William Anderson, Jewell Mayor
(This biography is from Lee's 1912 History of Hamilton County Iowa, volume 2)
William Anderson, now (in 1912) serving as mayor of Jewell, has long been recognized as one of the leading and influential citizens of the town. He twice represented this county in the state legislature and was a prominent factor in financial circles as president of the State Bank of Jewell, resigning that position on the 1st of January, 1912.
His birth occured near London, Ontario, on the 8th of April, 1852, his parents being Duncan and Catherine (Corsant) Anderson. The paternal grandfather of our subject was born and educated in Glasgow, Scotland, but the maternal grandfather was born in America, Mrs. Anderson's ancestors coming to this country in the Mayflower. Mr. and Mrs. Duncan Anderson had eighteen children, all of whom were born and reared in Ontario.
William Anderson obtained his early education in the public schools of London, Ontario, and at Middlesex Seminary of Komoka, Ontario, being graduated from that institution in 1869. During the following four years he taught school in London, Ontario, and in 1873 crossed the border into the United States, coming directly to Hamilton County, Iowa. Settling in Lyon Township, he there worked on a farm during the summer months and in the winter followed the profession of teaching. In 1874 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 26, Lyon Township, and has since extended the boundaries of his farm until at the present time it embraces five hundred acres. He devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits and also taught school until 1883, when he was elected auditor of Hamilton County, being re-elected two years later and serving a second term. In 1887 he was elected county superintendent of the Hamilton County schools and, owing to the fact that he was re-elected in 1889, served in that capacity until 1892. The following year he assisted in the organization of the State Bank of Jewell and acted as its vice president until 1899, when he was made president of the institution. On the 1st of January, 1912, however, he resigned his position as chief executive officer. From 1896 until 1899 he also served as cashier of the First National Bank of Webster City, ably discharging his duties in this connection and thus promoting the growth and success of the institution. He is (in 1912) a director and treasurer of the Jewell Telephone Company and likewise, a director of the Jewell Electric Light Company.
In November, 1875, Mr. Anderson was united in marriage to Miss Morisini F. Everett, of Virginia, by whom he had seven children, four of whom still survive. Cecil, a veterinary surgeon residing at Jewell, married Miss Minnie Sweeney, by whom he has two children. Charles E., also married, is a practicing dentist of Madrid, Iowa. Hattie is a teacher in the high school at Boone, Iowa. Keo A., the mother of one daughter, is the wife of Willard Minert, a grain and coal dealer of Waukon, Iowa. Merle, who was a student in the Chicago Veterinary College at Chicago, Illinois, passed away September 19, 1912.
Politically, Mr. Anderson has always been a staunch Republican. In 1906 he was elected state representative from Hamilton County and two years later was re-elected, having won the enthusiastic approval and renewed support of his constituents. In March, 1912, he was chosen mayor of Jewell for a term of two years and is therefore the present incumbent in the office (in 1912), exercising his official prerogatives in support of many measures of reform and improvement. Few men are more prominent or more widely known in the enterprising city of Jewell than Mr. Anderson. He has been an important factor in business circles and his prosperity is well deserved, as in him are embraced the characteristics of an unbending integrity, unabating energy and industry that never flags. Both he and his estimable wife have a host of warm friends throughout the community and justly merit the regard and esteem which is uniformly accorded them.
The biography printed above is from the following three pages of the 1912 Jesse W. Lee publication History of Hamilton County Iowa, Volume 2.
Published in The Jewell Record December 1, 1910:
As I am going to retire from farming and move to town, I will sell at public auction at my farm one mile east of Jewell and two miles west of Ellsworth on Tuesday, Dec. 6 commencing at 11:00 a.m. the following described property towit:
| 7 Head of Horses - 2 goldings,
4 and 6 years old, sound, weight 3,200 pounds; 1 bay mare, 5 years old,
in foal, wight 1400 pounds; 4 large drivers, 3 years old, 2 of them mares
and 2 geldings.
28 Head of Good Cattle - 15 head of fine milk cows, will be fresh soon; 3 two year old steers; 8 two year old heifers; 2 yearling heifers.
35 Head of Hogs - 2 brood sows; 8 pigs; 25 shoats wighing about 150 pounds each.
80 Head of Sheep - 50 head of ewes, 30 lambs.
100 bushels Kherson seed oats; 2,000 bushels corn in crib, sold in lots to suit purchasers; 20 tons wild hay in barn, easy to get at: 2 stacks oat straw.
