Lee County Biography

ERASTUS ANDERSON
Ashton Township


Prominent in the annals of Lee County as the first settler of Ashton Township is the gentleman whose portrait appears here. He owns a farm situated on section 23, that he has placed under substantial improvement, but makes his home in the village of Ashton. He is a son of John H. Anderson, who was a pioneer of the afore-mentioned township, and was for many years one of its most respected citizens until death called him hence. He was born in New Brunswick, and it is thought that 1793 was the year of his birth. He married Martha Martin, who was born in Lower Canada, near the town of Prescott, in 1802, and after marriage they settled in the township of Bayam, Upper Canada, in 1819. He took part in the War of 1812, and was present at the famous battle of Lundy's Lane.

A farmer by occupation, Mr. Anderson carried on his calling in Upper Canada until 1844. when he became a pioneer of Lapeer County, Mich. Two years later, in the month of October, 1846, he came with his family to Illinois, and resided in Nachusa Township, Ogle County, until December, 1849, when they removed to Lee County and cast in their lot with the pioneers of Ashton Township who had preceded them. They located on section 23, and here the good old father and mother tranquilly passed their remaining days, and at length departed this life full of years, his death occurring August 26, 1868, and hers in November, 1872. During the greater part of their lives they were active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They had ten children, all sons, one of whom died at the age of nineteen, and another when ten years old, the others growing to manhood.

Our subject, who was the third child of the family, was born in the township of Bayam, Canada, May 19, 1824. Being one of the older members of the household he assisted his parents in the support of the family, and in bringing up his younger brothers. He continued to live in Canada some six months after the removal of his parents to Michigan, and then joining them, remained with them until the spring of 1846, when he came to Illinois. He first located in Ogle County, engaging in farming there, but in March, 1849, came to Lee County with his wife, whom he had married in Ogle County the previous fall. He was the first one to settle in Ashton Township, and has been an honored resident of this locality since that time, with the exception of two years, when he was engaged in a mill in Oregon. Farming has been his chief occupation in life, and he has a choice farm of one hundred and sixty acres as the result of his patient and well-directed labors. He has his land under fine tillage, and his fertile fields produce abundant harvests, and neat and conveniently arranged buildings adorn the place.

Mr. Anderson has filled the office of School Director for a quarter of a century, and has in various pther ways faithfully fulfilled his obligations as a true citizen who has the dearest interests of his community at heart. lie is a solid Republican, and has stood firmly by his party these many years of its existence as a political organization. He is known of all men as moral and up-right in his character, and truly religious, not only in profession, but in conduct, and for half a century he has been a valued member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The first marriage of our subject occurred in Ogle County, November 13, 1848, and was with Miss Mary Halverd, a native of Norway. Their pleasant wedded life was brought to a close by the death of his faithful wife December 11, 1888. She was a sincere Christian, and a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in dying left behind her the record of a life well spent. Three children were born of that union - Rhoda A., who is the wife of Wm. F. Clark; John H, who married Miss Elsie Kaufman; and Mary A who died in infancy.

Mr. Anderson was married a second time in Ashton Township September 9, 1889, Mrs. Mary J. Lundy, neww Vosburg, widow of Alfred Lundy, becoming his wife. Mrs. Anderson was born in Susquehanna County, Pa., November 17, 1836. She was married in early womanhood to Alfred Lundy, who died at Standing Stone, Bradford County, Pa. She is a very intelligent, efficient woman, an excellent housewife, and looks well to the ways of her household. She belongs to the same church of which her husband has so long been a member, and is one of its most zealous workers.

Portraits & Biographical Pg 369

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Erastus Anderson farmer, Ashton, is a native of Canada West, and was born in 1824. He is the son of John H. and Martha Morgan) Anderson; the former, a native of New York, emigrated with his father to Canada when sixteen years of age, where he grew up. He served as a British soldier in the war of 1812, and was in the battle of Lundy's Lane. In 1848 he came to Lee county, where he remained the balance of his life. Erastus Anderson's mother was a native of Canada, and died a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Anderson came first to Michigan, where he remained till 1846, when he settled in Ogle county, where he lived till the spring of 1848, when he settled in the northeast part of Ashton township, where he still lives. He was married in 1847, to Mary Halverd, a na'tive of Norway, by whom he has had two children: Roda A., now Mrs. W. M. F. Clark, and John H. Mr. Anderson's education is only such as he has been able to obtain in active business. He began life for himself by working at whatever he could earn a penny, and SO continued till he had saved enough to buy eighty acres of land; then he began farming for himself. In politice he has always been a republican. Erastus Anderson's grandfather was a ship-carpenter by trade, a Scotchman by birth, and emigrated to Canada. His paternal grandmother by birth was a German; his maternal grandmother's people formerly came from Ireland. Mr. Anderson has a fine farm two and one-half miles northeast of Ashton. It is well improved and well stocked.

Source: History of Lee County Pg 627

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