IAGenWeb.org Iowa in the Great War

William B. Anderson



WILLIAM B. ANDERSON is a native of Cedar County, Iowa, and since he was twenty years of age has been a merchant at West Branch, being proprietor of the William B. Anderson Company, hardware, furniture and undertaking. His business career was interrupted for over a year by his service in the World

Mr. Anderson was born on a farm in Cedar County, two and and half miles from West Branch, January 20, 1896. His parents, Peter and Sina (Madsen) Anderson, were born in Denmark and came to America when young people and were married in this country. His father was about twenty-three years of age when he arrived in Iowa and was for many years a prosperous and substantial farmer of Cedar County, where he died June 30, 1928, at the age of seventy years. There were seven children in the family: Harley, a farmer near West Branch; Gina, wife of Alfred F. Pedersen, and they live on the Anderson
homestead farm: Alfred is a resident of West Branch; Edward operates a farm five and a half miles east of West Branch; William B.: Alvin is in the hardware business at West Liberty, Iowa; and Mildred.

William B. Anderson was an Iowa farm boy and had the value of a routine of chores and other work while attending school. He was graduated from the West Branch High School in 1914. He was only eight or nine years of age when he earned his first dollar, by helping some neighbors put up hay. During the summer of 1915 he worked on a farm and in the fall of the same year entered the Cedar Rapids Business College. Mr. Anderson in 1916 became an employee of the Bell Hardware Company of West Branch. In the fall of that year, before he was twenty-one years of age, he and his older brother, Alfred, bought the business of the Bell Company. Less than a year after that American became involved in the great conflict of the nations, and on July 28, 1917, William B. Anderson enlisted. He was with the Signal Corps, was in training at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, and later at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and on August 25,1917, left Fort Leavenworth and arrived at Manila October 5, having sailed September 5, 1917. He was on duty in the Philippine Islands until June 17, 1919. He received his honorable discharge at Camp Dodge,
Iowa, July 29, 1919, just two years after his enlistment. During his absence his brother Alfred had carried on the business, and after he resumed his place in the store the partnership between the two brothers was maintained until 1924. In that year Mr. Anderson bought out his brother and has since been sole  proprietor of the W. B. Anderson Company. He has a very fine store, carrying a general line of hardware and furniture, and has one of the chief undertaking establishments in Cedar County.

Mr. Anderson has been active as a citizen. He is a member of the City Council of West Branch. He is a Republican, a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of Kaaba Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Davenport, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

He married, October 14, 1920, Miss Dorothy Bailey, of Barnsville, Ohio. Her parents, Allen and Eva (Patterson) Bailey, are still living on their dairy farm in Eastern Ohio. The sons born to Mr.. and Mrs. Anderson are Robert Bailey and William B., Jr.

~ source:  The People of Iowa by Edgar Rubey Harlan, LL. B., A. M., Volume III, The American Historical Society, Inc.; Chicago and New York,1931.

~ Transcribed & Contributed by Debbie Gerischer http://iagenweb.org/history/