James M. Anderson biography

HON. JAS. M. ANDERSON was born in Moulton, Ala., July 30, 1824. His father, Edward A., who was a native of Virginia, moved to Moulton, Tenn., and died, when his son was only two years old. The boy was educated at Corrick Academy, Winchester, Tenn., and at Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tenn. He afterward taught school and studied law under Judge Nathan Greer, Chief Justice of Tennessee. When 24 years old he came to Rusk county, Texas, and practiced law 15 years, in partnership with Judge S. P. Donley. His business prospered. He was first married in Tennessee in 1849, to Miss Jane Buckhannan, who died in 1850. He was again married in Rusk, Texas, October 26, 1851, to Miss Winfrey Polk, daughter of Andrew Polk, who was cousin to President James K. Polk. Six children have blessed this union, who have all been well educated and who fill positions of honor and respect. Bro. Anderson united with the First Baptist church, Waco, in 1872, and continued a faithful and efficient member till his death, June 3, 1889. His death was a severe loss to his family, to Waco and to Texas. His death was a severe loss to his family, to Waco and to Texas. His manly bearing and fidelity to principle will ever be cherished by those who knew him best, as worthy of imitation. He was six feet, two and one-half inches high, and weighed 190 pounds. Once, supplying the place of Gov. R. G. Hubbard as speaker, he humorously opened by remarking, “Though Gov. Hubbard is absent, the audience may console themselves with the reflection that they for speaker a man of higher standing, if not of equal weight.” His individuality was characterized by more than ordinary will power, firmness and independence. A beautiful poem, written by his daughter, Mrs. Lula Anderson Kimbrough, entitled, “In Memory of My Father, Col. James M. Anderson,” begins thus:

“Once, in the long ago, a child came down
To dwell among the people here on earth.
He grew as other little children grow,
Playful at times and again at times self-willed,
Till at length he came to manhood’s high estate.
Then as the days passed slowly into weeks,
The weeks to months to slower years,
This man, who had appeared as other men,
Grew more and more into a noble man.
In learning and piety none lived that did excel him.”

The poem closes sweetly:
“And yonder somewhere, somehow, he will know
How much we love him ere we tell him son.”

Source: J. L. Walker and C. P. Lumpkin, History of the Waco Baptist Association of Texas (Waco: Byrne-Hill Printing House, 1897), pp. 222-223.