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Mini Bios of People of Scots Descent
Biography of William Boggs ANDERSON

Submitted by Valerie Crook, <>

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc., 
Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 71-72

WILLIAM BOGGS ANDERSON. The high awards that are attainable in character and influence through a life of industry and probity, guided and regulated by a sense of Christian obligation, are illustrated in the career of William  Boggs Anderson, for many years an agriculturist of Pendleton County. Possessed of more than ordinary industry, he entered upon his life work in young manhood and never
failed to carry out the obligations laid upon his willing shoulders nor to follow up opportunities that opened before him with steadiness and industry, gaining step by step the rare fruits of well-directed enterprise, until he found himself in a position where he was independent financially and held in high esteem by his fellowmen.

Mr. Anderson was born September 7, 1861, in Pendleton County, and belonged to a family that originated in Scotland, the first American ancestor of which was his great-grandfather, who came from Glasgow, Scotland, in the first years of the United States as a republic. The grandfather of William Boggs Anderson, William Anderson, was born in 1800, at Woodstock, Virginia, and served as a drummer boy there during the War of 1812. When he attained mature years he became a business man, and at Woodstock followed merchandising for some years. Like his two wives, who were sisters, he was possessed of marked literary taste, and owned a splendid home library. He was a member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention and a prominent man generally in the State of Virginia, which he left in 1831 to cross the mountains into Pendleton County, settling on the South Pork of the South Branch of the Potomac River, where he owned and carried on extensive operations on a large plantation. His son, David Crawford Anderson, established a school for boys in Pendleton County, and although it was located far from any communities which boasted of populations of any considerable size he made it something of an educational center for the youths of the county. He was a college-bred man himself, and in addition to teaching in his own school, was an instructor in a classical school at Franklin, and later in one at Moorefield. William Anderson rounded out his career on his plantation, where he died, and his body was interred in the cemetery near Franklin with others of the family. His first wife was Rachel White, of Greenbrier County, Virginia, and the six children who were born to them were as follows: Mary, who died as a maiden; David Crawford, the educator and founder of the boys' school noted above, who married Louisa Boggs and died in 1891; William Henry, who died young; Junius Brutus, the father of William B.; Robert Allen, who joined the "gold rush" to California in 1849 and died in the gold fields; and Philip Williams, who was a physician and surgeon throughout life and died at Charleston, West Virginia. For his second wife William Anderson married his first wife's sister, Mrs. Alice (White) Hupp. The White sisters were highly educated women, their father being Valentine White, the proprietor of a school for girls at Warm Springs, Virginia. Valentine White married a Miss Rhodes, a lady from Wales, and one of their daughters, Polly White, married John Cowardin, of Richmond, Virginia, one of their sons, James Cowardin, being editor of the Richmond Dispatch during the war between the states. Mrs. Rachel (White) Anderson died July 19, 1831. The issue of William Anderson and his second wife was a son, Samuel, who passed his life in the main at Franklin, as a farmer, and died unmarried.

Junius Brutus Anderson, the father of William Boggs Anderson, was born November 19, 1824, and was educated by private tutors who came to visit his father's home for the purpose of instructing the children. He became one of the early merchants of Franklin, and during the war between the states engaged in the manufacture of grey goods for uniforms for the Confederate soldiers. He died August 9, 1870, and was buried in the family lot at Franklin. Mr. Anderson married Miss Margaret Boggs, a daughter of Gen. James Boggs. She was a faithful member of the Presbyterian Church and a pioneer of the Franklin congregation, and she passed away in that faith July 22, 1894, aged over sixty-one years, having been born May 5, 1833.

Sallie Anderson, the oldest child of Junius B. and Margaret Anderson, is now Mrs. Cunningham and a resident of Franklin. She was born in this old country town in 1858, and completed her education at Fairfax Hall, Winchester, Virginia, from which she was graduated in 1881, subsequently taking a post-graduate course in art. She established a boarding school for girls at Franklin, growing into it rather easily and unintentionally, until she found herself at the head of a popular and useful institution and continued its life for seven years. She then gave up literary school work and took up art, giving over her entire time to instructing her pupils in oil painting and pastel work. Her paintings have attracted widespread attention and have received much favorable comment from critics. Many of them grace the walls of leading homes all over this region. On May 4, 1893, she was united in marriage with Eliacum Cunningham at Edinburg, Virginia, while she was teaching for a short time at Winchester. Mr. Cunningham was born July 2, 1853, in Pendleton County, and acquired his education in colleges in Virginia and elsewhere as he could provide the means to further his studies. He taught school for a number of years in Lewis County, this state, and after reading law for five years with William H. H. Flick, of Franklin, was admitted to the West Virginia bar. Soon after his marriage to Miss Anderson he established his home at Beverly, West Virginia, where he followed his profession during the rest of his life, dying in December, 1901. He was active in democratic politics, and was frequently an official in the State Senate, where he served as reading clerk and clerk. He never campaigned in his own behalf. Mr. Cunningham was at first a warm supporter of William Jennings Bryan for the presidency, and while he lost some of his admiration for the Nebraskan he always remained loyal to the democratic cause. In May, 1902, Mrs. Cunningham resumed her connection with her native town, where she has continued her work in art and is an active member of the Presbyterian Church. She has not cared to exercise her right of franchise as a voter, but has raised no objection to others voting if they wish to do so.

William Boggs Anderson was reared in a commercial atmosphere, his father being a merchant, but when he entered upon his serious career adopted agriculture and stock raising as his own pursuits. His education was secured in the public schools, and as a young man he taught school for a time, but soon abandoned the educational profession for the pursuits of the farm and became the owner of valuable lands in Randolph and Pendleton counties. He contributed much to the development of the several communities in which he was located by improving his own estates, and became known as one of the large operators of Pendleton County. Mr. Anderson's chief stock in cattle was of the Hereford strain, and he took particular pride in the production of live stock, constantly seeking to better the breed of his herds. While agriculture was his chief concern, he also had some experience in commercial affairs, having conducted a hardware store at Franklin for many years. He was also one of the directors of the Farmers Bank of Franklin. Politically he was a stanch democrat and manifested
a strong interest in politics and political campaigns, being often a delegate of his party to conventions. No fraternity ever won his favor. He was a member of the board of deacons of the Presbyterian Church, and died in that faith March 16, 1920. He is survived by a brother, Charles, who is a farmer on the South Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River; and four sisters: Mrs. Sallie Cunningham, of Franklin; Mrs. J. J. Roberts, of Culpeper, Virginia; Miss Alice Anderson, of Franklin; and Mrs. Lucy Headley, also of Franklin. One brother, Dr. Walter, died at Franklin while engaged in the practice of dentistry.

At Franklin, December 6, 1899, Mr. Anderson married Miss Catherine Dyer, a native of Pendleton County and a sister of Dr. Osceola Dyer, of Franklin. She was orphaned by the loss of her father when she was a child, and her girlhood was spent at the home of her uncle, John McClure, who married Rebecca J. Skidmore, a sister of Mrs. Anderson's mother. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Anderson: J. McClure, one of the young farmers of the Franklin community, who registered for the World war but was not called into active service, and he married Miss Marguerite Boggs, a daughter of Hugh Boggs; Effie Harness, who is a high school student at Franklin; and William Dyer, who has just completed his graded school work.

The Anderson home, standing upon a conspicuous site at Franklin, was erected by Mr. Anderson, and goes far toward teaching the present generation his character and the manner of man and citizen he was.

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