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Biography of Rev. John A. Anderson
Posted By Dennis Partridge On In California,District of Columbia,Kansas,New York,Ohio,Pennsylvania | No Comments
Rev. John A. Anderson, so long identified with the work of the Presbyterian Church at Junction City, and, while a resident of that place, with the affairs of Congress, of which he was a member, had a remarkable experience for a elergyman. He graduated from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1853, Benjamin Harrison being his roommate for a time. Mr. Anderson began his ministerial work at Stockton, California, in 1857, and is said to have preached the first union sermon on the Pacific coast. In 1860 the state legislature of California elected him trustee of the state insane asylum. Two years later he was appointed chaplain of the Third California Infantry, and in that capacity he accompanied General Connor’s expedition to Salt Lake City. As correspondent and agent of the United States Sanitary Commission for California his first duty was to act as relief agent of the Twelfth army corps. He was next transferred to the central office at New York. In 1864, when General Grant began moving toward Richmond, Mr. Anderson was made superintendent of transportation and had charge of six steamboats. At the close of the campaign he served as assistant superintendent of the canvas and supply department at Philadelphia and edited a paper ealled the Sanitary Commission Bulletin. When the war closed he was transterred to the history burean of the commission at Washington, remaining there one year collecting data and writing a portion of the history of the commission, and in 1866 he was appointed statistician of the Citizens’ Association of Pennsylvania. In February, 1868, Mr. Anderson secepted a call from the Presbyterian Church at Junction City, Kansas, and during the years spent in town he actively participated in politics. During that period he was usually a member of the school borad, established the beautiful Highland Cemetery, and became a factor in the standard gauge railroad. In the fall of 1873 he was elected president of the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan, and did much to develop it along modern lines. He remained at its head until 1878, when he was elected to Congress and served as representative from the First and Second districts until 1891. In March of that year he was appointed consul general to Cairo, Egypt, and sailed for his new post on April 6, but his constitution was already impaired, and he was unable to withstand the change of climate. The following spring he determined to return, but died on his way home at Liverpool, England, May 18, 1892, and was buried at Junction City in the cemetery which he had founded and in which reposed the body of his mother.
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