Farm Machinery and Household Goods - 3 wagons; Kratzer surrey, new and made to order; McCormick mower; sulky plow; steel harrow; disc; buggy; sled; 2 sets harnesss, one new; 7 rocking chairs; 3 bedsteads, 2 bed room sets, hard coal stove, new wood heater; one upholstered parlor set; organ and stool; churn; carpets; rugs and stair carpet; hanging lamps; new china closet; large book case; and other articles not here mentioned.
Free Lunch at Noon.
Terms of Sale - Sums of $10.00 and under cash. On all sums over that amount one year's time on approved notes bearing 8 per cent interest. No property to be removed until settled for.
Published in The Jewell Record April 11, 1912, from the Webster City Journal:
WM. ANDERSON HAS A BIRTHDAY - If you dear reader, ever thought William Anderson of Jewell is a Scandinavian, prepare now to be greatly disappointed. Despite the fact that his name end in the tell-tale s-o-n, he was born away off near London, Ontario, Canada. The event here chronicled occurred April 8, 1852 and so, be it known, the Honorable William will be just sixty years young next Monday.
A brief restrospective of the life of William Anderson proves again that America is the land of opportunity and that a poor boy needs only a big pinch of energy in his system to be able to spell the word success in full capitals. William's mother died when her son was but eight years of age. The lad was sent to the public schools of London and later to Middlesex Seminary, from which place he was graduated in 1869.
For five years following his graduation, William Anderson taught school, two of which years were spent in the London public schools. In 1872 Mr. Anderson forsook the British Jack for the American Eagle, settling in Lyon Township and paying $10 per acre for a half section. He farmed and also hired out by the month to herd cattle. Later he went back to teaching and taught at Lakin's Grove. When the little hamlet of Jewell Juntion was established, he became a teacher there and for seven years after his marriage, he taught school in the winter and farmed in the summer. When the town of Jewell was organized, William Anderson was its first principal of public schools.
Back somewhere in the 80's William Anderson served four years as county auditor and followed it with four years as county superintendent of schools. In 1892 the State Bank of Jewell was organized and Mr. Anderson was one of its chief promoters and has been closely indentified with it ever since. He preceded Frank J. Lund as Hamilton County's representative in the state legislature at Des Moines. He is one of Jewell's leading and best known citizens and one to whom the town owes much for its advancement and progress. That the Honorable William Anderson may live in health and happiness many more years to honor and be honored by his town and his hosts of friends over Hamilton County is the birthday wish of the Journal.
Published in The Jewell Record June 12, 1913:
The following from the Webster City Journal, under the heading "Hoo's Hoo Hereabouts", is mighty bum poetry, but a mighty fine little bouquet for Mayor Bill:
Who is it lives in Jewell
The folks all call him Bill,
Who's always boosting, never knocks
Knows just when to keep still?
Who came to Lyon Township
'Twas but a boggy slough,
Who's stuck around a making dough
And holding office too?
Who is that fat and jolly
That never turns you down,
Who's always on subscriptions for
Whatever boosts his town?
Who is the Lord High Mayor
Who likewise runs a bank?
Who dishes out the money when
You've made investments ran k?
Who really is a canny Scott,
Though born in Canada,
Why sure its William Anderson,
Hip! Hip! William Anderson.
Published in The Jewell Record September 25, 1913:
The Ellsworth News last week printed a semi-biographical writeup of Hon. W. Anderson, mayor of Jewell, in part as follows:
"Big Bill" Anderson is one of the reasons Jewell is a thriving city of over 1000 souls -- besides the people who have none.
No one has ever made the statement that they were sorry he ever was born and a great many -- yes, more than that -- may never have been able to have started just right in life if he hadn't been born.
It was along about one of the last snow falls in Canada that uncle Bill was born, a few minutes after sunrise on the morning of April 8th, 1852, and ever since that time he been hustling around with a firm determination that he will own Lyon Township and about half of Jewell, and if he don't slip the emergency on within the next few years, he's going to have an almighty big tax receipt.
As long as he lived in Canada be taught school but along about a hundred years after the first 4th of July celebration, he came over in Uncle Sam's domain. He traveled over this country considerably until he reached a point two miles due west of here and then he hesitated.
