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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  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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MATTHIAS P. ANDERSON is a descendant of an old Pennsylvania family, and served as a soldier in the war of the Rebellion. He was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, September 11, 1846. He was reared on the farm, and was educated in the common schools of the neighborhood.

Mr. Anderson is the son of Joseph E. and Rebecca (Workheiser) Anderson, both of whom were born and reared in Chester county. Joseph E. was a son of Patrick Anderson, who was also a resident of Pennsylvania, and he was a son of James Anderson, who came from Scotland and settled in Chester county during the colonial days. He bought land of William Penn, and this farm is still in the Anderson family, as it is handed down to the youngest son of each generation, and is now the property of the youngest brother of Matthias P. Anderson; Amos. James Anderson (great-grandfather) was a Whig in politics and a leading man in his time. He served in the United States congress, and was a prominent and well known citizen and highly respected by the community in which he resided. He was a member of the Presbyterian church.

Patrick Anderson (grandfather), the youngest son of James Anderson, was born and raised in Chester county. The old homestead was handed down to him and he conducted the farm. He represented his native county (Chester) in the legislature, and was also a member of the senate of Pennsylvania. He was a very prominent man. He, too, was a Presbyterian in his religious faith. His children were: James, of Lower Merion township, a physician; Isaac, also a physician; Samuel, died single; Sarah, (Mrs. M. Pennypacker). Mr. Pennypacker was the grandfather of Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker, who was also a member of the state legislature; Joseph, the father of Matthias P. Anderson.

Joseph Anderson (father) being the youngest son of his father’s family, according to tradition received the old homestead. He remained under the parental roof until he reached manhood, and after his marriage he went into the hotel business at Bull Tavern, on Bull road, where he resided for quite a number of years. He then removed to Newtown Square, in Delaware county, and remained there for a number of years. Then he engaged in farming, and later took up his residence at the old homestead, where he lived until his death in 1860, at the age of sixty years. In politics he was a Whig and Republican. He held some township offices, but never aspired to higher positions. He gave the most of his attention to general farm work, and was a cattle and horse dealer. He also fed cattle which were used for market purposes. His farm was one of the best kept farms in Chester county, and he had everything running in a systematic routine. He was widely known in that section of the country, and commanded the respect of all with whom he came in contact. He was survived by his wife at the time of his death; she died in 1878, aged seventy-eight years. Mrs. Anderson was a daughter of John Workheiser, also a resident of Chester county. Mr. Workheiser was a hotel keeper and ran a farm at the same time. At one time he owned the old Valley Forge Hotel.

James Anderson (great-grandfather) was captain of a company in the Revolutionary war, and was also an aide to General Washington, and was one of Washington’s most trusted men during those perilous times. During this war his weapon was a small brass muzzle-loading flintlock pistol, which his great-grandson, Matthias B. Anderson, owns as a relic, and he also has his great-grandfather’s commission.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. John Workheiser: Tansen (Mrs. Pennypacker, who was the mother of General Pennypacker, of the late war, who enlisted as a private and returned home as a brigadier-general); Mary (Mrs. I. Thropp, whose son was a member of congress); John, a farmer; Anna (Mrs. J. S. Morey); Rebecca (Mrs. Joseph
E. Anderson).

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph E. Anderson: Mary, wife of A. A. Scofield. He is a prominent attorney of Philadelphia, and is one of the legal advisers of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company; he also served three terms in the legislature: David S., physician now located in Orlando, Florida; Rebecca, still single, and residing in Norristown; Isaac, a farmer, and in later years served in the post office at Philadelphia, and died in that city in 1902; Sarah, single and lives in Norristown; Everett, served three and a half years in the late rebellion; he enlisted as a private and returned first lieutenant; he received a bronze medal from the United States government as a reward for bravery; Carrie, single, resides in Norristown; Matthias P., the subject of this sketch; James Amos, who lives on the homestead farm. Most of the members of the family incline toward the Methodist church in religious faith.

Matthias P. Anderson remained at home with his parents until he was sixteen years of age, when he enlisted in Company H, Fifteenth Cavalry Regiment, and later received his honorable discharge and enlisted in the One Hundred and Ninety-Second Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served as a private for three years, and returned as a lieutenant. He was assigned to the southwestern department which was the last army to leave the Potomac. He saw hard service while there, and was in quite a number of skirmishes and also participated in some hard fought battles. He was stationed near Alexandria at the time of Lee’s surrender. Mr. Anderson was never wounded nor captured, but at one time a piece of shell struck his knapsack and paralyzed him for the time being. He was promoted three times for exhibition of great bravery. He suffered great hardships from deprivation and exposure to the elements. He was mustered out at Parkersburg, Virginia, and returned to Philadelphia, where he received his honorable discharge. After his return home he resumed work on the farm, and with his brother engaged in the handling of stock in connection with his farming, which occupation he followed for several years.

In 1867 he married and settled permanently to farming, and in 1870 bought the farm where he yet lives, situated near the borough of Royersford, at which place he still carries on the drover business. His home is splendidly situated, and Mr. Anderson has made substantial improvements, having remodeled the entire farm buildings, and built and added to many of the out-buildings. The barn is built with all modern improvements for the raising of fine cattle, while the house has been added to considerably, with the addition of shade trees and other improvements. Mr. Anderson has planted trees in a large orchard which bear some very fine fruit. Mr. Anderson is a very good business man, enterprising and intelligent. In politics he favors the Republican party, but has never aspired to high public offices.

He has been school director, and all his children have received good educations. He is a member of G. A. R. Post, No. 45, of Phoenixville.

Mr. Anderson married Miss Anna Zimmerman, who was born in Upper Providence township, November 11, 1846. She is the daughter of Joshua and Rebecca (Bean) Zimmerman, both of Montgomery county. Joshua Zimmerman by occupation was a farmer and stock dealer, and shipper of Canadian horses. During the war he was loyal to his country, and was prominently identified with its interests. He died in 1887, and was preceded in death by his wife, she dying in the early 50’s. Their children: George; Anna (wife of Mr. Anderson); Milton, Esquire of Collegeville; Ida (Mrs. F. Brunst) deceased.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson: Anna, wife of W. F. Custer, flour and feed merchant; Ida, practical and successful physician of Phoenixville, who has merited the confidence of the people and enjoys a lucrative practice. The parents as well as the daughters are members of the Lutheran church.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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