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Darwin and June (Drake) Anderson

Photo page 329

The family of Darwin and June (Drake) Anderson has deep roots in the Madrid Community.

On Darwin's paternal side, great-grandparents, Magnus and Elizabeth (Bengtson) Anderson, and grandfather, John Anderson, were among the first Swedish immigrants to settle in the Madrid area in 1846. Magnus Anderson (1798-1845) is buried in the Dalander Cemetery located northwest of Madrid. John Anderson (1832-1906) homesteaded land one and one-half miles northwest of Madrid, where he resided until his death. In addition to farming, Bengt Johan Anderson (known as John Anderson) was one of the founders of the Swedish Mutual Insurance Association; took a leading role in establishing the first bank in Madrid; served as Boone County Supervisor for six years, and County Assessor for twenty years. He and his wife, Caroline (Nelson) Anderson, were charter members of St. John's Lutheran Church, in Madrid. After the death of his first wife, John Anderson married Caroline Olive Anderson, and Darwin's father, Roy William Anderson (1892-1920) was born the seventh of eight children of their union.

Roy Anderson owned and operated the Madrid Variety Store at the time of his untimely death at age 28, a victim of the World War I influenza epidemic.

Darwin's mother, Edna (Peterson) Anderson (1892-1958), was the daughter of Charles E. (1861-1937) and Josephine (Swanson) Peterson (1868-1954). Charles E., better known as C. E., came from Sweden with his father, John Peterson, and several brothers and sisters in 1868, and settled on a farm east of Madrid along Big Creek. Josephine's parents, Andrew and Anna Christina (Peterson) Swanson, homesteaded about two and one-half miles northeast of Madrid, where Josephine and her six brothers and sisters were born.

Near the turn of the century, C. E. Peterson and family moved into Madrid, where he remained active in business and community affairs up to a few months before his death in 1937 at the age of 75. At one time, he and a Mr. A. T. Davis operated the Madrid Mill, located on North Union Street (on the east side of the street, half a block north of First Street). He later operated a grocery stiore in the building recently occupied by the Madrid Library. C. E. Peterson served several terms on the Madrid city council, several terms as Mayor of Madrid, and, later, as Justice of the Peace.

Not unlike her husband, June (Drake) Anderson also has descendants on both her father's and mother's sides who resided in the Madrid community. Her paternal grandparents, A. H. (1859-1935) and Lucy (Newby) Drake (1862-1944), farmed two and one-half miles southeast of Madrid, and, in 1900, built the house where the Keith Anderson family now lives. June is one of eleven children born to William "Bill" (1898-1966) and Elsie (Stevens) Drake (1898-1952). They also farmed southeast of Madrid, where June attended Prairie School. The family moved to southern Minnesota for a few years, later returning to Iowa to a farm south of Sheldahl, and June graduated in 1937 from Sheldahl high school.

June's mother was a daughter of Samuel Stokem Stevens (1867-1947) and Margaret Agnes (Bassett) Stevens (1871-1919). Known around Madrid as "Stoke" Stevens, June's grandfather worked for many years at the Scandia Coal Company Mine No. 4, just south of Madrid. He later moved to Sheldahl. June's maternal great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather were early settlers in the Hopkins Grove vicinity southeast of Madrid. This makes June a fifth-generation resident of the Madrid area.

Darwin and June were married in 1937, and have lived all but about two years of their married life in or near Madrid. Darwin has been an agent for the New York Life Insurance Company lor the past 20 years. Their four sons are: C. LeRoy, who recently relocated near Boston; Keith, Robert, and David, of Madrid. Five of their ten grandchildren live at Madrid, and, thus, represent the seventh generation (going back through the Stevens line) in this community. Keith Anderson's twin sons, Kenny and Denny, are fifth-generation members of St. John's Lutheran Church.

Through the years, Darwin and June have remained active in numerous civic, professional, and cultural activities on local and state levels.

In 1974, the Andersons built their residence in the Reddish Addition west of Madrid, only a short distance from where the first Swedish settlers to arrive in this vicinity built their first homes.

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