John A Anderson (1881-1967)
Posted By: Tina Keister (email)
Date: 2/22/2012 at 13:27:39
John August Gotfred Anderson was born here in Grant Township on March 5, 1881, the youngest son of John B Anderson (1837-1892) and his second wife, Anna Charlotte (Nilsdotter) Anderson (1838-1900). The father is recognized as being the founder of the town of Boxholm. He and his wife came to Grant Township in 1876 and through Mr Anderson’s instrumentality , a small country post office was established in his home in 1887 bearing the name Boxholm, which was the town of his nativity in Sweden. The father was also the first businessman in Grant Township, operating a small general store out of his home. Both the parents are buried in Prairie Lawn Cemetery east of Boxholm.
John A Anderson was raised on his father’s home place in Section 16 (now occupied by Mr and Mrs Dan Kauffman) and attended the country school in Osceola district in Grant Township. He was confirmed in the Lutheran Church at Grant Center in 1897. ON Oct 5, 1904, he was married to Miss Hannah Cecelia Anholt. She was also born here in Grant Township on Nov 3, 1881, one of 13 children born to John Adolph Anholt (1838-1922) and his wife Sophia (Carlson) Anholt (1848-1928). The parents were among the earliest settlers of Grant Township, the father arriving from Sweden in 1868 and coming here in 1869, and the mother in 1875. After their marriage in 1875, they farmed in Section 23 for the remainder of their lives. Both are buried in Prairie Lawn Cemetery east of Boxholm. To Mr and Mrs Anderson were born two children: Mrs Earl “Candy” (Margaret) Westeen (1905-1984), and Rollin b. (1915). After their marriage, Mr and Mrs Anderson joined the Boxholm Methodist Church, where MRs Anderson had been confirmed Sept 5, 1897 in the first confirmation class of that church.
Mr Anderson took up the profession of carpentry at an early age and from 1898 to 1915 helped build 16 business places and 47 houses in Boxholm, this being a period of rapid growth for Boxholm. Mr Anderson was also one of the early businessmen of Boxholm, operating a meat market in the old hotel building from 1904 to 1913. He was also one of the founders of and helped to build the Boxholm Opera House in 1911-12. He also played in the old town band for many years.
Mr Anderson became an employee of the local lumberyard in 1915 and became manager in 1919, a position which he held until his retirement in 1958. He also was a member of Boxholm’s first town council and served from 1913-26 and again from 1930-34. He was the town treasurer for 29 years, from 1934-63. During the first 50 years of Boxholm’s existence he served in the city government all but four years. He was also a member of the school board for several years. Mr Anderson, alon with Peter A Stark, bought a large tract of land west of the original city limits of Boxhom. This tract was platter into lots in 1911 and became known as Anderson’s and Stark’s Addition to Boxholm. And today represents most of the west side of Boxholm.
During the town’s 50th anniversary celebration on Sept 6-7, 1963, Mr and Mrs Anderson were duly honored b being chosen as Mr and Mrs Boxholm. Their children were also active in the business affairs of Boxhom. Margaret having operated Westeen’s Cafe on main street for 50 years, 1934-84, and Rollin working in the lumberyard for many years, taking over as manager in 1958 until his own retirement in 1984. Rollin now lives in semi- retirement (He still looks after the cafe. ) in the Anderson home place which has been his home for over 70 years. Rollin is the only descendant still living of Mr and Mrs Anderson’s.
After 62 years of marriage and about 60 years in the lumber and building industry, Mr Anderson died on Jan 27, 1967, aged 85 years. Mrs Anderson lived on in their home place until she died on April 2, 1976, aged 94 years. Both are buried in the Prairie Lawn Cemetery east of Boxholm. With the passing of Mr and Mrs Anderson, the town of Boxholm lost two of its oldest and longest residents.
History of Boxholm and Grant Township in Boone County, Iowa 1986 by David C Peterson
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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