Robert Fulton met Margaret Lee “Maggie” Hardy in Waverly, Texas, and
they were married on April 9, 1890, when she was seventeen. She was
the eldest of five children: Maggie, Pet, Walter, George, and Lila,
born to Sarah Lightsey and John Calhoun Hardy. Maggie’s mother died
in childbirth when Maggie was fourteen and as a result she helped
rear her two brothers and two sisters. Her father died in Bay City
Before he married, R. F. taught school in San Jacinto County in a
one-room school where boys were seated on one side and girls on the
other side of the room. Boys and girls also had separate
playgrounds. After he married, R. F. purchased fifty acres of land
on Peach Creek and taught school nearby at what was known as Union
Center School. He also ran a general store at their home which was a
log house, but lived there only two more years. They moved to Old
Waverly in 1903 and opened a General Store, selling a variety of
merchandise—farm equipment, medicine, dry goods, groceries, and
produce. Later this store was sold and another purchased in
Tarkington Prairie and the family moved there in 1905. The Post
Office was also housed in the store at Tarkington, at that time
called “Oakdale.” The Post Office was discontinued when rural free
delivery mail was established.
By this time six children were born: Lee, Eddie, Ola Anderson Scott,
Eva Anderson Einkauf, Conrad, and Bertie Anderson Seibenmann. In
1984, Bertie was the only survivor and lived in San Antonio.
The family moved to Bay City in 1909, transporting their merchandise
and animals by railroad. They rented a house on West Sixth Street,
known then as “Silk Stocking Street” and R. F. bought out the M. S.
McCullough Store on the corner of Sixth Street and Avenue G. A wagon
and team was used for delivery of customer’s purchases.
The business prospered and another store was opened on Seventh
Street near the Rice Hotel. All the family helped in the store, even
grandsons Robert and Tom delivered groceries and advertising
R. F. Anderson entered politics and became Commissioner of Matagorda
County Precinct 1. His son Conrad “Connie” continued in the grocery
business at different locations for quite a few years.
R. F. acquired the nickname “Rimfire” because he was a very strict
disciplinarian and was quick to speak his mind. He never failed to
express his opinion and never “beat around the bush,” even if it
Mr. Anderson stayed active until his death and was serving as
Justice of the Peace when he died. One day in November, 1942, he
failed to come home from his office. His wife, Maggie, phoned her
son Lee to check on his father. R. F.’s car was parked on Second
Street between Avenue F and Avenue G and he was dead behind the
Mrs. Anderson lived several years longer and made her home with Dr. D. A. and Eva Einkauf before her death.
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pp. 8-9
In 1905 they bought a store at Tarkington Prairie between the towns
of Dayton and Cleveland and moved there. That was where Lee met and
later married Lucy Lowe on July 10, 1912. After Lee completed as
much education as was available in that area, he obtained a
teacher’s certificate and taught elementary school. He worked in the
store, including keeping the books, worked on the family farm, and
taught school while they lived in Tarkington.
They decided to sell the store and move to Bay City in 1909 because
business prospects looked good to R. F. They were not able to find a
buyer, so they moved the merchandise and equipment and arrived in
Bay City on March 31, 1909. After working in the store for two
months, Lee enrolled in Draughn’s Business College in Waco where he
completed the course in record time and with top honors. Lee
returned to Bay City to work in the store. Business was
exceptionally good at that period of time. Much of the merchandise
was measured or weighed from bulk stock, and coffee was ground
coarse, medium and fine. A clerk waited on each customer and wrote
his purchases on a sales ticket, or a customer could telephone his
order to the store and have it delivered to his home. Much of the
business was on credit and for various reasons credit losses were
considerable. Much of the trade was from rural people who brought in
eggs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, milk, butter, or vegetables to trade
for merchandise. With the increase of the number and use of
automobiles, free home delivery was gradually eliminated.
Shortly after the Colorado River flood in 1913, when the water was
so deep that a boat could run to the courthouse doors, Lee bought a
homesite at the corner of Avenue G and Austin Street. He and Lucy
moved to their new home in January, 1914. Their children were:
Robert F., Thomas J., Margaret Pearl, Maybelle, and Roy Lee.
