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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Charles N. Anderson

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887


CHARLES N. ANDERSON, formerly engaged in agricultural pursuits in this county, is now retired from active labor, and, surrounded by the comforts of life, is living in a pleasant home in Champaign City. He has been a resident of this county since 1857, in which year he purchased a farm of 200 acres in Champaign Township. This he operated until 1885, with the exception of a brief time spent in Kentucky, in the meantime having made of it a beautiful country estate, supplied with handsome and substantial buildings and all other modern improvements. In the year mentioned he purchased his present residence on Church street, where he has since lived. Mr. Anderson was born in Mt. Sterling, Ky., Dec. 18, 1823, and is the son of James and Lucinda ANDERSON, natives of Montgomery County, Ky., where the father followed blacksmithing all his life, and died on the 17th of June, 1829. The grandfather of our subject, Abihu ANDERSON, and his great-grandfather, Nicholas ANDERSON, were both natives of Virginia, and engaged in farming pursuits. The latter removed to Kentucky with his family, locating at Boonesbury, where he was among the earliest settlers, and became acquainted with Daniel Boone, the famous pioneer and Indian fighter. Abihu Anderson removed to Indiana in about 1825, where he spent the last years of his life. His son James, the father of our subject, after reaching manhood was married, and became the father of seven children, of whom only two are now living-Nancy N., Mrs. MORRIS, and C. N. of our sketch. The subject of this history remained on the farm of his father in his native town until about fifteen years old, and was then apprenticed to learn the trade of cabinet-maker, at which he served four years, and afterward worked three years as a journeyman. Then, wishing to still further perfect himself in his studies, he entered Franklin College, about five miles east of Nashville, Tenn., where for four years he thoroughly applied himself to the books, in the meantime defraying his expenses by working at his trade as opportunity afforded. He began college life with his books and $7 in cash, and graduated on the 18th of October, 1848, without any assistance from outside parties. After leaving school Mr. Anderson started on horseback for the purpose of securing employment as a teacher. He rode three days and could only secure an offer of $30 per month and board himself. He declined this and returned to Nashville, where he worked in a cabinet-shop for three months and then engaged to teach a subscription school near Lexington. After eighteen months' experience, during which time he gained the approv;al of the Trustees, he was elected Principal of a graded school in the same city, which position he held for the following five years, and until coming to this county. After purchasing his farm in Champaign Township he was re-elected Principal of the school at Lexington, which position he accepted. About this time, however, the war excitement became so great that the schools closed and Mr. Anderson returned to his farm. His subsequent course we have already indicated. The marriage of C. N. Anderson and Miss Ann J. NOBLE took place in Lexington, Ky., Feb. 1, 1849. Mrs. A. is a native of Harrodsburg, Ky., and the daughter of James and Mary (BAXTER) NOBLE, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Virginia. Of the seven children born to them, four are now living, namely: Lucy; Laura M., Mrs. GREENHALGH, of Champaign City; William N., a merchant of Chicago, and Ida V., at home. Those deceased are Mary F., and Charles E., both of whom died in infancy, Ella J. died when an interesting young lady of nineteen years old. She was a student at the University of Illinois, greatly admired and beloved by all her associates, and her death was a sore affliction to her fond parents and many friends. Mr. Anderson is Democratic in politics, and with his wife and daughters is a member and regular attendant of the Methodisst Episcopal Church. He has long been widely and favorably known in Champaign County as a representative man and useful citizen.

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