Biography of James Anderson
Erie County, OH Biographies





JAMES ANDERSON. It is a grateful distinction to have spent three quarters of a century in one community, and when those years have been filled with worthy accomplishment and with that old fashioned spirit of loving kindness, such a career becomes one deserving of admiration and worthy of perpetuation in any history of a county in which it has been spent. Seventy six years of the lifetime of James Anderson has been spent in Huron Township of Erie County, and his home has been on his present farm in section 22, two miles east of the Village of Huron, on a beautiful site overlooking the broad expanse of Lake Erie, since 1839. More than the psalmist's span of years have given him a host of associations and memories that make this locality for him "the fairest part of the world." His has been both a useful and honorable career. Within the lines of normal but concentrated business activity he has won the prosperity that is most men's ambition, and with admiration for his capabilities in business affairs his fellow citizens also commend his fine integrity and his valuable citizenship. And the honor and credit that go to him are also shared by his good wife, whose life has had special distinctions of its own, and who is one of the true noblewomen of Erie County.

James Anderson was three years of age when his family located in this section of Erie County and of the 150 acres acquired by his father only thirty were in an improved condition. A log house, long since disappeared, occupied the site, and there was a frame barn 30 by 40 feet which is still standing and is one of the old landmarks along the lake shore. A portion of the 150 acres was in Berlin Township. All this land descended to James Anderson, who now owns 250 acres, and it comprises one of the most beautiful farms to be found anywhere along the shores of Lake Erie. For a distance of 1,800 feet the farm borders on the lake shore, and in that state is found one of the finest bathing beaches in Northern Ohio, bearing the name by which the farm is also known: Lake View. As a country home Lake View has manifold attractions. Around the house is a broad expanse of lawn and shade trees, with a beautiful hedge of honeysuckle and many climbing rose vines. Mr. Anderson put up a modern residence in 1880, following the destruction by fire on July 4 of that year of the large brick home which his father had constructed in 1854. The home is only part of a beautiful setting such as no description can well overdraw. But the distinguishing character of these beautiful material surroundings is the spirit and atmosphere lent by seventy five years of continuous occupation by the Anderson family. No name means so much in Erie County as an expression of that kindly faith, rugged honesty and stability of character which are the most noteworthy assets of any community, than that of ''Uncle" James Anderson, a title of affection which descended to him from his father, who was also known by the pioneers as Uncle James Anderson.

James Anderson, whose father was a Scotchinan and his mother an English woman, was born in the Surrey district of England January 25, 1836. Though now rapidly approaching the age of four score he is still vigorous and a remarkable exponent of the rational and simple life. He has an unfaded memory and within the last two years has made several trips out over the state and has spent the winter in Florida. His parents were James and Sarah (Baden) Anderson. His father was born in Perthshire, Scotland, at Claekmannon October 7, 1798. The mother was born in Dorking near London, England, October 20, 1802. The Anderson elan was one of distinction in Scotland and for generations its representatives have dignified their clanship. James Anderson, Sr., was married at. Dorking in Surrey, and before leaving the old country two children were born. One of them a daughter, Sarah, was born in February, 1837. Not long after that the little family took passage on the sailing vessel Manchester which after seven weeks on the ocean landed them in New York City. Thence they proceeded up the Hudson River, across New York State by the Erie Canal to Buffalo and then on the lake boat Reindeer to Huron. The senior Anderson left his little family at Huron and set out prospecting for a new home. He went to Mansfield, Ohio, which was then a leading market and popular center but his investigations did not satisfy him. In the course of this prospecting he kept in mind the advice of the captain of the Reindeer, who told Mr. Anderson that good land could be found in the vicinity of Huron. Such a location would have many obvious advantages, particularly on account of its convenience to Huron as a market point. Mr. Anderson, Sr., was a man of some means and was thus enabled to give a great deal of consideration to the matter of choice of a future home, one which would fulfill his ideals. After much search he located the place above described, and in that choice made no mistake, since it was his own happy home for many years and is still the cherished seat of the Anderson family in Erie County. After making his location James Anderson, Sr., went to work with the vigor characteristic of his nature, and in time cleared up and improved a splendid farm. He was a fine type of the early pioneer, attended to his business, prospered, and at the same time was a sympathetic and kindly neighbor and a sterling and most upright citizen. He was a man of influence in local affairs, and in political matters not only adopted those principles which made Northeastern Ohio such a stronghold for the Union, but also impressed his belief and ideals upon his neighbors. From the very beginning of the republican party he was one of its stanch advocates and loyally supported its platform of principles, which he lived to see triumph by force of the Union army. He was one of the leading early Presbyterians of his community, and in 1854 assisted in organizing the Presbyterian Church in Huron, was one of its first elders, served in various official capacities, and gave liberally for the support of the church. James Anderson, Sr., met an accidental death on October 5, 1866. He was driving a span of young horses attached to a wagon loaded with barrels. One of the barrels was dislodged from its position, rolled down and struck one of the horses, frightening them to a runaway. Mr. Anderson fell and the wagon passed over his head, and he died a few hours later. His widow survived him ten years, and passed away in the Centennial year of 1876. She was well fitted to bear the responsibilities of pioneering in a new country, gave character to their early home, and was a devoted mother and greatly loved throughout her community. To their union, after they came to America, were born two sons. Thomas was born in 1843 and died the same year, while John was born in December, 1846, and died in the following year. The only daughter, Sarah, died in May, 1863, a few months after her marriage to Marcellus Atherton.