Robert F. (1914) married Jeanne LeTulle;
Lee began his automobile business in 1915 as a dealer for Briscoe cars, one of the first to have a shift lever and self-starter. Cars sold well until production was stopped during World War I. During this period, Lee brought and sold corn by the carload and sold large amounts of produce to ships at Galveston. Lee acquired the Dodge dealership in 1918, and he either owned or was associated with an automobile agency for the remainder of his life. Automobile agencies which he owned included Briscoe, Velie, Dodge, Buick and Chevrolet. During World War II when automobiles were again unavailable, Lee leased 1200 acres of land near Midfield and farmed rice.
Lee was always active in civic life and, like his father, was very
religious and active in the Baptist Church where he was a Deacon and
Superintendent of Sunday School and taught Sunday School classes. He
was president of the Rotary Club in 1937. Unlike his father who was
commissioner of Precinct 1 and later Justice of Peace, Lee ever
Lee hunted deer and fished most of his life, and enjoyed playing golf for many years. When asked what he thought was the reason for his long and healthy life he replied “lots of reasonably hard work, some recreation, a clean life obeying the ten commandments, and giving a helping hand to my fellowman.”
R. F. Anderson
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 9-10
Robert Francis Anderson was born May 25, 1914, in Bay City, the
eldest of five children of Lucy and R. Lee Anderson. His father, who
died in 1973, was born at Waverley, Texas, in 1891, and moved to Bay
City in the early 1900’s with his parents, R. F. and Margaret
Anderson, and his five brothers and sisters. R. F. Anderson thought
Bay City would be a good place for his general merchandise store and
he was right. R. Lee Anderson went into business here in 1915 and
continued as an automobile dealer for more than thirty years in Bay
Robert went to grade school and high school in Bay City, where he
was graduated in 1933. He gave the Valedictory address for Edward
Gaudet, the class valedictorian. Although Robert had made the
highest grade-average of the class, he was not eligible to be named
for that honor since he took only three courses during his senior
year when four were required. He was president of his class and
active in sports, especially football and tennis. He was captain of
the football team, coached by Earl Meharg. Robert was a good tennis
player and won the singles championship and also the doubles with
his partner Gerald Livengood.
During his last year in high school Robert met Jeanne LeTulle, who
had moved to Bay City from Austin. They were graduated in the same
class and were married on May 25, 1939. They were the parents of one
child, Jeanne Linn, who went to Bay City schools and The University
of Texas where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in
Education. She had one son, Marc Lee, who also attended The
University of Texas. After teaching several years in Houston, she
married Michael L. Harringon and continued to live there.
After he graduated from high school, Robert worked a year in his
father’s automobile business. He attended The University of Texas
for four years and was graduated in 1938 with a Bachelor of Science
degree in Retail Marketing. When he returned to Bay City, he
established a tire dealership business with his brother-in-law Fred
T. Friday. The business, located a half block from the Square on
east Sixth Street, was called “Star Tire Company.” A few years later
Fred sold his interest in the business to Robert. The business
prospered with the inclusion of other merchandise—fishing tackle,
radios, and a few auto parts.
During those years Robert was scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop #39
which met in a log cabin just north of the Missouri-Pacific depot on
Avenue G. During World War II Robert served three years in the
infantry, most of that time teaching at a replacement training
center near Mineral Wells, Camp Wolters, Texas. Robert was
discharged in 1945. In 1946 Robert returned to Bay City. He and his
wife lived at 2925 Avenue H.
Robert entered the automobile business with his brother Thomas J.
Anderson in 1946. Their merchandise also included boats and motors.
They operated this business for over thirty years, with dealerships
to sell Nash, Lincoln, Mercury, Edsel, Pontiac, Cadillac, Oldsmobile
and several brands of boats. The brothers retired from the
automobile business in 1973-74, and sold Anderson Marine Company in
Robert’s brothers Thomas J. Anderson and Roy Lee Anderson both lived in Bay City. His sister, Pearl Anderson Friday died in 1983 and another sister, Maybelle Anderson Harper lived in McGehee, Arkansas, and was married to Hayden Harper. Hayden was killed in a farm tractor accident.
Robert Francis Anderson
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pp.
Tom was graduated from Bay City High School in 1934 in a class of
thirty-three students, the first class to complete the full academic
course in the new school. While in high school, Tom was a member of
the basketball team, the track team, was all-district tackle in
1933, and was captain of the first football team to win a district
championship. He was also president of the senior class.
