WILLIAM W. ANDERSON. - The energetic, enterprising and substantial agriculturists of Johnson county have no more worthy representative than William W. Anderson, of Wilder, who has won an extended reputation throughout northeastern Kansas as an expert breeder of horses and mules, of which he keeps from fifty to one hundred and fifty head. A native of Kansas, he was born March 29, 1872, in Johnson county, on the farm where he now lives, coming on the paternal side of sturdy Scotch ancestry.
Thomas Anderson, his father, familiarly known to the residents of this vicinity as "Captain Tom" Anderson, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, January 24, 1836. At the age of three years his parents brought him to America, locating in Virginia, where his father had charge of the Government stone works. Having obtained a practical common school education, he spent two years in Scotland, and on his return to this country settled at Racine, Wisconsin. On attaining his majority, in 1857, he migrated to Leavenworth, Kansas, and worked in that vicinity until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he enlisted as a soldier in the First Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. With his regiment he took part in many engagements of importance, and at the battle of Chickamauga, September 19, 1863, was captured by the enemy and held in confinement two hundred and forty-eight days, eight days being kept prisoner on Belle Island, six weeks in Libby Prison and the remainder of the time at Danville, Virginia. Making his escape on August 26, 1864, Captain Tom Anderson traveled by night on foot across the Blue Ridge mountains, at the end of five weeks, without any guide, using the North star as his guide, having covered a distance of two hundred and fifty miles.
The Captain married, in 1865, Jane Beatty, of Racine county, Wisconsin, and moved to Missouri, where for a time he was engaged in the hotel business. Coming from there to Johnson county, he purchased the farm now occupied by his son, William W., and was here prosperously employed in agricultural pursuits until his death, March 31, 1904. He was held in the highest esteem throughout the community in which he lived, being very popular with all classes of people, and his funeral, it is said, was one of the largest ever held in this section of the state, hosts of sincere friends gathering to pay the last tribute of respect to his memory. He was very prominent in the Grand Army of the Republic, and the book which be wrote and published, entitled "Rebel Prison Life," is read with interest. With the Captain in his last hours were his wife and sons William W., John, Milton and Ralph, with their wives, two of his sons, Robert and Thomas, being in the mountains.
Brought up on the home farm and educated in the district schools, William W. Anderson was well drilled in the various branches of agriculture as a boy and youth, but at first could not make up his mind to adopt farming as an occupation. Going north, therefore, he spent about ten years in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and in the northern part of Wisconsin as a telegraph operator, but that occupation proved no more congenial to him, and he gladly responded to his father's summons back to the old homestead. He has since been profitably employed in general agriculture, making a specialty of breeding and raising fine stock, taking special interest in breeding horses and mules, with which he has had excellent success. His large estate of two hundred and eighty acres, lying just across the bridge from Bonner Springs, is widely known as the "Highland Park Stock Farm" one of the finest and most highly improved of any in this locality.
Mr. Anderson raises both draft and road horses, and many mules. He has two noted stallions, both of which have honored pedigrees and prize records. Pierre, his imported Percheron draft horse, a beautiful seal brown stallion, weighing nineteen hundred pounds, was sired by Sir Conquerant 3344, while Guy Golden, his magnificent trotting stallion, valued at $3,000, is a son of Old Steinway 1808, and has, it is claimed, a record of 2:08. He has also two jacks, one being Hardin Mammoth 1253, and both being among the very best in the country. Mr. Anderson is a model farmer in every sense implied by the term, and is held in the highest esteem by his associates and fellow townsmen, his sterling integrity and manly qualities winning him friends wherever he goes.
Mr. Anderson married, January 17, 1900, Margaret Shea, of Canada, and they are the parents of six children, namely: Kenneth, Grace, Katherine, Margaret, Mary and Thomas William. Mr. Anderson is a high Mason and will take the Thirty-second Degree in the fall of 1911.
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