Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
ANDERSON, THOMAS F. (deceased), was numbered among the honored pioneers of Sangamon County and contributed his full share towards its development and material advancement. He was born in Cartwright Township September 11, 1829, a son of Moses K. Anderson, born in Butler County, Ky., November 11, 1803. Moses K. Anderson lost his parents when he was twelve years old and was taken by relatives to that part of Davidson County which is now Cheatham County, Tenn. Here he married Cassarilla Stroud, born November 12, 1812, in Dickson County, Tenn., the ceremony taking place September 13, 1827. Two years later they landed in Sangamon County, locating in what is now Cartwright Township, where they entered a large amount of land, becoming heavy land owners. Mr. Anderson was a man who foresaw a great future for Sangamon County, and did all he could to bring it about. In politics he was an aggressive Democrat, holding many local offices, and was prominent in the militia organizations, having been drill master in early days. Soon after coming here he was elected Captain of a company and in a short time was promoted to rank of Colonel and then Brigadier-General. Finally he was appointed Adjutant-General by Gov. Carlin, continuing to hold that office by successive reappointments until 1856. During this period he was called upon to exercise his prerogatives during the Mormon troubles at Nauvoo and during the Mexican War. Later in life he moved to Springfield and for six years was a Member of the City Council and for twenty years was Justice of the Peace. A record of his hardships and sufferings, especially during the winter of the great snow, in 1830, would fill a book. In all of them he bore himself as a brave man should and came out of them all strengthened for his life work. The children born to himself and wife were: Thomas F., Millie Ann, Sarah J., Mary E., Malinda E., Cynthia A., George W., Merlin A., Willard Wickliffe, William Wilks. Mrs. Anderson died December 31, 1850. After her death General Anderson married Mrs. Marian F. Hall, whose maiden name was Stroude. He was a lifelong member of the Christian Church and gave freely of his means to its support.
Thomas F. Anderson was reared among typically pioneer surroundings, early learning how to work. Like many young men of his period, he married upon reaching his majority, the ceremony taking place December 25, 1851, when he was united with Martha Le Childs, born in Sangamon County, December 8, 1833, daughter of Stephen and Hannah (Lyman) Childs, native of Vermont, who came to Illinois, settling in what was then old Sangamon County, sixteen farmers coming together. All of them prospered and lived to see their children grow up around them. There they died. Mr. and Mrs. Childs took a prominent part in the religious and educational development of the county, as is elsewhere related.
Immediately following his marriage, Thomas F. Anderson began farming on the property now the home of Mrs. Anderson, and there he died September 24, 1898. Six children were born to them: Laura, who died in infancy; Charles, born April 26, 1855, married Katie Fogarty, of Farmingdale, issue, one daughter, Laura, born February 2, 1879, lives with her grandmother, her father having died August 22, 1879 and her mother October 29, 1900; Edward, proprietor of the Merchants Transfer Company, of Springfield, formerly Principal of the Trapp School, of that city, born June 14, 1857, married Lillian McCullough, issue - Mary, Edith and Harold; Henry B., born December 29, 1859, now has charge of the homestead, married Lena Armbruster, July 1, 1903, issue, James A. H., born November 27, 1906 and in the following month the young mother died; Tavner, born January 7, 1862 and Hattie, born November 10, 1875.
The second son, Edward Anderson, sent his two daughters to high school and gave them the musical training their talents entitled them to receive. Mary has been for several years pianist for Evangelist Torey. Edith married Charles E. Butler, one of the Rev. Billy Sunday's singers. Mrs. Butler has also often charmed the vast congregations with her beautiful voice. They have one child, Lillian, the great-grandchild of dear Grandmother Anderson. Mr. Anderson was a strong Democrat and was active in his party, holding many of the township offices. He was an excellent judge of stock and bred some that ranked with the best the county ever produced. A consistent member of the Christian Church, he was active in its work and that of the Sunday School.
Looking back over sixty years, Mrs. Anderson can scarcely realize all of the changes that have taken place in her community. Not only has she seen marvelous changes effected, but she has been called upon to mourn not only members of her own family and her devoted husband, but the neighbors with whom she was always on such friendly terms. But one of them survives, the rest having gone on as pioneers into the Heavenly Kingdom. Mrs. Anderson, lovingly called "Grandma" by half the township is one of those noble women who bore upon their shoulders so many of the hardships of settling the new country. No complaints ever left her lips, as she labored by her husband's side, ever smoothing his way and that of her children. Prosperity came to them, but if it had not she would to have repined, but would have bound up the wounds fained in the battle of life, and sent her dear ones forth to labor anew. Church and home have ever known her tender ministrations and effective work, and no fair estimate can be made of the good she has accomplished, for so little of the aggregate has ever been allowed to become public. Her children, grandchildren and one great-d all tenderly cherish this grand old pioneer wife and mother.