Anderson Family Page

The Anderson Family - mid 1970's - from left to right:
Jerry, David, Sandy, Nancy, Kathy, Judy, Vicky, Pauline, & Dave.

When researching family history, the hope is that we will find each of our ancestors to have been honorable and honest people as well as good and upstanding citizens. That is not always the case. Sometimes things are uncovered that one would rather not have found. But in reality, our ancestors were simply real people who had both good and bad qualities to their characters. My goal has always been a desire to get to know my ancestors better, and while I don't believe in purposely exposing the worst, I also don't believe in burying the truth. So, I will try to strike a balance between telling what I've found and, where necessary, trying to be discreet in how I tell it.

I was born an Anderson; therefore, I would like to trace my Anderson ancestors back as far as possible, but I can only go where the evidence points. Thanks to the research my dad and sister Judy did back in the 1970s, I am able to trace our roots back to Alfred Anderson, so will call him "Generation #1."

I must stop here and explain that Monongalia County was organized in 1776, but in 1863, it became part of the new state of West Virginia. With that in mind, it has been difficult for me to know how best to represent exactly where my Anderson ancestors were born and lived except to call it Virginia before 1863 and to call it West Virginia after 1863.

Generation #1 - Alfred Anderson, born December 17, 1807 in Monongalia County, Virginia. I do not know who his parents were. In about 1832 he married Mary Ann Dolby (Dalby?) (1814-1902) who was said to have been born in Pennsylvania which, by the way, borders on Monongalia County.

*Children of Alfred Anderson and Mary Ann Dolby/Dalby Anderson
David Weaver Anderson was born 1 February 1841 in Cassville, Monongalia County, West Virginia, to Alfred Anderson and Mary Ann Dolby.

On 10 October 1867 David was married to Mary "Molly" McCabe in Fairbuy, Livingston County, Illinois. They had three children:
Emma Elfa - it is not known when Emma Elfa was born, but she was said to have lived only nine months.
Alfred Lazelle was born on 1 July 1869 near Topeka, Kansas.
Ora Ella was born 28 December 1873 at Glen Elder, Kansas.

David and Molly arrived in Kansas in 1869, and were the first white settlers in Glen Elder Township, Mitchell County, Kansas. David received a homestead land grant of 160 acres north of where the present town of Glen Elder, Kansas, is located. This land grant was signed by President U.S. Grant.

The marriage of David and Molly did not last. Molly was said to have a temper, and apparently David did too. Two stories in family lore speak to this. I cannot confirm the accuracy of either story, but will relate them here as they were said to be true. It was said that David "threw the baby out the window." That's all I know. I don't know which baby, and I don't know what happened to the baby who was alleged to have been thrown out the window. The second story is that David became angry when the baby crawled under the bed and refused to come out, so he threw a piece of firewood under the bed which hit the baby in the head and killed her. Again, I don't know whether this story is true or not either, but the fact is that the baby Emma Elfa Anderson did die as a baby, I believe at about 9 months of age. We also know that sometime after her death, Molly took their other daughter, Ora Ella, and went back to her family in Illinois. Their son, Alfred, remained with David.

On 15 June 1875, David filed a petition in the district court of Mitchell County Kansas in an action for divorce against Mary Anderson, a non resident of the state of Kansas. On 5 August 1875, the case came for a hearing in the court, and it was decreed that the marriage between David W. Anderson the plaintiff and Mary Anderson the defendant be dissolved, that the care of Alfred Anderson a minor be and remain in the care and custody of the plaintiff, and that the defendant Mary Anderson have the care and custody of Ora Anderson and the right of communication with Alfred Anderson.

David Weaver Anderson then married Sarah Jane Mooney on 19 January 1876 in Glasco, Cloud County, Kansas.

Sarah Jane Mooney Anderson

Sarah Jane Mooney was born 25 August 1857 in Clarinda, Page County, Iowa, to John Mooney and Sillener Truax. For more information on the Mooney family, see the Mooney Family Page.

According to his obituary, David was a buffalo hunter on the plains, enduring all the hardships of frontier life and bloodcurdling experiences with the Indians. The obituary continues by saying that "few men of his time were more familiar with the country than David Weaver Anderson."


Between 1877 and 1899, David and Sarah were blessed with 12 children, all born at Glen Elder, Mitchell County, Kansas:

Amanda Voltena (Tena), born 14 February 1877.
L.J. Weaver (Pete), born 7 April 1978.
Ellis David, born 24 November 1879.
Ellen Sillener, born 3 August 1881.
Elsie May, born 22 August 1844.
Elza Ruliff (Croppy), born 18 October 1886.
Elda Nellie, born 6 August 1888.
Ella Jennie, born 28 March 1890.
Charlotte Elva, born 11 February 1892.
Lyle Spessard (Mike), born 17 January 1894.
Lester Lemuel (Tom), born 5 January 1897.
Lawrence Dewey (Dewey), born 15 December 1899.

The Anderson brothers are pictured below.

From left to right: Mike, Dewey, Tom, Croppy, Pete, and Ellis.

The Anderson sisters are pictured below.

From left to right: Elsie, Ellen, Elda, Tena, Ella and Lottie

The first Anderson domicile on the homestead had been a "dugout". The first house built on the property was a one-room house which the family lived in for several years. I believe another room may have been added to that small dwelling at some point too, but eventually Sarah had a proper home built. It is pictured below as it appeared in the 1980s.

The Anderson home near Glen Elder, Kansas.

During a trip to Kansas with my two older sisters in 2007, we visited the Anderson homestead outside of Glen Elder after Marjory Anderson Kresin arranged for us to do so. A young couple had bought the farm and were kind enough to show us around. They knew the story of the original home having been a dugout and said they had searched the entire property looking for it. I believe most of the family thought it had been located in the bank of the creek that runs through the property, but they said they had never found any evidence at all that there had ever been a dugout along the creek bank. They took us into the cellar of the home and shared with us their theory that the cellar was the original dugout and that the one-room house had been built on top of that and then expanded.

