GUSTAF A. ANDERSON. - Possessing rare business ability, tact and judgment, Gustaf A. Anderson, of Kansas City, Kansas has been an important factor in advancing the industrial prosperity of this part of Wyandotte county, and although now practically retired from active pursuits is still a stockholder in the Anderson Coupling and Supply Company, of which he was the founder. A son of Abraham Anderson, he was born, July 29, 1859, at Skofde, Sweden.
Born in the same Swedish town as his son Gustaf, Abraham Anderson was there brought up, educated and married. Immigrating with his family to the United States in 1868, he located at Ottawa, Franklin county, Kansas, where he followed his trade of a stone mason a few years, afterwards being engaged as a contractor, and finally becoming a tiller of the soil in that county. Retiring from active business in 1897 he has since been a resident of Ottawa, and one of its most respected citizens. He is a staunch Republican in politics, and a faithful member of the A. M. Swedish Lutheran church. His wife, whose maiden name was Anna Gustafa Billman, was born at Skofde, Sweden, and is now living in Ottawa, Kansas. Of the five sons that blessed their union, four are living, as follows: August, Gustaf A., Edwin and Harry.
But nine years old when he crossed the ocean with his parents, Gustaf A. Anderson continued his studies in the public schools of Ottawa, Kansas, and in Lawrence, Kansas, obtaining a good education when young. After leaving school, he, in company with a brother, was for eight years employed in tilling the soil. Not satisfied with his work, Mr. Anderson spent sometime with the wholesale dry goods firm of Bullene, Moore, Emery & Company, after which he was bookkeeper at Roswell, New Mexico, for the Bush & Mallon Land and Cattle Company, for a year. Returning then to Ottawa, Kansas, he was there engaged in the grocery and boot and shoe business for eight years. Coming to Kansas City in September, 1898, Mr. Anderson began the manufacture of fire department supplies, his factory being located at Kansas City, Missouri, until 1906, when he transferred his plant and business to Kansas City, Kansas. He erected the present building, which is of stone and pressed brick, one hundred feet by one hundred and twenty feet, and two stories in height. He has been very successful in his manufactures and has many patents on his apparatus, these bringing him in a handsome income. In 1907, Mr. Anderson retired from the firm, although he retains an interest in it, its officers now being as follows: S. O. Harpster, president and treasurer; M. L. Alden, vice president; and H. O. Harpster, secretary and superintendent. The firm manufactures motor-propelled and horse-drawn fire apparatus, chemical engines, hose carts, Anderson hose couplings, fire extinguishers, engine house fixtures, electric alarms, combination nozzles, etc., etc. Three or four years ago Mr. Anderson established a similar manufacturing plant at Camden, Maine, where, in 1907 and 1908 he spent seventeen months.
On May 24, 1893, Mr. Anderson was united in marriage with Selma Amanda Melander, who was born in Ottawa, Kansas, January 4, 1873, a daughter of Andrew and Tena (Isackson) Melander, both of whom were born in Sweden, came with their parents to America, and were married at the home of Mr. Anderson's parents, in Kansas, she being the oldest child in a family of four daughters and one son. Mr. Melander, a machinist by trade, was one of the pioneer employes of the Santa Fe Railroad Company, with which he was connected until 1906, when he was retired with a pension. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are the parents of five children, namely: Leone, Frederick, Eleanor, Gerald and Porter C.
Fraternally Mr. Anderson is a member of Wyandotte Lodge, No. 440, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, and of the Knights of Pythias. He belongs to the Swedish Society, and both he and his wife, true to the religious teaching of their early days are members of the A. M. Swedish Lutheran church. In his political relations he is a straightforward Republican.
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