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Below is a family biography included in Biographical Record of Oakland County, Michigan published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1903.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Charles Anderson, superintendent of construction at the Eastern Michigan Asylum, has filled that important position since 1878, and for the two years preceding 1878 had been assistant under Superintendent of Construction, C. M. Wells. Mr. Anderson was born in Canada, and is a son of Scotch parents, who came to Michigan from Canada in 1837.

Charles Anderson, the father of our subject, was one of the early settlers in the vicinity of Lexington, Michigan, where he lived until 1847, when he removed to Detroit. For many years he was interested in a lumber business and was extensively engaged in getting out ship lumber. His death occurred some 20 years ago, at Pontiac, at the age of 76 years; his wife had died in 1854. The family was not a very large one, the three survivors being Charles, our subject, and two brothers, — William C., who is a fine painter and decorator and is the foreman of the painters at the Asylum; and E. C., who is engaged in a painting business at Niagara Falls, New York.

Until the age of ten years our subject lived in Detroit and was mainly educated there. He began his own business career at the age of 19, and for 13 years worked for W. G. Vinton as a foreman in the latter’s carpenter shops. Mr. Vinton for 21 years was a member of the board of the Eastern Michigan Asylum, and was succeeded by his son. Mr. Anderson did not expect to remain at Pontiac when he first came here, but his services proved so valuable that he has been retained ever since and has a comfortable home on the asylum grounds. Although he claims to be but a carpenter, he has planned all the structures that have been erected except the first buildings, among them the following: Six outside cottages which accommodate 400 patients; two hospitals, and an extension to the main building that increased the capacity of that institution 150 patients. He has been continually engaged in remodeling, repairing and enlarging, has erected ice houses, barns, employees’ buildings and at the present is engaged in installing new boilers and in enlarging the engine room. The board is expending $23,000 on the work now being done on the heating plant. Mr. Anderson also built the new laundry, fire hall and special barn. The institution owns 500 acres of land and some of this is cultivated by the patients and accommodations have to be continually provided. It is in a great measure due to Mr. Anderson’s economical and careful expenditures and his mechanical skill that the construction work is carried on so satisfactorily, as he constantly employs from 20 to 40 men and sometimes 100. Five years ago a fine electric plant was installed, with underground wires and arc lights for the large grounds. This public institution is a great credit both in management and appearance to the citizens of Oakland County.

Mr. Anderson was married at Detroit to Sarah Grills and the surviving children are: W. B., who conducts the finest grocery store in Pontiac; Frank B., assistant postmaster of Pontiac; H. G., who is a carpenter by trade and is employed at the asylum; and Fannie, who resides at home. One son, C. D., died while a student at college. The family residence is at No. 190 Elizabeth Lake Avenue, on the asylum grounds.

Politically Mr. Anderson is a Republican and fraternally a Blue Lodge Mason. The family is prominently identified with the Presbyterian Church in which Frank B. is an elder, W. B., a trustee and Fannie, a deaconess. Mr. Anderson is the second oldest official in continuous service at the Eastern Michigan Asylum.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Record of Oakland County, Michigan published in 1903. 

View additional Oakland County, Michigan family biographies here: Oakland County, Michigan Biographies

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