John Anderson, of Mediapolis, is numbered among the enterprising merchants of eastern Iowa, and his efforts along commercial lines have always been productive of success in gratifying measure. He is a son of Magnus and Johannah (Danielson) Anderson, and was born in Sweden, April 11, 1850. He attended the schools of his home place till he was seven years old, when he came across the great Atlantic to America with his parents, who located in Chisago county, Minnesota. He went to the district schools of this county for a while, and later finished his education in the schools of Pepin county, Wisconsin.
Soon after his school life was ended, he was married to Miss Sarah J. Holden, July 20, 1871. Mrs. Anderson is a daughter of Milton and Matilda (Fuller) Holden. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson became the parents of five children: Mabel, married Dr. T. F. Cook, a prosperous dentist of Mediapolis; Maude, assists her father in his general store; Norman E., a clerk: John Clarence, a student of the high school; and George Wesley, who died Jan. 13, 1890, at the age of three and a half years.
The three years prior to his marriage he clerked in a general store, and then for the next two years worked in the sawmill which was conducted by his father and father-in-law. About this time he secured a good position at Reed's Landing with the Knapp & Shout Company, having full charge of their store, and with whom he remained for some sixteen years. He then bought out this company, and became sole proprietor of the store. His ability, courtesy, and close application to his business soon built him a prosperous trade with all the people, and he continued with great success in this store for nine years, when his store and goods were burned, and were a total loss. He then, on April 15, 1899, moved to Mediapolis, where he purchased the general merchandise store of C. H. Parrott, and has since been conducting this large store, enlarging his stock until he now has one of the most extensive stocks of goods in the village.
Mr. Anderson is a solid Republican, and, as every American citizen should do, keeps well posted on all the political questions and issues of the day. While he lived at Reed's Landing he held several offices of trust, being appointed postmaster by President McKinley, which position he held for four months, when he resigned. He was also the treasurer of the town, as well as treasurer of the school board, both offices, being filled to the entire satisfaction of the citizens of Reed's Landing. In the spring of 1905 Mr. Anderson was elected a member of the council of Mediapolis, which office he is now filling. He was at one time a member of the Ancient Order of United Workman for about ten years, but has now dropped his membership.
In summing up this review, we find that Mr. Anderson has gradually advanced from the position of a clerk to be the proprietor and owner of a large store which is filled with everything up-to-date that goes to make up the stock of a general store, and which is doing a fine business under the good judgment and business qualities that he possesses. Those qualities which have insured him success in the business world, as well as making friends, whose esteem and confidence he enjoys to a marked degree, are noticeable to the extreme, and his motto is: "A square deal to one and all."
Mr. Anderson and his family are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he is an active worker. For over twenty-eight years he has been a member of this denomination, and twenty-six years of this time he has served as superintendent of the Sunday-school; and during his six and one-half years' residence in Mediapolis he has seven times been elected to this office.