Biography - Elizabeth Anderson

ELIZABETH ANDERSON, widow of the late P. M. F. Anderson, an early pioneer, a representative farmer, and highly respected citizen of Pitman Township, Montgomery County. Ill., still continues to reside upon section 23, where in their happy home she and her husband spent so many useful years. Our subject is the daughter of John and Jean Montgomery, and was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, the home of her ancestors, June 28, 1822. Her parents were honest, God-fearing people, humble, industrious and upright in character, and under their careful training their daughter Elizabeth grew up to womanhood.
Our subject's parents could give her only the advantage of a modest education, obtainable in the neighborhood of their home. But Elizabeth grew up a bright, intelligent, blooming lass, full of life, energy and ambition. Her mother had carefully instructed her daughter in the ways of the frugal household, and when in 1841, at nineteen years of age, our subject gave her heart and hand to her chosen husband, Peter M. F. Anderson, she was a self-reliant, capable woman, well fitted to become a faithful and loving wife and mother.
Mr. and Mrs. Anderson began their housekeeping in "bonnie Scotland," and prospered there as people must who possess hope, health, energy and will. The years passed on and little ones came into the home, bringing joy and sunshine, but they brought added cares as well. Anxious consideration for the future of their children determined our subject and her husband to emigrate to America, which offered to all worthy new-comers a hearty welcome and an independent home.
It was thought best that Mr. Anderson should go first and select the location of their future residence; he therefore bade a brief farewell to wife and babes and departed for the New World in 1849. The letters he wrote home were full of cheer and bright anticipation, and the presence of his family was only needed to make his life in America a prosperous and happy one. Mrs. Anderson was impatient to rejoin her husband and share with him the new experiences of pioneer life upon the broad prairies of the Western Hemisphere, and in 1850, with her children and the few household treasures which could be easily and safely transported, she embarked for America. The journey was both long and tedious; the sailing-vessel made slow progress, and for seven weeks and four days the impatient passengers tossed about upon the rolling waves of the broad Atlantic.
Safely landed in New York, our subject was not long in reaching her destination, Alton, Ill. The reunited family made their residence in this city for about eight years and then removed to the homestead in Pitman Township. Mr. Anderson was a stonemason, and had also followed the trade of carpenter, but his farming venture was a successful one, and he continued an agriculturist the remainder of his life. When Mrs. Anderson with her husband and family settled upon section 23, the land could scarcely be called a farm. It was in fact unbroken prairie, upon which Mr. Anderson turned the first sod. Years went on and the fertile soil annually yielded an abundant harvest, amply repaying him for all the toil and culture. In all the labors of the home and farm the parents had the willing assistance of their children, of whom four of the large family of twelve still survive: the living children are: James, John; Mary, wife of James Oiler, is the mother of five children; and Margaret, wife of Leroy C. Franks. Christina, wife of J. Holmes, died recently. Our subject and her husband gave their children all possible educational advantages, and had the satisfaction of seeing them become useful and honored citizens in the land of their adoption.
Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were progressive people, and both took deep interest in public advancement. Mr. Anderson served efficiently as School Director, and his wise advice and sagacious counsel were highly appreciated by his co-laborers in the educational field. He was a stanch Republican, but impartial in his judgment of official worth. Our subject and her husband were both members of the Presbyterian Church.
Peter Anderson was born March 10, 1815, in Perthshire, Scotland; he died in Harvel Township, August 17, 1866, universally regretted by the entire community, among whom he had spent an honored life. Mrs. Anderson is the grandmother of thirteen living children; her son Robert, who died October 24, 1890, left Richard, Harry, James, Grace and Robert M. Mrs. Christina Holmes was the mother of Elizabeth, Margaret, Murray and an infant son. Happy, useful and beloved, our subject waits her appointed time. Her days have been long and varied, her interesting experience in pioneer life a story of the past which never fails to find ready listeners. That her presence may long bless her friends and relatives is the earnest wish of all.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 278-279.

Templates in Time