REV. JAMES ANDERSON. In the development of any community the physical and spiritual phases have been inseparable companions, have gone hand in hand from the first pulse-beats of civilized life to the approach to ultimate perfection. Workers in the Master’s vineyard have shared in the privations and hardships of the frontier, that spiritual leaven might be injected into the daily life of the populace to the end that God’s kingdom shall be honored and His will be done in every household. To him who brought the gospel early, spread it resolutely as a disciple of the Great Teacher and continues the contest until the last victory is won shall be due an honor and a credit in excess of him who shall found a colony, build a city or win a decisive battle. The awakening of religious sentiment is the province of God’s agents and the development of our spiritual lives the work of God’s grace. In every county His servants bear His messages and plead His cause in the regeneration of souls and to the amelioration of the human race. In this broad field of spiritual labor has Montague county known the subject of this review, whose efforts have physical vigor promises another generation of active, effective work in the rounding-out of his ministerial career.
In June, 1876, Rev. James Anderson reached St. Jo, Texas, and took charge of the Presbyterian church as its pastor, having ever since maintained that relation, and is also pastor of the Adora church near Stoneburg, and these charges constitute his main field of labor and give him his chief concern. He has officiated on so many occasions in interesting localities, such as Bowie, Henrietta, Gainesville, Wichita Falls and other points, that he has become widely known and is coming to be considered the father of Presbyterianism in Northwestern Texas. The family to which Rev. Anderson belongs was Americanized at Schenectady, New York. It was founded by his grandfather, John Anderson, who brought a portion of his family from Scotland in the portion of his family from Scotland in the forepart of the nineteenth century and was engaged there in the grocery business. The latter married and passed away in Sennett, New York, at an advanced age, being the father of: William, who died in Oneida county, New York; John, who died at Boonville, New York; and Charles, our subject’s father.
Charles Anderson was born in Schenectady, New York, in August, 1812. He graduated from Auburn Theological Seminary in 1845 and located in central New York and engaged in the ministry of the Presbyterian church. He filled pastorates at Union Springs, Sennett, Savannah and in the suburbs of Auburn and died in the latter city in March, 1901. He married Elizabeth L. Clary, a daughter of Dr. Joseph Clary, of Throopsville, New York, but formerly from New England. Mrs. Anderson died at Sennett, New York, in 1872, at the age of fifty-one years, being the mother of: Rev. Charles Anderson, a graduate of Hamilton College and of the Andover Theological Seminary, a Congregationalist and for many years one of the professors of Roberts’ College in Constantinople, Turkey; Rev. James, our subject; Joseph C., a banker of Auburn, New York; John B., a fruit exporter and extensive horticulturist of Geneva, New York, and William H., a physician of Medical Lake, Washington, and superintendent of the Eastern Washington Hospital for the Insane.
Rev. James Anderson’s youth was passed as a student in Hamilton College and in the Auburn Theological Seminary, where he graduated in 1872, in Monroe Collegiate Institute, and in Oakwood Seminary, from which he graduated in 1876. In company with classmates, the late Rev. Warner B. Riggs, of Dallas, Texas; Rev. C. F. Goss, now of Cincinnati, Ohio, and W. H. Niles, he came to Texas and began his work at St. Jo, as previously stated. After the lapse of five years, in which the foundation for his future successes was laid, he returned home and August 24, 1881, was united in marriage with Sarah E. Foster. Three children have blessed the home of Rev. and Mrs. Anderson, viz: Elizabeth C., deceased; Edward L., who was educated at the college in Glasgow, Missouri, and is beginning life on his father’s farm; and Hermione B., an accomplished young lady just entering womanhood, the jewel of the domestic crown.
From childhood to the present Rev. Anderson’s life has been a busy one, first in the preparation necessary for his successful professional career and then in his heart for nearly thirty years and in which he has triumphed in the end.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, Vol. II (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), pp. 333-335.