Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Page 1516

JAMES H. ANDERSON, whose connection with the business interests in Springfield is that of proprietor of a planing mill at No. 728 East Monroe street, was born in Clear Lake township, Sangamon county, August 19, 1854. His father, John J. Anderson, came to this country from Norway, where his birth a had occurred in 1831. He was educated in the land of the midnight sun and there learned the cabinet-maker's trade. He married Emma Jenstatter and with her came to the United States, settling in Clear Lake township, Sangamon county, where he purchased a small farm. In 1852 he removed to Springfield, building a house on East Adams street, where he lived for about twenty years. In 1872 he erected a home at No. 422 West Adams street, where his widow is now living. For fourteen years he was employed at the cabinetmaker's trade by John Hough. A strong, healthy man, he labored earnestly and all that he had he secured through honest, hard work. He became well known and was respected by all with whom he was associated. At one time he removed to Macon, Illinois, where he conducted a shop for three years. In 1868, however, he took up his abode in Springfield and followed carpentering in a planing mill. He was in active business up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1896. Mr. Anderson had one brother, Lazarus, who came to the United States in 1849, but was never heard from after that time. He has two sisters, however, who are still living in Norway. Mrs. Anderson was an only child and her father was a ship owner, whose vessels plied between Norway and England. Mr. Anderson held membership in the Grace Lutheran church and his life was in consistent harmony with his professions. He was fair, honorable and straight forward in his dealings with his fellow men and in Sangamon county he won the respect and esteem of a large circle of acquaintances by is unfaltering adherence to an honorable course. Unto him and his wife were born six children, but John died in Springfield about 1888 and one died in infancy. Those still living are James H., Edwin A., a plumber of Springfield; Millie B., at home with her mother; and Annie, the wife of George Hodge, a horseshoer, by whom she has five children. The members of the family were educated in what was then the fourth ward public school of Springfield, but is now the sixth ward; and Millie, after graduating in the high school, was engaged in teaching for some time in Edinburg.

James H. Anderson pursued his studies as did the others and at the age of sixteen he began earning his own living by working in a brickyard in the employ of J. F. Bretz, with whom he remained for three years. He then spent one season with Adam Cook and afterward completed his apprenticeship with the firm of Hopping & Ridgely in the planing mill business. He then began work for T. A. McGrue, with whom he continued for three years, after which he went to Quincy, Illinois, where he accepted the position of superintendent of Mr. McGrue's works for nine years. He next became foreman of the planing mill of McGrue & Powell, with whom he remained until October, 1901. He then began business on his own account as proprietor of the planing mill at No. 728 East Monroe street and has already secured a good and growing patronage. He is a practical mechanic, having a thorough knowledge of his business in all its various branches, and that he enjoyed the highest confidence of those whom he served is shown by the fact of his long service in the employ of different firms with which he was connected.

In 1884, in Quincy, Illinois, Mr. Anderson wedded Mary E. Davis, who was born in Hannibal, Missouri, in 1864 and was educated in the public schools of Quincy. By her marriage she became the mother of three children, but the daughter, Ora May, died in Quincy, at the age of two years. The sons are Richard J. and Virgil H. The family home is at No. 832 North Eighth street. Mr. Anderson votes with the Republican party, but never seeks office as the reward of party fealty. He was reared in the Lutheran church and he belong to Navarre Lodge, No. 142, K. P., of which he is a past chancellor, and is a charter member and one of the officers of the Dramatic Order of the Knights of Korassan. He is also connected with the Court of Honor No. 20; of Springfield Camp, No. 114, M. W. A.; is a charter member of the Loyal Americans, and belongs to the Fraternal Brotherhood of America of Quincy. There has been nothing sensational in his career, but as the architect of his own fortunes he has built wisely and well and today is a substantial and prosperous business man of Springfield.

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