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Below is a family biography included in The History of Cole County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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William Anderson was born in County Down, Ireland, in 1833, his father being Hugh Anderson, who spent his life in the “Emerald Isle,” being a farmer by occupation. His wife was a Miss Jane Cunningham. At the early age of fifteen years William Anderson immigrated to America, and after working in a stone quarry in Pennsylvania for some time, was engaged in blacksmithing near Philadelphia for about five years, being a resident of Norristown at the time of James Buchanan’s election. After residing in Charlestown, S. C., during the winter of 1857, he returned to Pennsylvania, but only remained there a week, when he went to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and was engaged in working on the canal in that State for two years. He then came to Cole County, Mo., and upon the breaking out of the Rebellion two years later, enlisted in the Missouri State Militia, and was provost guard at Jefferson City. He afterward went to Waynesville, Mo., then to Houston, Tex., and after being on duty in the latter place for nearly a year he was ordered to Raleigh, Mo., and did guard duty for the stage line, and was also provost for some time. He took part in the campaign against Price, when he made his raid through the State in 1864, and was wounded near Boonville by a minie ball, which cut a gash across his abdomen, for which he was treated in the hospital at Jefferson City for a number of months. He then rejoined his regiment at Raleigh, and was there mustered out of service March 31, 1865, and returned to Cole County, and for about seven years was in the employ of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. During this time he formed the acquaintance of Miss Minerva Ann Fletcher, a daughter of Nathaniel Fletcher, of Centre Town, and there they were married March 13, 1871. Here they resided until the following year, then moved to a farm of 140 acres, two and a half miles south of town, which he has since owned. He has added 140 acres more to his farm, and has erected a fine frame dwelling-house on the same. After living here about twelve years he purchased his present property in town, and is now giving his children the advantages of the city schools. His children are: Ella J., Michael, Sarah M., Mary Eliza, Lillie Ann, William, Robert E., John and Carrie. Mr. Anderson is a stanch Republican in politics, and he and family worship in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

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This family biography is one of 127 biographies included in The History of Cole County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Cole County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Cole County, Missouri family biographies here: Cole County, Missouri Biographies

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