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Anderson, Robert A.
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Anderson, Robert A.
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 365-366


Robert A. Anderson is a self-made man who as the result of his industry, economy and well directed labors in former years is now enabled to live retired in the enjoyment of a comfortable competence. He makes his home in Griggsville, but for many years was identified with agricultural pursuits in Pike county. His birth occurred in Durham county, England, on the 3d of October, 1828, and when eleven years of age he started out in life on his own account, since which time he has depended upon his own resources for everything that he has secured and enjoyed. His parents were Anthony and Hannah (Meggeson) Anderson, the former born in England in 1797, while the mother's birth occurred in England about 1799. They were married at Houghton Lee Springs, in Durham county, England, and the father died in his native country in 1850, having for a number of years survived his wife, who passed away in 1836, when thirty-seven years of age. They had a family of five children, all of whom are living in Griggsville at the present time: Ralph, who was born in 1822 and is therefore eighty-three years of age; William, born February 22, 1825; Robert A., of this review; Jane, born June 20, 1830; and John M., born August 20, 1835.

Robert A. Anderson remained a resident of England until twenty-one years of age, when in company with his brother Ralph he took passage on a sailing vessel which weighed anchor at Liverpool in May, 1850. They landed at New York in July on the day that President Taylor was laid to rest. They did not tarry long in the eastern metropolis, however, but went up the Hudson river to Albany, thence by rail to Buffalo, New York, and by steamboat to Chicago, on the Michigan and Illinois Canal to LaSalle and thence by boat down the Illinois river to Griggsville Landing. On the 1st of October, 1851, Robert A. Anderson started on the return trip to England by the same route and remained in his native country until March, 1852, when he came again to the United States accompanied by his younger brother and sister. They were passengers on a sailing vessel which after a voyage of nine weeks dropped anchor in the harbor of New Orleans, whence they came by steamboat direct to Griggsville Landing.

Mr. Anderson at once began farming on a tract of four hundred and forty acres of land which the brothers purchased conjointly, and his time and energies were given to agricultural pursuits until 1866, when he and his sister and brother John returned to England on a visit. In 1867 they came once more to the United States and remained upon the farm until 1873, when Mr. Anderson purchased for them a home in the city of Griggsville, where they now reside. He and his younger brother and sister have always lived together. While upon the home farm he was engaged in raising Durham shorthorn cattle, having only standard-bred animals. He followed that business for a number of years, purchasing imported stock, and found it a profitable source of income. For a long period he was accounted one of the thrifty farmers and stock-raisers of Pike county, and continued in business with his brother until 1873, since which time he has lived a retired life. The farm is located on section 5, Flint township, and consists of three hundred acres, and is still managed by the brothers, being rented to Mr. Henry Anderson, a nephew, and son of William Anderson. In June, 1867, Mr. Anderson attended the Paris Exposition for fifteen days. In later years he has spent several fall seasons hunting large game in Wyoming, finding this a pleasurable source of recreation. He has never cared for public office for himself, but has always opposed misrule in municipal affairs, and has advocated the election of citizens of known ability and integrity to office. For seventeen years he was treasurer of the Griggsville Farmers Fire & Lighting Insurance Company. Mr. Anderson deserves much credit for what he has accomplished in life, as he had no pecuniary assistance when he started out for himself at the early age of eleven years. He depended upon the safe and substantial qualities of earnest labor and straightforward dealing, and upon these as a foundation has builded the superstructure of his success as the years have gone by.

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Submitted: 05/09/09

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