The country looked a trifle wild and some wooly yet, but the Honorable Bill figured that about the best piece of land he'd seen this side of the Canada line was the farm he was on and he bought it.
about the first cold spell in 1875, Uncle William coaxed a young lady,
Miss Everett, to help herd cattle and otherwise make herself pleasant around
his fireside and -- she has ben a patient and cheerful sufferer ever since.
Mr. Anderson has tried his hand at various occupations. He served as county auditor for four years. Figures made him dizzy, he tried superintendency of county schools for four years. So many children in the schools through the county were eating onions so he did not run for a third term. Then he went into the banking business and cashed checks for the poor, and needy at the First Natiional Bank of Webster City for a few years. He was vice president of the State Bank of Jewell for several years and was later elected president and held that position from the year Tige got his tail broke in a corn sheller until after the electric light plant ws started. He was elected representative from Hamilton County in 1906 and in 1908.
A great many of the progressive movements made in Jewell were hatched in the mind of Honorable William Anderson and when they were right he fought shoulder to shoulder with the people for what they wanted.
This portion of the 1918
Plat Map of Lyon Township shows the Anderson Farm.
You can see why another common name for Lake with Island or Goose Lake was Anderson Lake.
Thanks to the website
of the Iowa Legislature for the following information and photo. (https://www.legis.iowa.gov/)
Opens in new browser tab, and is used by the Jewell Historical Society with permission.
(The content on our site is to be shared with everyone. Please feel free to use whatever you wish from our website.)
Honorable William Anderson was born on a farm near London, Canada, April 8, 1852. His fatherís parents were Scotch, being educated in the schools of Glasgow, while those of his mother were American. An ancestor of his grandmotherís named Farrar came over in the Mayflower. He was one of a family of eighteen children. He attended school at London, Canada, and graduated from the Middlesex Seminary in the class of Ď69. For the next four years he taught school and in 1873 moved to Hamilton county, Iowa, where he began working on a farm and teaching school. In 1874 he purchased a quarter section of land on which he lived for the next ten years. At this time he farmed during the summer months and taught school during the winter.
In November, 1875, Mr. Anderson was married to Miss M. F. Everett who came from Virginia, and to this union were born seven children. In the year 1883 Mr. Anderson was elected county auditor of Hamilton county which position he held for two terms. He was then elected county superintendent of schools which position he also held for two terms. At the expiration of his term of office as county superintendent of schools he returned to his old home in Jewell and helped organize the State Bank of Jewell. From 1896 to 1899 he was cashier of the First National Bank of Webster City. In 1899 he moved to Jewell and assumed active management of the State Bank, becoming its president.
In 1906 he was elected state representative from Hamilton county and re-elected in 1908. Mr. Anderson, besides holding the offices named, has held minor offices in the town of Jewell.
Mr. Anderson was always a public spirited man, a tireless worker and always endeavoring to further the best interests for the people of the local community, the county and the state. Mr. Anderson was a man who was always willing to help an energetic and upright person in the way of receiving an education. To that end he often encouraged and also helped in a financial way some boy or girl who would have been denied the opportunity otherwise to go through school and graduate from college. Mr. Anderson was affiliated with the Congregational church.
Mr. Anderson passed away at the home of his daughter in Ames, Iowa, March 4, 1926. At this time he was on his way to Jewell from Florida where he and Mrs. Anderson had been spending the winter months together. His weakened condition and his sickness at that time prevented his removal from Ames to Jewell, his home, which was only a matter of some twenty miles. Surviving him are Mrs. Anderson, residing at Jewell, Miss Harriet Anderson of Grand Island, Nebraska, Mrs. Cleo A. Minert of Ames, Charlie Anderson of Madrid, Iowa, and C. W. Anderson of Jewell, Iowa.
By the death of Mr. Anderson the state has lost a useful citizen. His life and public services were of high character and he will be remembered as an ideal patriot, citizen, neighbor and friend.
Therefore, Be It Resolved, That in the passing of the Honorable William Anderson the state has lost a valuable and honored citizen whose fidelity to duty, faithfulness in every public and private trust, and splendid character should be an inspiration to all for a higher ideal in life.
Be It Further Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon the Journal of the House and the Chief Clerk directed to send an enrolled copy to the members of his family.
IRVING H. KNUDSON,
MARTIN H. TROUP,
RAYBURN L. RUTLEDGE,
Unanimously adopted April 6, 1927.
||Back to About Jewell|