William C. Anderson, b. 1834

William C. Anderson is one of the extensive landowners of Mahaska county, his home farm comprising four hundred and thirty-six acres on section 23, Spring Creek township. Here in addition to tilling the soil he is engaged in raising and breeding stock, and his life record proves that success is not a matter of genius but is the outcome of clear judgment, experience, and indefatigable energy. He is, moreover, entitled to representation in this volume as one the old settlers of the county, for he has made his home within its borders since the 4th March, 1857, arriving here when a young man of about twenty-three years. Mr. Anderson is a native of Ohio, having been born in Licking county on the 3d of April, 1834. His father, William Anderson, was a native of Maryland and was there reared and married, Miss Amelia A. Perygo, who was also born in that state, becoming his wife. Mr. Anderson's first property consisted of two slaves that were given him and when he removed from Maryland to Ohio, these slaves accompanied him to the Pennsylvania line. In the latter state he gave them their freedom papers and a supply of clothing. Settling in Licking county, Ohio, he opened up a farm in the midst of the forest and there, surrounded by the green woods, he tilled the soil, which he had first to clear and break. His remaining days were passed upon the old homestead, and there he died in August, 1866, at the age of sixty-six years. His wife survived him, passing away in 1868. William C. Anderson spent the days of his boyhood and youth in Ohio, and is largely self- educated, having but limited privileges in his youth in that direction. When a young man came westward to Iowa, settling in Mahaska county in 1857. He afterward entered one hundred and sixty acres of land in Page county, near Clarinda, and after holding that property for a few years he sold it. In 1862 he fitted up an ox team and thus equipped crossed the plains to Idaho with a large train of about one hundred teams. He made his way to the gold mines of that district and spent one season in a search for the precious metal. In September, of the same year, he bought two horses, using one as a pack horse, while he rode the other, and thus traveled home to Iowa, arriving in Mahaska county in November. On the 23d of December, 1863, Mr. Anderson was united in marriage to Miss Rachel C. Rice. a native of Indiana, and a daughter of W. H. H. Rice, who, coming from Indiana, became one of the first settlers of this part of the state, arriving in the fall of 1853. He bought land in Spring Creek township, broke the prairie, built a house, and in the course of years developed a large farm of several hundred acres. He was one of the prominent and substantial agriculturists of Mahaska county and assisted materially in its early development and improvement. Here he reared his family, and he yet resides upon the old homestead farm at the very advanced age of ninety-three years. He and his wife, who is a few years his junior, are numbered among the few remaining pioneer settlers of Mahaska county. They are the parents of two sons and two daughters, who are all married and settled near them, and they also have grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Mrs. Anderson was reared and educated in Mahaska county. After their marriage the young people went to Ohio on a wedding trip, arriving there on New Year's day of 1864. It was a fearfully cold day, the mercury dropping to forty degrees below zero. They remained in Ohio until June, and upon the return trip Mr. Anderson brought with him a flock of sheep, a span of horses and a shepherd dog, driving the sheep across the country to Mahaska county, where he arrived in August. He then settled upon a part of the farm which he yet owns and began the cultivation of the land, at the same time engaging in the sheep industry. He followed that pursuit for two years, after which he sold his sheep and his dogs. He then began raising cattle and made a business of buying, feeding and fattening cattle, selling from one to three carloads each year, and also about the same number of hogs until the year 1898, since which time he has concentrated his energies upon the cultivation of his land. Mr. Anderson commenced here with one hundred and sixty acres, but as he prospered he added to his property from time to time and within the boundaries of his farm now has four hundred and thirty-six acres. Upon the place he has built a substantial residence and has a good barn and other outbuildings. He also has two good dwelling houses beside his own home and two other barns upon the farm, so that there is ample accommodation afforded for tenants. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Anderson have been born five children who are yet living and they also lost one. Charles A., residing in Seattle, Washington, is an express messenger on the Great Northern Railroad. Lorena is the wife of William H. Zollars, a farmer of White Oak township, by whom she has four children: Clay, Cecil and Dulcea, twins, and Lida. W. F. Anderson, who is married and carries on the home farm, has two children, Judson and Lloyd. H. W. Anderson, who is in the city delivery mail service in Oskaloosa, has four children: Carroll, Leslie, Wallace and Thelma. T. R. Anderson is at home. Alice died in Denver, Colorado, at the age of twenty-six years. Politically Mr. Anderson has always been a democrat since casting his first presidential ballot for James Buchanan in 1856. He has since voted for each nominee of the party at the head of the national ticket, but has never sought or desired office for himself, preferring to give his attention to his farming pursuits. His wife is a member of the First Presbyterian church. Mr. Anderson has been a resident of the county since 1857, and his wife since 1853. He has watched the growth of Oskaloosa from a crossroads village to its present proportions when all of the advantages of city life may be enjoyed. He has also helped to improve and make the county what it is today. He has been a hard-working and industrious man and he and his estimable wife have labored earnestly and long, enduring hardships and privations together. They have worked together and as the years have passed their labors have been crowned with success. Here they have reared and educated their children who are a credit to their name, and they are numbered among the worthy pioneer settlers of the county. Their home is noted for its hospitality and good cheer and their circle of friends is very extensive and all wish that they may live long to enjoy the fruits of their united labors.


from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906

Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

Iowa Genealogy

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