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Reuben J. Anderson was born in Smithfield, Madison County, New York; he passed his youth and early manhood like most boys, and in the spring of 1853 came by water to California. He landed at San Francisco May 5, 1853, and followed mining for three years. He subsequently purchased 160 acres of land five miles from San Jose, and here farmed for two years. He then sold out and bought a place a mile west of Haywards, and remained on it until 1856, when he removed to San Bernardino County. He bought land near town, on which he kept stock. In the winter of 1862 he lost heavily by the high waters which flooded the district.
In 1870 he bought seventy-eight acres where he now lives, two and one-half miles east of San Bernardino. After being washed out, however, in 1862, he followed teaming in Arizona, Utah, Montana and Idaho, for a period of ten years. He lived for several years in San Bernardino, where he owned several lots and was a partner in a large sawmill, which was destroyed by fire in 1872. In March, 1861, he married Miss Louisa Button, daughter of M. E. Button, one of the pioneers of this county, by whom he had one child: Marlette.
His wife died in 1868, and Mr. Anderson was again married October 4, 1869, to Miss Lizzie Mathis, a native of Iowa. She died August 4, 1871, and on May 2, 1872, Mr. Anderson married her sister, Elvira Mathis, who was born at Payson, Utah, a daughter of John and Sarah Ann (Dawdle) Mathis, natives of Lawrence County, Alabama. By this latter marriage he has six children, four boys and two girls: Fran-cis Marion, Annie Louise, William Wesley, Clarence James, Ernest Ingersoll and Lizzie.