MATTHEW WILLIAM ANDERSON
President of the First National Bank, of Independence, Missouri, is a familiar figure on the streets of this city and has long been a prominent factor in its affairs. A sketch of his life cannot fail to be of interest here; indeed, without more than a passing mention of him a work which purported to review the lives of the representative men and women of Jackson county, would be incomplete.
Mr. Anderson is a native of the “Pennsylvania of the West” being born in Jackson county, Missouri, December 20, 1836, son of Mr. & Mrs. George W. Anderson, one of a family of 8 children - four sons and four daughters - he being the eldest son. His family, who was a carpenter by trade, but whose chief occupation was that of farming, died in Blue township, this county, in the year 1859. His mother, whose maiden name was Sarah Stewart , survived her husband some years, her death occurring early in the 80's.
Matthew W. continued to reside on the home farm with his parents until he attained his 22 years. His educational advantages were limited to those of the common schools. He, however, made the best of his early opportunities and by reading and close observation in later years has acquired a range of knowledge equal to, if not surpassing that of the majority of business men. While yet a member of the home circle he served 2 years as deputy tax collector. In 1860 he was elected township constable and held that position about 1 ½ year, after which he went to Mexico, remaining there until 1864. That year he returned to his native place and engaged in farming, to which occupation he gave his attention until 1868, when he was appointed deputy sheriff of Jackson County, under Charles Doughterty, and held that position 4 years. In 1872 he was elected revenue collector of the county, and the next 4 years he spent as the incumbent of this office, performing faithful and efficient service. About this time he became interested in the banking house of Brown, Hughes and Company, which was later incorporated under the name of Anderson, Chiles & Company, he being chosen its president. Still later it was changed to the First National Bank, and again he was honored with the presidency of the institution, which position he still ably and acceptably fills.
Mr. Anderson has always taken a deep interest in political affairs and especially those of a local nature, and has ever exerted an influence that has been felt for good. He has been a member of the city council of Independence for many years, has been a stanch advocate of all substantial public improvements, and is highly appreciated as a citizen of sterling worth. He is the owner of valuable farms in Jackson county, comprising some 1,000 acres, and has for years been largely interested in agricultural pursuits; and he has also been engaged in the cattle business for some years, not only in this county but also in Colorado and Texas.
Mr. Anderson is a man of family. He was first married in the year 1861 to Miss Julia Daniels, by whom he had two children, Katie B., now the wife of Robert Turner; and Miss Nellie. Mrs. Julia Anderson departed this life in August, 1886. The present Mrs. Anderson was formerly Miss Mary W. Erwin. Her father, Colonel Eugene Erwin, was an officer in the Confederate army and was killed in the engagement at Vicksburg. Colonel Erwin's mother was a daughter of the Hon. Henry Clay, the distinguished statesman. By his union with Miss Erwin, Mr. Anderson has two sons, Henry Clay and Matthew William, Jr.
Not only in business and political circles, but also in those fraternal and religious, do we find Mr. Anderson an honored and influential member. He has been identified with the Masonic order since he was initiated into its mysteries in 1865, and is a charter member of McDonough Lodge, of Independence. Also he is a Knight of Pythias and a member of the grand lodge of the state of Missouri. The church of his choice is the Episcopal, of which he is a staunch and consistent member.
This page was last updated August 2, 2006.