Biography of J. H. Anders of Sugar Grove Township, Iowa

Almost thirty years have come and gone since J. H. Anders arrived in Dallas county and for a considerable period he followed farming in Sugar Grove township, where he still owns two hundred and forty acres of land in the old home place. He also has a tract of two acres in Minburn, where he makes his home and is one of the respected, worthy and venerable citizens of the village, now in his eightieth year. He was born in Highland county, Ohio, on the 8th of December, 1827, and was a son of George Anders, a native of Virginia, in which state he was reared and married. Subsequently he removed to Ohio, where he cleared and cultivated a tract of land, opening up a new farm. The family shared in the experiences and. hardships of pioneer life but in due time these gave way before the comforts of an advancing civilization.

J. H. Anders was reared in Highland county upon a farm, which owed is improvement and development in no small degree to his labors. His educational privileges were extremely limited but in the school of experience he learned many valuable lessons. He remained with his father until the mother’s death and in the year 1850 came to Iowa, traveling over the central part of the state. He saw Des Moines when it was but a small village and looked upon great tracts of land which were yet but the open prairie with no evidences of improvement or of occupancy. Mr. Anders drove a team across the country from Ohio, for the railroads east of the Mississippi were few in number. He made this trip in order to drive the team for a neighbor who was leaving Highland county, Ohio, for the west. In the fall of that year Mr. Anders returned to the Buckeye state and remained there for several years.

It was on the 12th of September, 1857, in Highland county, Ohio, that the marriage of J. H. Anders and Almira C. Perry was celebrated. She was born in Greenfield, Ohio, and after their marriage the young couple settled upon a farm in Fayette county, which Mr. Anders owned and which he made his home for several years. In 1878 he removed to Dallas county, Iowa. After trading his original place for land in 1877 he became owner of two hundred and forty acres. He then bought two acres in Minburn village on which he built a house and barn and has resided in this place since that time. Throughout the years he has been farming and further improving his property, and in connection with the cultivation of the cereals best adapted to soil and climate he also engaged in raising stock. He helped to improve and make the county what it is today and his own farm bears many evidences of his careful management, progressive spirit and skill in farm labor. He has set out fruit and shade trees where he now resides and has a good home here.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Anders have been born five children, four of whom are still living, namely: H. F., who is married and resides in Iowa Falls, where he conducts general business interests and is also county surveyor; Iva V., the wife of Joseph La Valley, of Oklahoma; Fred, who is at home; and Myrtie E., who is engaged in teaching school. She has followed that profession for thirteen years and is now a teacher in the high school at Adel. Mary Ellen died in 1863, at the age of nine months.

Politically Mr. Anders is independent, voting for men rather than party and never seeking office for himself. His life has been a busy, useful and active one and at all times has been characterized by a spirit of advancement and progress which has made him a valued citizen. He is now one of the venerable residents of Minburn though in spirit and interests seems yet in his prime. He still gives general supervision to his farm although he leaves the active work of the fields to others.


Wood, Robert F., Past and Present of Dallas County, Iowa, Chicago, IL: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1907.

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