Biography of Malcolm M. Anderson

Malcolm M. Anderson, who is now living retired in the city of Carlinville, is one of the most extensive landholders in the county, an d has taken a leading part in its agricultural development. His birth took place in Christian County, Ky., December 24, 1830, and he is a son of Col. James Anderson, a Virginian, who was a prominent pioneer of this section of the State in the early years of its settlement.

The paternal grandfather of our subject emigrated to this country in Colonial times and resided for a while in Virginia before his removal to Kentucky, where he became a pioneer of Bourbon County. He entered a thousand acres of Government land there, but suffered reverses and lost all his property before his death, which occurred in that county.

Col. Anderson was quite young when his father took him from his Virginia birthplace to the pioneer home in Kentucky. At the age of thirteen he left the parental roof and after that time made his own way in the world, as he was perfectly able to do, for he was well endowed with physical and mental vigor. He learned the trade of a hatter but did not follow it long as his tastes led him to farming, and he settled on a farm in Christian County, Ky. He met with fair success in his new venture, but unfortunately, by endorsing notes for friends, he lost all his property, and in 1834 came to Illinois to seek a new location. He visited Macoupin County in the month of June and entered a tract of Government land on section 11, Carlinville Township, and then went back to Kentucky for his family. On the 12th of the following October, with his wife and their six children, he started for their new home, and journeyed hither with a pair of oxen, a wagon and two horses and a carriage, arriving at his destination in twelve days’ time.

The Colonel rented a log house in which the family lived during the winter and in the meantime he built a log house on his own land, riving boards for the roof and splitting puncheon for the floor. In the spring of 1835 he and his family removed to their new home and he commenced to improve his land. He also became an extensive trader in live stock, driving cattle to St. Louis, and in 1846 and again in 1847 took a drove to Wisconsin, taking three hundred and fifty head each time. In 1851 an attack of choler ended his useful career and this county lost one of its most useful citizens. His wife also died of cholera thirteen days after his death. Her maiden name was Ann Rice Harris and Virginia was her native State. She reared a family of seven children, named as follows: Crittenden H. C., Maria C., Erasmus S., Augustus E., Malcolm M., Henry C. and Mary A.

Malcolm M. Anderson, of whom this biography is principally written, was in his fourth year when he came with his parents to this county, and he remembers well the incidents of pioneer life under which he was reared. His mother used to do her cooking by the fireplace and the children were clothed in cloth the product of her spinning wheel and loom. Our subject took every advantage to secure an education and early attended a pioneer school that was taught in a primitive log house with an earth and stick chimney, the furniture being rudely fashioned by hand, the seats made by splitting logs and inserting wooden pins for support, and for a desk a plank was laid on wooden pins that were inserted in holes bored in the wall of the building. On one side of the house a log was sawed out and a row of glass put into the aperture and thus made to serve for windows. In those early days game was plentiful, and deer, wolves and other wild animals were often seen roaming over the prairies.

Mr. Anderson made his home with his parents until their death, then settled on a farm on the northeast quarter of section 12, Carlinville Township, and commenced housekeeping in a log house. Two years later he sold that place and bought the south half of section 11, locating there in 1854, and made that his home until 1880, when he bought the residence he now occupies on North Broad Street, Carlinville. Here he and his estimable wife live very pleasantly surrounded by all the comforts of life, and have the satisfaction of knowing that their prosperity is due to their united labors, directed by wise economy, foresight and sound judgment. Mr. Anderson has been more than ordinarily successful as a farmer and now has in his possession fifteen hundred acres of valuable land, one hundred and sixty of which is located in South Otter Township and the remainder in Carlinville Township.

The marriage of Mr. Anderson to Miss Malvina Ann Moore was celebrated February 11, 1851. Mrs. Anderson was born April 16, 1833, in Carlinville Township, and is a daughter of one of its first settlers, Thomas G. Moore. It is thought that he was a native of Simpson County, Ky., and in 1831 came to this county and entered Government land on section 24, Carlinville Township. He erected a log house to shelter his family and in that humble dwelling Mrs. Anderson was born. He continued to live on his homestead until death called him hence in 1844. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Sylvia W. Sublet, was a native of Virginia. She died at Shaw’s Point Township a few years after he did.

Mr. and Mrs. Anderson have been blessed with five children as follows: James T., who married Ann Goodpasture, resides in South Otter Township; Laura A. is the wife of J. S. Thomason, of Montgomery County; Melissa is the wife of John A. Fullington, of Carlinville Township, and John B., also a resident of Carlinville Township, who married Mary Turvey, and Malcolm M., a resident of Carlinville, who married Laura Rue.

Source: Chapman bros. Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin county, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical publishing company, 1891.

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