GEORGE W. ANDERSON. - George W. Anderson was a well known engineer on the Wabash Railroad for many years and in 1883 became a resident of Springfield, where he spent his remaining days. He was born in Clay City, Illinois, April 27, 1854, a son of Eli and Mary Anderson. His mother died in Carlyle, Illinois, where the family resided for many years and the father is now living retired in Litchfield, this state. Their son, George, pursued his education in the common schools of Clay City and of Carlyle, Illinois, but he was very young when his mother died and he soon had to go to work to aid his father in making a living for the family. He worked at the hay press in Carlyle, sitting in the center of the machinery and driving the horse. At the same time he devoted his attention between the horse and the school books and thus managed to add to the knowledge acquired in the schoolroom. He afterward became connected with railroad work, entering the service of the Wabash Railroad Company in Carlyle in connection with bridge building. Later he had charge of the pump department there and he gradually worked his way upward until he became engineer. In 1883 he removed to Springfield, his run being between Springfield and Quincy on the Wabash Railroad, and he continued to act in that capacity until his death. He became well known to many patrons of the road and was a most careful engineer, yet on the evening of October 5, 1897, he was in a head-end collision at Naples and lived but two hours after the accident.
Mr. Anderson had been married in Carlyle, Illinois, to Miss Mary Williams, a native of that place, born March 30, 1856, and a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Reynolds) Williams. Her father was engineer in a sawmill at Carlyle and there he died. His widow, however, now resides in Springfield with her daughter, Mrs. Anderson. Unto our subject and his wife were born three children. Willie, was yard clerk for the Wabash Railroad in Springfield. One evening his boy friends called at his home for him to go swimming and he accompanied them and was drowned, at the age of eighteen years. Florence is the wife of Fred Ferchow. Edith resides with her mother.
Mr. Anderson was a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to the lodge in Litchfield, and in his life he was most loyal to the teachings of the craft. He also belonged to the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Springfield and in politics he was a Republican. Both he and his wife held membership in the Baptist church and his life was ever upright and honorable, winning him the goodwill of all with whom he came in contact. His widow now owns a nice home at No. 1310 South Eighth Street, where she and her daughter and her mother reside.