Elisha Hoffman Anderson, manager of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company at Topeka, was born on a farm near Easton, W. Va., Dec. 17, 1863, a son of William Anderson and wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Coombs. The father, who was a farmer, was born in Dungannon, County Tyrone, Ireland, Feb. 9, 1801, and was of Scotch-Irish descent. He came to the United States in 1818, when a young man and located near Frostburg, Md. He was a Covenanter until he came to America, when he joined the Methodist Episcopal church and remained an active member until his death which occurred on his farm near Easton, W. Va., April 9, 1882. The mother was born near Frostburg, Md., April 16, 1825, and she died in Morgantown, W. Va., Oct. 5, 1905, aged eighty-one years. She was a daughter of Elisha Coombs, who was of English descent. Her mother's maiden name was Neff. William and Elizabeth (Coombs) Anderson were the parents of eight children: Thomas Wright, of Morgantown, W. Va.; Mrs. Anna Belle, wife of Rev. Samuel Ernest Jones, a Methodist minister who is chaplain of Sing Sing prison of New York State; John Coombs of White Plains, N. Y.; Mrs. Ella Shay of Emporia, Kan.; Mrs. Caroline Llewellyn of Topeka, Kan.; William Franklin, bishop of the Methodist Episcopal church, located at Chattanooga, Tenn.; Elisha Hoffman, and Mary Blanche, of Morgantown, W. Va.
Elisha H. Anderson spent his boyhood on the farm near Easton, W. Va. and pursued his education first at a country school; then later attended West Virginia University at Morgantown, where he completed his junior year, and then completed his college course at the Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware, Ohio, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1885. Immediately after his graduation from college he came to Kansas and first located at Emporia, where he spent six years. There comes a time in nearly every one's life when its course is determined by its environment and its necessity. Such was the case with Mr. Anderson, for, though having spent a year and a half in the study of law, the continuance of that study and the practice of that profession did not promise a speedy means of repaying the debt he bad incurred in obtaining his college education, nor the means for its subsistence, hence the offer which was made to him about this time by the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wis., appealed to the struggling young law student and he enlisted his services to that company in March, 1886. This proved to be a turning point in his career, for from that time to the present he has been on the force and staff of that great and well known life insurance company which is the fourth largest life insurance company in the United States Mr. Anderson represented that company at Emporia until 1891 when, having made a distinct success, his field was broadened and he was transferred to Topeka, where he has since been an associate general agent of the company in Kansas, with headquarters in the capital of the state. Mr. Anderson is a Republican in politics. He served five years on the Topeka hoard of education, being its vice-president when he retired. He is a member of the Topeka Commercial Club, is a Thirty-third degree Honorary Mason and a Knight Templar, is a past master of Topeka Lodge No. 17, and is a past grand patron of the Eastern Star of the State of Kansas.
Mr. Anderson was married Sept. 30, 1891, to Miss Lillian Orpha Murray of Emporia, Kan., but a native of Pennsylvania. They have three living children: Paul William, born Nov. 20, 1894; Dana Hoffman, born Oct. 26, 1901, and Elizabeth Helen, born June 19, 1905. Paul, the eldest child, is a senior in the Topeka High School, is six feet, three inches tall and is a fine specimen of young manhood though but seventeen year old. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson and their eldest son are members of the First Methodist Episcopal church of Topeka. Mr. Anderson is on the board of stewards of the church, is assistant superintendent of the Sunday school of that church and is one of its teachers.Pages 683-684 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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