During our 2007 trip to Kansas we visited the Mitchell County Historical Museum where we learned that "Grandma Sarah" Anderson had filed for divorce from David Weaver Anderson. I don't believe the divorce was ever granted, but there was a property settlement of some kind made where Sarah was given the house and part of the land and David retained the rest of the land. The court documents were full of graphic details and were quite disturbing. So much so, that when the museum employee found the documents, he did not want to show them to us. However, we convinced him that these were our family and we had a right to know the past, so we were provided copies.

One of the youngest of David and Sarah's granddaughters, Marjory Anderson Kresin, still lives in Glen Elder. She told us that she had a trunk containing an old dress full of patches that had belonged to Grandma Sarah, but she did not know the story behind the dress nor why Sarah had kept the dress throughout her entire life. Without going into too much detail here, it became clear from the court documents that Sarah lived a very difficult life. I believe that old patched dress was a testament to the fact that she had survived the hardships she had been forced to endure and had prevailed. Many pioneer women had challenging and harsh lives, but I believe Sarah's life was filled with extreme hardships that most did not have. According to some of the grandchildren, Sarah's children adored her and had only wonderful things to share about her. They did not seem to share those sentiments about their father, David Weaver Anderson, and with good reason.

To continue with my own lineage, the third child of David and Sarah Anderson was Ellis David Anderson (Sr).

Ellis David Anderson was born on 24 November 1879 at Glen Elder, Mitchell County, Kansas.

On 1 January 1914, he married Vivian Ella Caroline Walters in Canadian, Pittsburg County, Oklahoma.

Ellis David Anderson and Vivian Ella Caroline Walters

Vivian Ella Caroline Walters was born on 2 September 1887 at Lower Penasco, New Mexico, to James Volney Walters and Frances Baca Walters. For more information on Vivian's parents and family, see the Walters and Baca Family Pages.


Ellis and Vivian Anderson had four children:
Ora Elta (Elta), born 19 October 1914, in Glen Elder, Mitchell County, Kansas.
Veronica (Vera), born 6 October 1916, in Tampico, Montana.
Ellis David Jr. (Dave), born 21 April 1921, in Glen Elder, Mitchell County, Kansas.
Bertha Marie, born 28 May 1925 in Glen Elder, Mitchell County, Kansas.

Back row from left to right: Vera and Elta; front row: Bertha and Dave.

The third child of Ellis and Vivian Anderson was Ellis David Anderson, Jr.

Ellis David Anderson, Jr., was born in 1921 at Glen Elder, Mitchell County, Kansas.

While working at Beech Aircraft factory in Wichita, Kansas, in the early 1940s, Dave met a beautiful girl who also worked there, Pauline Miller.

Pauline Elizabeth Miller was born in 1920 in Newton, Kansas, to Arthur Eugene Miller and Clairlee Wyatt Miller. For more information on these families, see the Miller and Wyatt Family Pages.

At the time, Dave had very long and bushy sideburns which he was very proud of. When he asked Pauline for a date, she said she would only go out with him if he shaved off his sideburns, which she was sure he would NOT do. The next day, Dave was greeted with much teasing from his co-workers when he showed up without his sideburns. Pauline was true to her word and went out with him.

Dave soon joined the Army and was sent to Denver, Colorado, for his training. He wrote Pauline a letter telling her if she came to Denver, she "wouldn't go home a miss." She prayed about it and asked her family and friends for advice, and then took the train to Denver where she and Dave were married on 3 November 1943.

Pauline and Dave Anderson

After moving to Indiana in 1955, Dave worked for 30 years as an electronics engineer at WTTV, Channel 4, an independent television station in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pauline was a housewife and stay-at-home mom, except for an occasional brief foray into the world of work over the years. They worked hard and raised their family to the best of their ability.

Pauline and Dave Anderson - about 1970.

In 1992 Pauline suffered a massive stroke. After much hard work she has been able to be rehabilitated to the point that, though still in a wheelchair, she is able to live a happy and active life with minimal assistance.

In 1996 Dave suffered a cerebral hemorrage from which he began to recover fairly well until a series of strokes led to his present condition of being bedridden and unable to communicate well.

The children sold a rental house of Dave and Pauline's and used the proceeds to build a special addition onto the home of one of their daughters. They currently reside there together and are cared for by family members and others. They will celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary on November 3, 1999.

Dave and Pauline Anderson - 1997

UPDATE: Dave passed away in December 1999 and Pauline passed away in November 2002.


Dave and Pauline Anderson's marriage produced eight children, one of whom was a beautiful, dark-haired stillborn baby girl. She was not named at the time but was later named Pamela Ann Anderson by the family.

Dave and Pauline's other children were:
Vivian Clairlee (Vicky), born in 1944 in Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas.
Judith Pauline (Judy) born in 1946 in Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas.
Katherine Louise (Kathy), born in 1947 in Independence, Montgomery County, Kansas.
Nancy Elizabeth (Nancy) born in 1951 in Beloit, Mitchell County, Kansas.
Sandra Sue (Sandy), born in 1952 in Beloit, Mitchell County, Kansas.
David Eugene (David), born in 1954 in Beloit, Mitchell County, Kansas.
Gerald Michael (Jerry), born in 1955 in Beloit, Mitchell County, Kansas.

The following picture of the Anderson family was taken in the mid 1950s.

Front row from left to right: Jerry, Sandy, Nancy, David. Back row: Vicky, Pauline, Kathy, Dave, and Judy.

For more information on the Goins family, see the Goins Family Page.