After graduation Tom entered Rice Institute on a football
scholarship and lettered two years in track. He was graduated in
1939 with a Bachelor’s Degree and went to work for GMAC in San
Antonio where he met Verna Hazel Zipp. They were married on March 9,
1941, and moved to Austin in August of that year. A daughter
Katherine “Kitty” Anderson Wainner, became a teacher.. In August,
1942, Tom was accepted as an Agent with the FBI. His assignments
were in Omaha, Nebraska; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and New York City. In
September, 1945, he resigned and moved his family to Bay City in
October of that year. While in New York, a son Tommy was born. Tommy
served with the Marines in Vietnam, and later engaged in farming. A
third child, Jack, was born. Tom and Verna had five grandchildren.
Tom and his older brother, Robert, operated a Nash automobile
business in 1946 and 1947. They erected a new building at the corner
of Avenue G and Eighth Street for their business, Anderson Brothers,
and in the latter part of 1947, they acquired a Lincoln-Mercury
dealership. In 1955, Tom moved two blocks west on Eighth Street and
operated a Pontiac-Cadillac dealership. In 1957, Tom moved back to
the original location at 1940 Avenue G, relinquished the
Lincoln-Mercury franchise, and later added an Oldsmobile dealership.
A marine shop was located in the rear of the building. They sold the
automobile business in September, 1973, and moved the marine shop to
South Avenue F. Tom sold his interest to Robert in 1976, and opened
a used car business known as Anderson-Jones at the corner of Avenue
F and Sixth Street. He retired from the business world in 1977 after
selling his interest in that business.
Tom kept busy fishing, farming, raising cattle, and as an active
member of the First Baptist Church. He was a member of the Rotary
Club for thirty-one years, helped organize the Jaycees in January,
1946, and was elected its first president. He also served on the
Board of Directors of the Bay City Chamber of Commerce and on the
Community Education Advisory Council.
Both of Tom’s parents are deceased, and in 1983 his sister, Pearl
Friday, died after a short illness. The family home at 2924 Avenue G
was occupied by his younger brother Roy Lee and wife, Mary. Another
sister Maybelle Harper lived in Arkansas.
Tom and his wife lived in the Marymount Addition of Bay City, where
as a young boy he hunted birds. At that time it was in the country
and there were no homes nearby.
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, 10-11
Roy Lee Anderson (August 18, 1920), born in Bay City, Texas, was the
youngest of five children born to Robert Lee and Lucy Lowe Anderson.
They were of Scotch, Irish, and German descent. The four other
children were: Robert Francis Anderson, Thomas John Anderson, Pearl
Anderson Friday, and Maybelle Anderson Harper.
Roy Lee Anderson completed high school in Bay City in 1938, and
entered the Air Force in 1939 where he served during World War II.
He was trained as an aerial gunner, and was discharged in October,
In 1942 Roy Lee married Mary Margaret Rossman. They had two children
born in Las Vegas, Nevada. Daniel Lee Anderson moved to Denver,
Colorado. Darlene Anderson married Peter Howell of Greenwich,
Connecticut, where they resided with their three sons; Park
Anderson, Stephen William and Jonathan Ross Howell.
On completion of service in the United States Air Force, the
Andersons returned to Bay City where Roy Lee farmed with his father,
and also managed the parts department of Anderson Brothers Auto
Agency. In 1949 the Andersons moved to Denver, Colorado, to obtain
special schooling for their son. While there Roy Lee attended the
University of Denver and obtained a Bachelors Degree in accounting
and business management. He then worked for accounting firms in
Denver and for Martin Marietta Company on government projects.
In 1957 he received an appointment to the Foreign Service Diplomatic
Corps of the United States Government as Budget and Fiscal Officer
at American Embassies in Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Taiwan, Zaire,
and India. He retired from the State Department in 1980, and
returned to Bay City to make his home in the old Anderson family
residence which had been built in 1927. Roy Lee Anderson served on
the Board of the Bay City Country Club and enjoyed playing golf.
Roy Lee Anderson
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, page 10
Copyright 2009 -
Present by the Anderson Family
Nov. 30, 2009
Nov. 30, 2009