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Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 4/19/2021 at 16:12:49

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN ANDERSON, deceased, one of the honored pioneers of Lee County, was a native of Montgomery County, Ky., his birth occurring April 9, 1815. He remained in his native county only until the age of eighteen years, and then started ont to seek his fortunes in the wide West, He crossed the Mississippi River to the present site of Keokuk, and starting from there on foot, walked up past the rapids and from there took a boat for Dubuque, He there engaged in mining and ship carpentering, at which he was occupied four or five years. He then removed to Farmington, Van Buren County, and was engaged in carpenter work until 1850, He then removed to Eddyville and opened a store for the sale of dry-goods. The following year his goods were nearly destroyed by a flood, but he recovered from this disaster as speedily as possible, purchased more stock, saved what he could of that which was damaged, and continued his business until 1854. He then closed out and went to Oskaloosa, where he was again employed at his trade until 1856, after which he went to Montrose and remained for a time engaged at his trade. He then went down to St. Louis and engaged in the shipyard there until the breaking out of the late Civil War. He was then also employed as a ship carpenter and general mechanic by the Government. He finally enlisted in the ranks and marched with the regiment into Vicksburg, and was continuously employed at his trade in the army until the close of the war. Thereafter he was engaged for five years as ship carpenter for Capt. Campbell on the Keithburg packet, plying between Ft. Madison and Davenport.

Mr. Anderson was married, March 18, 1849, to Miss Louisa Davis, a native of Cumberland, Md., born Oct. 2, 1826. She was the daughter of Isaiah Davis, a native of Annapolis, Md., and her grandfather, William Jeremiah Davis, was a native of "Merrie England," who emigrated to America, first settling in Maryland, thence removing to Pennsylvania, and finally returning to the first-named State, where he departed this life at Cumberland. He served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and for services therein rendered was awarded a pension from the Government. Isaiah Davis, the father of Mrs. Anderson, removed from Maryland and to Ohio in 1835, and located at Zanesville, where he remained for eleven years. He then crossed the Mississippi and came into Jefferson County, Iowa, where he remained three years, and then, in the fall of 1849, went to Kirkville. Wapello County, where he spent the remainder of his days. He was married in early manhood to Miss Essa Kuntz. She was of German parentage, born in Pennsylvania, and departed this life in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1841.

In 1868 Mr. Anderson removed his family to Ft. Madison, established a home here and remained until his death, which occurred on the 2d of December, 1882. He was a prominent member and one of the organizers of Charleston Lodge, I. O. O. F. He was interested in several lodges, and was for a time Deputy District Master; he was also a member of Claypole Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Ft. Madison.

Mr. Anderson, from his youth, had received careful religious training from a deeply pious mother. This lady was one of the thirteen persons who organized the First Methodist Church of Iowa. Her son faithfully followed in the footsteps of that honored mother, uniting with the church of her choice in early manhood, and remaining a faithful adherent to its doctrines until his death.

The household circle of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson included seven children, three of whom are now deceased. The living are as follows: Attia is the wife of H. J. Buck, and lives in Washington Township; Roy is in Minnesota; Fannie married Mr. W. B. Frederick, and Letitia is at home. The family are highly respected wherever known, and Mr. Anderson, as a man and a citizen, fulfilled all the obligations of life faithfully and conscientiously, and now that he rests from his labors, is held in kindly remembrance by all who knew him.

Transcription typed/proofed as article was originally published in 1887


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