Education there and became superintendent of public education in Pennington County. Near the end of her life, she published a memoir, The Black Hills, or Last Hunting Grounds of the Dakotahs (1899).