ROBERT G. ANDERSON is so well known in Abilene that he needs no introduction to the readers of this volume. His father, John C. Anderson, was a native of Mississippi, born in April, 1829. He lived there in early boyhood and about 1837, in company with his parents, came to Texas, settling in Angelina county, where he engaged in farming, which he followed during the greater part of his life. He was married in that county on the 12th of September, 1847, to Miss Mary A. Caldwell, who was born in Maury county, Tennessee, February 29, 1832. She spent her girlhood largely in this state, coming here with her parents in 1835. Following his marriage Mr. Anderson removed to Anderson county in 1850, making his home there through the succeeding eighteen years, when he took up his abode in Ellis county, which was then a typical western frontier district, having but few white inhabitants and abounding in game of various kinds. and of almost unlimited quantity. Again Mr. Anderson made a removal in 1877, when he settled in Young county, his death there occurring on the 27th of April of the same year. His widow is still living at an advanced age, making her home with her son, R. G. Anderson. She is the mother of six living children, one son and five daughters, namely: Maggie, the wife of W. R. Wolverton of Erath county, Texas; Ann E., the wife of B. A. Shelton of Greer county. Oklahoma; Isabelle, the wife of J. G. Wolford of Fresno, California; Robert G.; Verina, the widow of J. Wylie; and Lizzie of Abilene.
Robert G. Anderson was born in Anderson county, Texas, March 28, 1858, and his boyhood days were spent in Ellis and Young counties. Living as he did on the frontier he had little opportunity for acquiring an education and being; the only son in the family it seemed to fall top, his lot to assume the responsibilities of his father’s farm. Using every advantage possible he acquired in one way or another a common school education. After the death of his father his responsibilities were greatly increased, the entire management of the farm devolving upon him. His mother, to whom he has always shown the utmost kindness and affection, has formed a part of his household from that time until the present and in fact they have never been separated.
Mr. Anderson has engaged for many years in the cattle business, spending many a day and night on the range and he has made four extended trips with cattle following the trail into Colorado and Kansas. On these expeditions he would frequently meet with Indians, but they never occasioned him any trouble, as he always gave them a beef for their own use. In 1882 he removed to Abilene, leaving the range in order to engage in mercantile pursuits, becoming an employe of the firm of Wylie & Donovan, grocers of this city. Being a typical cowboy of experience, instead of going into the store to work, he would frequently ride out from the town to meet the managers of herds on their way through the country and showed them the best places to care for their stock and by other general favors extended he was able to sell them large quantities of groceries and other supplies as well as acting as general collector for the firm. He continued in the employ of that house until 1887, when he went upon the road as a traveling salesman for wholesale houses, continuing in that service for four years. He next formed a partnership with D. W. Wristen in the grocery business, a new firm dating from January 1, 1891. The partnership continued until 1895, when Mr. Anderson purchased Mr. Wristen’s interest in the business, continuing it under his own name until 1900, when he sold out. About eight months later, however, he opened another store under the firm name of R. G. Anderson & Company, wholesale dealers in groceries and grain. During this time he was also conducting a general mercantile establishment at Van Horn in connection with J. G. Lowdon under the firm name of Anderson & Lowdon. This business was continued until July 6, 1904, when on account of failing health he was compelled to sell out.
Mr. Anderson was united in marriage on the 16th of April, 1884, to Miss Nanny E. Hoshall, who was born in Arkansas but was reared in northern Mississippi from the time she was five years of age. She came to Abilene, Texas, in December, 1880. By this marriage there are three sons: Hoshall C., Robert G. and Frank E. Mr. Anderson, familiarly called Bob by his many friends, is a popular citizen in Abilene. As a business man he has been successful in all of his varied undertakings and although he has led a busy life he has yet found time to co-operate in matters pertaining to the public good and to the welfare of the city. He is a genial, whole-souled gentleman of refined taste and courteous manner and is able to count his friends by the scores.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 565-566.