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Anderson Family Histories



Robert Fulton Anderson Family

Robert Fulton Anderson was born on April 15, 1867, in Alabama. He was one of six children born to Martha Snow and Edward Pace Anderson. There is no record of when and why the family came to East Texas, but records show that his father died in 1893.

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 in 1919.

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 circulars.

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 offended someone.

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 wheel.

Mrs. Anderson lived several years longer and made her home with Dr. D. A. and Eva Einkauf before her death.

Verna Anderson

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pp. 8-9

Robert Lee Anderson Family

Lee Anderson (he was never known by his first name Robert), was born in Waverly, a small settlement in Walker County in the Piney Woods of East Texas on January 24, 1891. He was one of six children, three boys and three girls, of R. F. and Margaret Lee Hardy Anderson. His father taught school and Lee helped on the farm and in the grocery store which was part of their home. In 1903 the family moved to Old Waverly where they had a rather large store selling groceries, hardware, dry goods, farm supplies and tools, and R. F. still taught school. Each Sunday the family attended the Baptist Church. When school was out each summer, the entire family took a week off and went fishing at Palmer or Gala Lake about thirty miles away.

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;
Thomas J. (1915) married Verna Zipp;
Margaret Pearl (1917-1983) married Fred T. Friday;
Maybelle (1919) married Hayden Harper; and
Roy Lee (1920) married Mary Rosman.

All of the children lived in Bay City except Maybelle, who lived in McGehee, Arkansas. Lee and Lucy continued to live at the Avenue G location for the remainder of their lives—sixty years.

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 entered politics.

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.”

Lee died May 25, 1974, at the age of eighty-three, on his son Robert’s birthday. His wife Lucy continued to live in their Avenue G home until her death on March 10, 1977.

R. F. Anderson

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 9-10

Robert Francis Anderson Family

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 City.

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 1977.

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. 7-8

Thomas John Anderson Family

Thomas John Anderson was born in Bay City on June 24, 1915. He was the second son of five children born to Robert Lee and Lucy Anderson. His grandparents were Robert Fulton and Maggie Hardy Anderson who came to Matagorda County about 1909.

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.

Tom Anderson

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, 10-11

Fred Thomas & Margaret Pearl Anderson Friday Family

Roy Lee Anderson Family

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, 1945.

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


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Nov. 30, 2009
Nov. 30, 2009