GEORGE H. ANDERSON.
Active and prominent in public life, George H. Anderson has ably filled many county and township offices of trust and responsibility, in each devoting his time and energies to the duties devolving upon him, and is now rendering efficient service as sheriff of Wayne county, his home being in Fairfield. A son of Rice Anderson, he was born on a farm in Wayne county, Illinois, August 7, 1867, of Virginian ancestry.
Born in Virginia in 1810, Rice Anderson was a hardy youth of seventeen summers when, in 1827, he followed the march of civilization westward to Illinois. A pioneer settler of Orchard township, Wayne county, he lived there for a time, later moting to Garden Hill township, where in connection with general farming he followed his trade of a brick mason for many years, building all of the chimneys for miles around. He outlived the allotted three score and ten years of man's life, dying on the home farm December 15, 1882.
Rice Anderson was twice married. He married first Patsie Scott, who died in early womanhood, leaving five children, namely: Jefferson, Robert, James, Rice and Sarah Jane. At the outbreak of the Civil war the three older boys, Jefferson, Robert and James, enlisted in the Illinois volunteer infantry, and with their regiment took part in many important engagements. Jefferson was killed in battle, and Robert and James died of disease contracted in the army. Rice, the youngest
son, at. the age of seventeen years, enlisted for service in the army, but it being near the close of the conflict was soon honorably discharged. He is now living in Washington. Sarah Jane, the only daughter, is dead. Rice Anderson married for his second wife a widow, Mrs. Judy (Brown) Burkett, and they reared two children, namely: George Henry, the special subject of this sketch, and William Levi, a farmer of La Mar township, who at the present writing, in 1912, is serving as superintendent of the Wayne County Poor Farm.
Spending his childhood days on the home farm in Orchard township, George H. Anderson acquired his early knowledge of books in the district schools. Left fatherless at the age of thirteen years, he was forced to look out for himself thereafter, until his marriage gaining a livelihood as a farm laborer. He subsequently farmed on rented land for four years, when, in 1892, he purchased forty acres of land on Garden Hill township, and in its management was quite successful. As his means increased, Mr. Anderson invested in more land, and has now three valuable farms in this county. His brother, William Levi Anderson, is also engaged in agricultural pursuits, his farm of one hundred and forty acres lying in Elm River township.
An uncompromising Republican in politics, Mr. Anderson has very frequently been chosen by the people to fill public positions. He has served as school director two terms; as township collector one term; as postmaster at Zenith five years; was superintendent of the County Poor Farm in 1902; was re-elected to the same position in 1905; and again re-elected in 1907, and served until 1909. Elected sheriff of Wayne county in November, 1910, for a term of four years, Mr. Anderson has since filled the office to the satisfaction of every one interested .in the institution. Fraternally he is a member of Johnsonville Lodge, No. 863, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Johnsonville, Illinois, and of Lodge No. 6932, Modern Woodmen of America, at Orchardville. Religiously he belongs to the Church of the Latter-Day Saints.
Mr. Anderson married, in March, 1888, Frances Arminta Morris, a daughter of I. A. Morris, and of their union six children have been born, namely: Jesse Leroy, aged twenty-two years, is married; Freddie Ray died at the age of seven years; Christine lived but two years; Cecil Owen, thirteen years old; Birdie Claude, ten years of age; and Lelah Arminta, a little girl of seven years.