Looking upon life from the common view-point, he who has wealth, friends, and social position, is held to be successful. By changing the angle a trifle, and looking at life from the standpoint of spiritual values, perhaps we would call him successful who. in the quiet and seclusion of his own hearth-stone, has attended to the duties and obligations which lay nearest him, even when doing so prevented him from becoming known in the great world of men and affairs. Abram R. Anderson, whose life history is here briefly chronicled, has had a measure of success in each of the above meanings of the word.
Mr. Anderson was born, August 30, 1856, in Wyandot, Ohio, the son of John N. and Zerma Anderson. His father was born in Marion county, Ohio, and his mother was a native of Pickaway county, the same state. While John N. Anderson was one of the early settlers of Audubon county, he did not live there, even during his young manhood, for he made his home in a number of places before locating permanently, and had but little opportunity for schooling. He spent the winter of 1858 in Scott county, Missouri, following this with a brief residence in Wray and Davis counties, the same state. It was in the year 1861 that he moved to Marion county, Iowa, and bought a small farm near Attica, where he remained for fourteen years. Coming to Leroy township, he was one of the pioneers in that neighborhood,
his home being in section 25. Like all pioneers, he had to be content at first with a crude mode of life, for what he called home was only a shanty constructed of boards, but it was on a tract of one hundred and twenty acres which he owned, and he also put up a barn of the same crude material. When he died in 1883, at the age of seventy-one, he was the owner of two hundred and eighty acres of land. In politics, he was a Republican. Not only as an "old settler," but as a man of influence in the community, he was known and respected. His wife, died in 1910, at the age of eighty-three.
Click image to enlarge
Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, but only three of these grew up. They were, Abram R., whose name heads this sketch; Bastian J. born on January 27, 1862, and Doc, born on April 22, 1867, who is now a farmer in Hamlin township, this county. The two elder brothers, who live together, never married.
The story of Abram's youth is soon told, for he had little opportunity to obtain an education, and worked for his father until manhood, and then, continuing to live with his parents, took care of them in their old age. This story though brief, might portray to the imagination years of strenuous work and deprivation, and a devotion to duty which meant for him the sacrifice of his own happiness; but these years were given without complaint.
Continuing in the line of his father's activities, Mr. Anderson has become the possessor of valuable land. Among his acquisitions of real estate are three hundred and sixty acres in Leroy township, two hundred acres in Greeley township, two hundred acres in Carroll county, one-half section in Lincoln county, Minnesota, one-half section in Canada, and three hundred and ten acres in Oklahoma.
Mr. Anderson has always been much interested in the subject of stock raising. He has a good grade of draft horses, usually having on his farm from forty to forty-five head, and also raises Polled Angus cattle, of which he keeps about twenty-five on the farm. He is also a breeder of full-blooded Hampshire hogs. The extent of this phase of his work is shown in the fact that from two to three carloads of cattle are shipped from his farm every year.
Among his possessions, of which Mr. Anderson is justly proud, is a modern corn-bin and granary built in 1912, its dimensions being thirty by forty-two feet. There are many other valuable improvements on this well-managed farm, including a spacious barn, forty-two by seventy-two feet, and a new hog-house twenty-four by forty-eight feet.
Although a Republican, Mr. Anderson has never been ambitious to hold public office, and so far as affiliations are concerned, has been content with his Masonic lodge in Audubon, and with his church membership in the Methodist denomination.
Although Mr. Anderson's hfe has been spent "far from the madding crowd," it has been a busy life, and a useful one. Devoting many years to the care of his aged father and mother, he has fulfilled an obligation no less praiseworthy because it was self-imposed, and now that the obligation no longer exists, his thoughts may be blessed with the consciousness of a duty well done.