In 1863 James Anderson, Jr., was married at Huron to Miss Miranda Bartlett. She was born in Fairport, Ohio, April 14, 1837, grew up in Ohio, was educated in the schools of that time, and represented a fine old family. One of her ancestors was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and she was also related to the noted Toombs family of Georgia, one of whom was Senator Toombs, prominent as a whig senator in the United States Congress before the war and subsequently one of the leaders of the Southern Confederacy. Mrs. Anderson, who died many years ago, was the mother of five children. Sarah is the wife of Charles Seth Brown, proprietor and manager of the Standard Advertising Magazine of Chicago, and well known in the field of advertising; they have a family of one son and one daughter. The daughter, Matie A., who is unmarried and lives at the Anderson home, is a well educated woman and until recently has been active in her profession as a nurse. Carrie I. is the wife of M. H. Laylin, a prominent railroad man of Massilon, being assistant trainmaster and superintendent of motive power for the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway. James Corbin, the only living son, lives at Cleveland, where he is purchasing agent for the E. W. Fisher wholesale plumbing house; he is married and has one son and two daughters, the son being James Anderson, Jr., and it is noteworthy that this is the twelfth James in the successive lineage of the Anderson family. Burton Baden, the youngest child of James Anderson, was killed at the age of seventeen by the discharge of a gun while he was getting upon a wagon; he was at that time attending high school.

On June 7, 1887, Mr. James Anderson married Miss Mary Davey, who is one of the best known women of Erie County. Mrs. Anderson is noteworthy not only for the beauty of her face but also for the fine texture of mind and heart, and has a cherished place in the affections of many who were at one time her pupils when she was engaged in educational work. Miss Davey was born in Huron County, Ohio, near Milan, in 1848. She comes of sturdy stock, of the class which gave to the Middle West many of its strong men and women. Her father, John Davey, was born in Cornwall, England, October 7, 1818, and was a descendant of Sir Humphrey Davey. In early manhood he came to the United States, located in Ohio, and was married at Castalia in Erie County to Miss Elizabeth Palmer. She was of New England ancestry and was born December 18, 1822, at Chenango, New York, and when ten years of age came with her family to Erie County, Ohio. She was a daughter of James and Amy (Ackhorn) Palmer. James Palmer was born in New York State, of Scotch-Irish stock, while his wife was of German parentage. After coming to Erie County James Palmer and wife spent their lives near Castalia, where he was a hotel man, and also a skilled mechanic. After their marriage John and Elizabeth Palmer spent most of their lives on a farm near Milan, where he died at the age of sixty five, and she passed away at the age of eighty three in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Anderson.

Mrs. Anderson grew up in this part of Northern Ohio, and was well educated in the public schools and in Normal School. She began teaching at the age of fifteen, and spent eighteen years of her life in that noble profession, largely in Erie County. Her work has left many indelible influences for good upon the lives of those whom she helped to train. Mrs. Anderson also developed her artistic taste, was for several years engaged in artistic work, and has more than a local reputation as an artist with the brush, and has more than ordinary skill and style as a writer. Many of her old pupils keep in close touch with her, and almost every year there are gatherings, usually at some picnic resort, where Mrs. Anderson once more presides over a company of her former pupils and renews the many pleasing associations of their earlier relationship. She naturally takes great pleasure in the fact that some of her former scholars have attained 'prominence in the professions and in politics. In her position as head of the Anderson home she has done much to enrich its associations with the cultured life of Northern Ohio. Mrs. Anderson has interested herself in the work of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Erie County, and has also been a prominent member of the Patrons of Husbandry, being past master of both the Berlin Heights and the Huron Granges. She has also performed a valuable service as Government crop reporter for some years, and has filled the position of assistant steward of the State Grange. She is now secretary of the Board of County Visitors. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are prominent members of the Presbyterian. Church at Huron, in which Mr. Anderson for a number of years held the office of elder, until declining health and the burden of years made it necessary for him to retire. He has always been an active republican and has voted at nearly all the elections since the formation of that party.

This sketch should not be closed without mention of another member of the Anderson family circle. This is Eberhardt Lieberman, who has for more than forty years lived at the Anderson place, is looked upon as one of the family, had helped to rear children and grandchildren, and all love him as a real kinsman. He was born in Wuertemberg, Germany, about seventy years ago, and came to the United States when about twelve years of age.

From:
A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio
By: Hewson L. Peeke
Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors
The Lewis Publishing Company Chicago and New York 1916


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